Hope you all had a safe and fun break on the water with a few good fish thrown in. It has certainly been a hot one up here, as we seem to be back in the dry and hot pattern of the el-nino system.
This means northern Australia could be in for a late wet around March/April and most likely won’t be heaps of rain, but enough to inspire a spawn from the barramundi. During these kind of years, it would be good to see QLD Fisheries delay the closure and opening of the barra season by one month because if my predictions are right, come 1 February there will still be a lot of barra that have not spawned and will be at the mercy of the barra nets as well as shamateur fishos and any other recreational anglers that don’t practice responsible fishing. This could all lead to smaller numbers of larvae, which will delay any recovery in the years to follow. I hope I am wrong and it buckets down before 1 February.
To be honest, I am not too sure of what has been going on in December as I have been on holidays and refitting our boat but after talking to a few mates it sounds like some nice golden snapper (fingermark) and big grunter were caught around the deeper seaward headlands as well as a good run of Grey mackerel and northern bluefin tuna.
Both those species are usually found around the inner islands and are often in together. The easy giveaway for them is to look for the big flocks of small terns that feed on the smaller baitfish that the greys and tuna feed on. Simply cast small metal slices into the schools, especially when they break the surface during the feeding frenzy. Other methods that work well for the greys and would suit more the bread and butter fishos is to tow 3-4”spoons on heavy cord lines, which has been a popular method for decades.
I did hear of an unusual occurrence that happened around early December. A massive school of tripletail, otherwise known as jumping cod, made its way along the foreshore at Cardwell and when it reached the jetty the herring schools just exploded. They kept on moving up the channel eventually disappearing. I have never seen this myself and I presume they might have been spawning and, now that I think about it, I have seen quite a lot of them individually during November. None the less, it’s great to see.
Before I went on holidays we had a great run on the big threadfin salmon, the best I have seen for a while and hopefully that may continue into January. It’s a good chance they will as monsoonal rain is highly unlikely this year and that’s about all that will upset them from their usual traits.
In January, which will be a scorcher, I expect the best fishing for most species to be during the evening hours, particularly out the reef.
Sometimes during hot northerlies or dead still conditions, otherwise known as the doldrums, daytime fishing can be a waste of time but the evenings can still turn it on and is a great time to run into the big mangrove jacks that inhabit reef waters. Some can exceed 10kg and are a spectacular looking fish. Jacks should also thrive inshore too and will be one of the best species to target this month along with the threadies, fingers crossed!
We hope to be releasing our Threadfin e-course in the next couple of months, so those interested can keep an eye out on our Ryan Moody Fishing Facebook page for details.
If you would like to come up for a charter, unfortunately February to May is fully booked but I still a few gaps in September and October. Some good days are still available in the winter too, especially for fingermark trips.
• If you would like to book a charter or join our fishing community for some great fishing competitions etc. head on over to www.ryanmoodyfishing.com. And you could also win a free charter drawn twice a year.Reads: 577