We certainly had a melodramatic winter, and it seemed to be one of the longest we’ve had for some time. Several bursts of southern air made their way north, keeping water temperatures well below average for inshore areas. I can’t wait for things to warm up further, and I’m sure there are plenty of northern fishos sharing my exact thoughts. Bring on summer and the awesome fishing that goes with it!
I have to admit that I was stumped on a few occasions during August as the barra took a vacation, hiding from the cold waters. Temperatures as low as 17°C made sure of that, and those cold conditions didn’t do much for the local population of fingermark either. Both species have been pretty much off the radar in recent weeks, but we’ve fortunately still had some reasonable sessions on the king threadfin salmon. The threadies have been a little deeper this year and seem to be moving around a lot. Maybe they are moving to keep warm, who knows!
Although some reasonable threadies are on the go, we have seen some nasty activity coming from the bull shark sector. This is the first year I have experienced them in these numbers during cold weather. Normally we see a few as it starts to warm up but their numbers have been out of control lately. Some people think sharks are endangered, but I don’t think these people have taken a swim in the channel lately or out the reef for that matter, with several reports of sharks stripping anglers of every fish in some locations.
Speaking of the reef, many anglers have been having a fat time out there with some of the best trout and emperor fishing seen in years. Generally the colder the water the better when fishing out wide; this is a pattern that I have observed over the years. The wonky holes would be firing too, as the cooler months are the best time of year to fish them. If you’re not sure of what a wonky hole is or how to find them, stay tuned to our website for our upcoming e-course on them early next year. They are a great haven for large-mouth nannygai, red emperor, gold-spot cod and cobia. Many fish caught around these fascinating little structures have plenty of octopus, prawn and mantis shrimp in their bellies, indicating that there’s no shortage of prime quarry for predators.
Spaniards have also been known to hang in good numbers around wonky holes as well above the bottom. Many baitfish species also like to bask in the freshwater that spews from these vents. Yes, that right – they are basically underground springs exiting through the seabed, but where and why are the big secrets!
We have also just recently seen some good action on the billfish. Mick Edwards from Moonshine charters had a great session on the little black marlin, raising 10 in an afternoon, and managed to keep the hooks in a few that were tagged and released. I might head out myself for a bit of fun as we don’t have to run all that far to encounter these spectacular little fish. A few more reasonable reports from other boats have trickled in so here’s to a good season for all northern waters.
Our premiere e-course Barra Basics opens on 22 September 2014 and will not be offered again until February 2015. For this first ever intake we are offering a massive, never-to-be-repeated introductory discount of 50%. If you want to become a top performer and learn pretty much everything I know about catching barra (and I mean everything!), head to our website for a program tour: www.ryanmoodyfishing.com/barrabasics/
• If you would like to book a charter or join our fishing community for some great competitions and tips, visit www.ryanmoodyfishing.com. You could also win a free charter drawn twice a year.Reads: 449