The warmer water has started to push down from the Straits, and the pelagic action around the local river mouths and headlands has been going off.
Massive queenies, bludger trevally, golden trevally have been the main culprits, however there have been some serious sized Spaniards skulking around a bit deeper. More often than not, if a rat-sized bludger trevally hits your slug while spinning around South Bedford Headland, be prepared for 15kg+ of Spanish to make a surgical procedure on your little trevally. Sometimes you can be lucky and lip hook the Spaniard, however the outcome usually ends in cursing and a snipped leader.
This happened to me a few years ago; I lost about five fish in a row and I was blaming the local population of bronze whalers until I changed to a short length of 44lb Mason single strand wire on my slug and saw a big Spanish over 20kg+ snaffle my baby queenfish right under my boat!
If you’re keen on flicking smaller 30g slugs around the headlands over summer, a simple tip to aid in bite offs without changing to wire is to rig your slug with a single 4/0 Gamakatsu SL12 rigged on double split rings. The slightly longer shank and needle sharp points on these hooks make for surprisingly increased hook ups and landed toothy fish.
The downside to all of the improved fishing action around the headlands and inshore reefs, due to the increased water temp, means that the pressure from sharks also increases and often a move can be the only option. When the bronzies move in, it is pointless fishing that particular hang or mark as they will get every decent table fish, like red emperors and trout and leave 99% of the rubbish table fish like 25kg trevally and 6ft barracuda!
Another serious threat to keep in mind when collecting bait with a drag or cast net, or snorkelling the inshore reefs and headlands, is the infamous box felly fish and irikanji. I have been stung by a boxy and I can tell you it is not fun. A $75 Stinger Suit is the best investment that a Northern angler can have in the boat.
With the water temps in the local rivers around 26ºC, the jack fishing has really started hotting up. Flicking small timber hardbodies and fizzers have been proving hard to resist when fishing at first light and the last few hours of daylight.
The odd storm will start rolling in, so the upper reaches of the local rivers will be firing with plenty of fun to be had on light gear chasing jacks and tarpon. The fish are always eager to inhale a surface offering or slowly twitched hard body.
The Barra Closures will be in full swing on the 1 November until the 1 February on the East Coast, however if making a trip across to the Gulf, these dates are earlier (4 October-30 January) and are already closed.
Before planning a trip to Cooktown, give Russell at The Lure Shop a call on (07) 4069 5396 for all of the info and gear that you could need for the local area as the Lure Shop is Cape York’s largest range of Fishing, Hunting and Boating equipment.Reads: 645