Cooktown was peppered with a late season Cyclone and Ita was one of the bigger cyclones to hit the eastern cape since Yasi.
Making landfall as a Cat 4, Ita put a stop to fishing leading up to and immediately after the big blow. The better land based barra spots like Starkey NP and Lakefield will have zero or limited access for a few weeks. With that in mind there are plenty of options in the local waterways to keep fishos from all levels of experience busy.
The queenies, trevally and mackerel will be well on their way to create havoc for the local sardine and hardihead populations around the Endeavour Wharf. The key here is hi-speed spinning with small slugs like Raiders or Knight jigs or for the more relaxed fishermen, an unweighted sardine rigged on a 200mm length of 30lb Mason single strand.
As more people turn up during the cooler months, the mackerel can become a tad flighty, so dropping the wire for a piece of 55lb pink Schneider will see your hook up ratio increase, however you will loose the odd fish to bit offs.
The coming month usually sees most trailer boats avoid the reef fishing as the trade winds are well and truly hammering in by now. You may jag the odd morning where you can shoot out to the Mud Wreck and catch a few small 450mm saddle-tailed sea perch and the odd mackerel or two and whip home in under 10 minutes if the winds come up. Other than that the next few months are time to get out the spin gear and chase a few of the ever-reliable river fish like jacks, trevally, golden snapper, grunter and the ever present pikey bream.
These big black bream are usually spawning over the next few months so only take what you need if you want a feed. They are not exceptional chewing and are a far better sports fishing option on 6lb braid and a 50mm soft plastic. The pikey bream, pound for pound, will pull a jack backwards in their fighting ability and I find it surprising that no locals target them. A 450mm pikey bream is a mean adversary on 6lb and they are the type of fish that many top sponsored anglers fishing the ABT would dream about!
Until next month stay safe on the water and make sure you check track conditions and waterway conditions after Ita.
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