The heat is on
  |  First Published: November 2014

Two months of spring has now past and it’s really starting to heat up, with the days getting longer and water temperatures rising. Add the humidity and the barra closed season and its jack time!

Around the region the weather and sea conditions have not been too bad with a lot of people making it to the reefs out wide with captures of 10kg+ red emperor, pearl perch, red-throat emperor, tusk fish and hussar all making it to the boat.

In closer to shore, juvenile marlin have showed up with a couple being bagged throughout the month. There have been plenty of Spanish mackerel and mac tuna being caught, trolling lures between the fairway markers to the shipping pilot area seems to be the method of choice.

In the harbour, Manning Reef has been producing bream, grunter and cod. All have been taking fresh flesh baits.

Heading up towards the narrows, Ramsay Crossing has produced a few good catches of bream and mangrove jack.

The Boyne River has turned out the odd mangrove jack and some sizable bream up to 35cm.

Heading further south to Turkey Beach, reports have come in of numerous flathead up to 65cm and good numbers of salmon have also been caught, some of which were unstoppable on the flathead gear. Soft plastics were the lure of choice with the squidgy slick rig accounting for much of the action.

Closed seasons are upon us once again, as per DPI fisheries it states, “Throughout the Queensland east coast, a closed season applies to barramundi from midday 1 November 2014 to midday 1 February 2015. This includes the fresh water reaches of the Boyne River below the dam wall and up the Calliope River. You’re not allowed to be in possession of them or target them as this can interrupt their spawning period.” Fisheries patrols are conducted up around Pikes Crossing so it’s best to do the right thing and leave the barra alone.

If you’ve got the itch the chase a barra over the close season you can hit Lake Awoonga. Although the dam has received little attention since the floods resulting in barely any reports, the local stocking group has released over 1 million barra fingerlings back into the lake within the last 2 years and over 4 million barra since stocking begun back in 1981. For more information regarding fish stocking in Lake Awoonga, visit www.gawb.qld.gov.au/fish-hatchery .

If you’re a freshwater river fishing fanatic like myself who likes to get up in the skinny snag-riddled water, there are options available to you. Just because it’s barra closed season, doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy fishing these surroundings. There are other species you can target such as mangrove jack, bream and someone recently landed a 52cm sooty grunter, which is unheard of in this part of the world.

Another option is to downsize to lighter gear and bust out the small 50mm surface lures to chase the tarpon. They are one entertaining and challenging little fish to pursue, as you tend to lose more than what you land.

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