November has spelt the end of our guided fishing season here in Weipa and what a cracker of a season it has been.
Both the new groups and regulars have been more than impressed by the consistent action in the rivers and offshore. The light tackle billfishing for sailfish and black marlin has added another facet to Weipa’s already ridiculously diverse fishery. Weipa’s geographical position, coupled with the seasonal weather patterns, makes it one of the most consistently fishable locations in Queensland.
November fished exceptionally well for nearly all target species, with the shallow reefs of Albatross Bay, Pine Bay and all the way across to Dyfken Point really firing. Clear, nutrient rich currents pushed all manner of predators into the relative shallows and they were chasing the large schools of herring calling the area home for the past month.
Massive queenfish of up to 1.2m, blue salmon and smaller mackerel have been harassing the bait, and after a quick throw of the cast net, heading out to the shallow reefs with a tank full of wriggling herring has made for some memorable sessions.
Fingermark were the main culprits with fish between 60cm and 70cm the norm, while schools of excited queenfish made for some top aerial action. Any bait that managed to stay on the bottom long enough was smashed by a big trout, cod or tusker and some of the bust-offs have been memorable. A visit from the local tiger shark usually finished the party, and all this in water no deeper than 20ft.
To the south the water inshore has been quite green and dirty with very little life. Out a little wider is where the action has been. It’s all about finding that clearer water and the action soon follows. Some days however, depending on the tides and currents, quite some distances have needed to be travelled to find this ‘good’ water. Insane sessions on 20-30lb Spaniards have made all the travelling worthwhile and on some days we have exclusively thrown poppers for them for crazy aerial strikes. A mackerel 20ft in the air is a spectacular sight and when its got your popper in its mouth and you have to set the hook by pulling down you know they are on the bite.
The November river fishing has been consistent with a lot of real quality in the fish caught, the deep, mid-river snags have produced some cracking fingermark and big threadfin salmon. Jigging 5-7” Gulp Jerkshads has done the damage with Transams and Thready Busters also hard to beat. Any tide that slows enough to allow your plastics to get down to the bottom easily is my pick, with the turn of the low tide as good a time as any for this deeper water jigging. Some great fish can be caught and it’s a good way to cut down on barra as by-catch in the creeks and bankside snags as it is now their time for a well earned break.
December will see me head out on a few crazy missions up the Cape before the wet kicks in and by Christmas it will be time to get into some overdue maintenance and have a well earned break.
Locally, fishing in December should consist of early starts and early finishes or you risk getting smashed by a big storm. Always keep and eye out after lunch as you may have to make a dash for it. Overnighters out wide are a bit iffy this time of year as you really have to pick the weather, but get it right and there are some top catches to be had.
I hope you all have a great Christmas and get a chance to head out and prick some lips.Reads: 1497