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Season change ignites hot action
  |  First Published: May 2015



There’s a lot to look forward to over the next month in the tropics as we say goodbye to the wet season and welcome the dry.

You don’t need to be a meteorologist to know that we had one of the driest wet seasons in many a year. This was reflected during April as we enjoyed one of the most delightful Easter periods in recent memory. The fishing was absolutely red hot as well with inshore and offshore fisheries providing a plethora of action.

Normally May is when we see a genuine shift in momentum on the reef but this occurred a month early. Coral trout were up and about in really good numbers and the red emperor and large mouth nannygai species showed some red hot form at times. They normally hit their straps in the coming month but you can assume they are already there.

Spanish mackerel were about in better numbers than previous years and other roaming fish, including the trevally families, churned out in solid numbers. There was also a real mixed bag of fish coming back from the reef as well, including spangled emperor, Moses perch, reef mangrove jack, cobia, golden trevally, tusk fish, cattle dog cod, various other cod species and sweetlip.

There were plenty of opportunity to head to the reef with a lot of glorious weather on offer and is likely a contributing factor as to why the reports were so healthy. As mentioned, May is always a month to highlight on the calendar as it is a time when currents shift and run north bringing cooler water along the coast and offshore reef systems. This in turn ignites a lot of reef species into gear, and if you have a preference for ‘reds’ then this is prime time.

Along the coast, our pristine local beaches have experienced recent good times with quite a few barra landed along the Four Mile and Wonga beaches by land-based anglers casting lures. Also for the sport and fly fishers there’s been jelly prawn hatches, which attract all types of predatory fish such as tarpon, trevally, queenfish, dart and blue salmon.

Our rivers fished reasonably well in the past month with good reports of barra being caught up on the Daintree system in the lower reaches. It also produced a steady flow of golden trevally across the lower flats and plenty of quality fingermark out in the deeper sections of the channel.

The Port Douglas Dickson Inlet has been quite industrious in producing good numbers of mangrove jack and estuary cod. At some point in the coming month we will see water temperatures take a dive and your barra and jacks will be harder to come by. However, winter species such as bream, grunter, trevally and queenfish will make it a worthwhile proposition.

The southeasterly trade winds are due to arrive in the coming month and will have a bearing across the board if, and when, they do rear up. In saying this, it has been an abnormal beginning to 2015 and it might be one of those years where the sun dons brightly on a consistent basis and the seas remain predominantly calm. This would then put the advantage in favour of the angler and it will be happy days.

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