With a good lashing of rain from the few category 1 cyclones that were hovering around Cape York during early March, most of the Cape and Gulf received some much needed rainfalls. The good news for Cooktown is that with the March rains giving the system another flushing, both the Endeavour and Annan rivers are experiencing a great run of prawns.
The owner of Cooktown Barra Charters, Tom Nevins, has been putting clients onto some great grunter in the Endeavour on live prawns. He said that lightly weighted fresh dead baits of sardines are also claiming their fair share of better quality grunter. As usual in FNQ's estuaries the variety of species being reported feeding in amongst the grunter include fingermark (golden snapper), pikey bream, flathead and even the odd king threadfin salmon. With the discoloured water, try fishing around the wreck around the river mouth for best results. Just be prepared to tangle with plenty of rat sized GTs that are more than willing to steal your hard earned live prawns.
The mouth of the Annan has seen some decent barra and thumper queenies being caught on live mullet and hardiheads as they get washed out to Walker Bay with the fresh. These fish (especially the 1m+ queenies) take some serious line when hooked in the fast flowing waters near the mouth, so take it steady so you don’t pull the hooks.
There have been some great reports of mud crabs for the punters who are keen enough to put their pots out. A lot of pots have been getting crunched by crocs and best results are had by blokes who run their pots late in the arvo and stay within sight of them for a few hours flicking lures. Not only will you usually save your pot from getting torn open, you usually end up with a nice jack or barra for the table too.
While the trade winds have started (and helped by three tropical lows in four weeks) the offshore fishing has been hard going for the recreational fellas. The blokes with bigger boats and the commercial anglers have been getting some great catches of trout in the shallows, with all of the stirred up water on the weather face.
The spearfishers that have been hitting the coastal headlands have been seeing some massive fingermark and barra around Archers Point. This time of year will see all of the usual pelagics hanging around the old loading dock at Archers and can offer some great land-based high-speed spinning for keen anglers. This place can be a bit hit and miss for action, but when it’s firing it can be heart pumping. I have caught everything there from trout and fingermark through to 10kg Spaniards. I’ve had great results on multiple occasions using X-Raps however the local 4ft shark population can make it a costly exercise. After losing three or so X-Raps, I usually switch to metal Raiders with good results.
Until next month stay safe on the water and be sure to check out the range of handmade timber barra lures I make. Check us out and hit the ‘Like’ button on Facebook by searching Twin River Lures.Reads: 606