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Wet woes fire up fish
  |  First Published: November 2013



Hot is probably the best word to describe the fishing and temperatures in Weipa during November. The wet season build up will really start to fire up with beautiful calm mornings followed by an afternoon sea breeze sucking into an evening storm.

A lot of fish in the estuaries and offshore use this build up time to become active, spawn and just generally get around feeding up before ‘the wet’ gets into full swing.

While there are a lot of fish well and truly on the move, they will also spend plenty of time stacked up on various spots that seem to suit them for a certain time frame. Finding these areas can take a lot of time and effort but the results will be worth it. I have areas like these that I only ever fish this time of year. I often still scratch my head wondering why all of a sudden these areas load up with fish for a few weeks then you struggle to get a bite for the rest of the year.

Many will be familiar with these habits regarding barra, with the season now closed throughout Queensland there are plenty of other desirable species that behave in a similar way that can be targeted with great success.

In the rivers, blue and king salmon will really get moving with nondescript shallow bays and deeper points holding ridiculous numbers of fish at times.

Black jewfish and grunter usually wait until the first good rains to come out of hiding and go about their business.

Offshore, Spanish mackerel will be in huge schools on the deeper shoals. With certain currents hitting different areas they can also be found in what would appear to be the middle of nowhere. It will be consistent birds and bait schools that will give away these locations as well as time and patience if you keen to find these areas.

Golden snapper, coral trout and tuskfish will also do their thing in the lead up to the wet with certain areas holding good numbers of breeding fish. The fishing can be insane, so if you come across or already know one of these areas remember to only take what you need for a feed then move on. Leave these fish alone so the fishery stays as healthy as it can into the future.

Weipa Billfish Club

October 5-7 saw the Weipa Billfish Club hold its second ever Billfish Tournament with great success.

Nice weather for most of the 3 days saw 20 teams work over the wider waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria with great success. Overall 44 billfish were tagged, mostly made up of sailfish and a few juvenile black marlin. An estimated 80-plus fish were raised.

I was asked to fish aboard Duane and Linda Jays new 7.2m Trophy Get ‘N’ Any. With a lovely 220hp Cummins inboard diesel at the back we were keen to christen it with a billfish or two over the weekend. We all had a great time with plenty of miles done to find fish. We managed to tag 4 sailfish and a small black to finish not too far from the top teams and the new boat performed beautifully with exceptional economy.

Monday evening saw plenty of sunburnt and weary anglers assemble at the Carpentaria Golf Club for the presentations and general wrap up of the event.

Making it two years in a row Tag Team skipped by Darren Lee won the event with 8 tags, while Last Cast skippered by Ben Bright pushed them all the way with 6 tags. Champion Angler went to Jay Edwards with 4 tags, Runner Up was Darren Lee with 3 tags. Champion female angler was Suzie Mcdonald from the all girls team Runamuc skippered by Kristy Philliskirk. Andrea Kennedy was Runner Up female onboard Team Striper skippered by Gavin Roberts. Reece Singleton took out the champion junior angler onboard Manana Skippered by his dad Duane.

It was a great weekend and I’m sure it will even be bigger and better next year.

A ladies billfish and sportfish event will be held out of Weipa on December 7 for any ladies interested in getting into this great sport.

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