Local Knowledge is Everything
  |  First Published: December 2013

Every year is different and this year was way out there. We had no flood for the first time in memory and this changed the places to catch fish. Most of our commercial fisherman did not catch much and some even stopped fishing in June. The fish were around but they were not in their usual haunts.

I can also say that Gavin New who is our Barramundi Charter fisherman put clients on to over 40 metre-plus barramundi. He had an awesome season and so did I. I was able to catch barramundi in the morning and Spanish mackerel in the afternoon. It was a year where local knowledge was everything. November was a change up as we had a good number of king salmon turn up with some caught that were over a metre long. These fish should be around in December and will make the conditions worth it.

Our climate at this time of year is very hot and very humid so do not say you were not warned. The king salmon will be hanging around out the front and the best way to catch them is with live bait off the beach. this allows you to set up shade and have an unending supply of liquid refreshments available when required. The best time to fish is when the wind is not blowing because if it is you will end up with weed everywhere.

We have had some nice black Jew caught up the river with the Kerry D charter boat getting plenty for their clients. They were anchored up in the deep holes in front of creeks around the bottom of the tide and bait was the old reliable pillies.

I love this time of year when Santa comes as you can always do with fishing gear. My Santa came early and gave me an awesome setup for keeping stuff frozen while camping up the coast. My gear needs to fit in the boat so space and weight are limited. I have a solar panel, a fridge and an AGM battery that hopefully will solve my problem. I will report back after giving it a good test.

Sweers Report

Another outstanding fishing season has come to an end on Sweers Island Resort. Even with the lack of the wet season that has affected the fishing elsewhere, Sweers Island has been going off! The beginning of the season started with a bang with a great range of reefies being landed. Coral trout, gold spot cod, emperor, barramundi, fingermark, GT, you name it, they were getting caught and many at trophy sizes.

As water temperature cooled over winter things really ramped up and the mackerel were literally jumping into the boats. Over June-July, just about every resort guest got to experience the adrenaline pumping rush as a 17kg+ Spanish peeling line. When that water temp dropped below 21°C you couldn't get the lines back into the water fast enough. At this time it doesn't really matter if you’re trolling with hard bodies, skirted jigs, floating dead or live baits, the Spanish were smashing them. It is believed that Spanish mackerel congregate around this area for breeding and it’s not their stomachs that they are most concerned about. They become a lot more finicky and a well presented bait is required to take their attention off their natural instincts. This year's Sweers Spanish Award was taken out by Denis Lynch with a 20.3kg monster.

As the water warmed up again, the reefies came back on the bite with some really nice coral trout putting smiles on the punters faces. Larger numbers of barramundi made their presence known by woofing down numerous lures off the beaches around the resort. It was also a great time for the sport fisher with large schools of giant herring, queenies and GT's circulating the island. The arrival of the morning glory (cloud) brought the perfect conditions for those fisherman looking at chasing these sports fish with fly or soft plastics.

All up it was another great season on Sweers and hopefully our prays to the weather gods will bring a bigger wet season and an even better fishing season next year.

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