The month ahead is the start of the clean and cooler water temps for the Cooktown region, and with these clean water brings massive schools of bait including sardines, mullet, hardiheads and, the number one bait for the region, yellowfin pike.
The crystal clear water that surrounds the local Endeavour Wharf during winter really brings it home how rich the waters are on Cape York. Some mornings you can see 20lb barra sitting on a pylon and, less than 1m away, a coral trout or tuskfish can be holding up on another pylon. The diversity can be incredible all year round, however it is only during the winter months when the water is gin clear that you really appreciate it.
This month’s report brings some great news for local fishos and tourists alike, as work has commenced with the reclamation rock wall starting from near the wharf down towards the mouth. The platform allows anglers to cast their livies and lures directly into the main channel and catches to date include some big barra, golden snapper, grunter and mackerel.
Work has also commenced on the new and much needed overhaul of the main Endeavour boat ramp. This will be fantastic for everyone, especially those with bigger boats, as the old ramp was not user-friendly at the best of times let alone with a 20 knot southerly pumping.
The Endeavour has been fishing well with quite a few good-sized jacks being caught in the lower reaches. The barra have slowed down a bit, however Walker Bay has been producing plenty of smaller rat-sized fish and the odd legal thrown in.
Good numbers of barra can still be caught right through winter but anglers need to be persistent with pinpoint accuracy in their casting. The fish become lazy and will only roll on a lure if it hits them on the nose.
The Little Annan is a great option during winter to take the kids out to chase some sooty grunter, archerfish and spangled perch. The rock offers a safe platform to fish for kids and is a safer option for crocs. Nevertheless I have seen people swim here; but I have also seen a few different crocs in the area including a 12 footer that lives in the big pool downstream from the rapids. So use your noggin when fishing with kids.
The Annan has been fishing well around the Old Road Bridge with some nice jacks and grunter being caught on the run-in tide.
Live prawns have been hard to get hold of but are worth the extra effort as there are not too many fish in North Queensland that will refuse a live prawn flicking around on a running pea-sized ball sinker.
There have also been some great golden snapper and grunter caught at the mouth of the Annan. Fresh strip baits of mullet and sardines have been getting great results. Live baits are not always needed but fresh baits are a must.
The action offshore has been typical for this time of year when you can get a break in the weather. There have been some thumper Spaniards around the headlands and good school-sized saddle-tailed sea perch to 75cm have been a common capture.
Big mangrove jack are popping up on every overnight trip and sure take some stopping when fishing in hard country. Locked drags and burnt thumbs are a certainty!
Until next month, stay safe on the water.Reads: 731