May is finally here in Tropical North Queensland and many anglers describe it as the most comfortable month to be out on the water. Cool temperatures and relaxing weather combine to form some great conditions that will allow the adventurous among us to explore new areas and the rest of us to revisit the old ones.
Fishing in the creeks and rivers this month can provide some excellent lure fishing. The water clarity is improving, making casting a few of your favourite lures into the snags a great option.
The clearer water makes fishing the snags easier as often you can see the general shape of the tree you are casting towards, and place your offering right in the money spot.
Use lures with natural colours that incorporate silvers and golds rather than brighter chartreuse and pink colourations. These natural colours will look much more appealing to any hesitant fish and will increase your chances of getting a strike. My favourite lure is the Koolabung Razorback Prawn 80mm diver, this lure has a nice tight action that helps when it is worked through dense structure and also comes in some great colours.
Rivers, such as the Haughton, are well worth a good look as there are plenty of snag-lined banks. It will have you waving your rod in every direction as there is just too many good spots to punch a cast into! Fish these areas thoroughly and you will get the best results.
Beautiful calm days and cooler mornings are ideal for inshore and offshore adventures as you can experience some unreal fishing that can be surprisingly consistent.
Areas around Cape Cleveland and the Magnetic Island shoals will start to produce larger species along the lines of large mouth nannygai, cobia, coral trout and golden snapper. Finding good amounts of bait in these spots, in particular on the shoals, is the key to success as the bigger predators won’t be far away.
These inshore marks are a lot more accessible for smaller boats. If you are heading out in the morning you can hopefully be home around midday with a few fish landed. You may not get into the action straight away but if you stay on the bait long enough it will pay dividends in the form of a few quality catches. Having a rod rigged up with a small bait jig and getting a bucket full of erratic live baits will see you in with the best chance of hooking into some action.
Venturing out a little further to the wrecks offshore will see you tangling with a few mackerel, as they school up around the structure and are willing to strike a trolled lure or a float line. It is worth changing the trolling speed for your diving hardbodied lure every so often. An increase in speed to get the lure really swimming with some sort of urgency can be the difference between catching a couple of mackerel and having a blinder of a day. It just goes to show that mixing it up is well worth it as every day is different!
Overall, May is bringing on a few changes in the weather that will affect the fishing in a positive way, particularly for the offshore scene. Certain species will start to get serious and increase in numbers, so get out there and catch that fish you have been wanting!Reads: 666