Too much for the tourists
  |  First Published: November 2015

The rise in temperature and humidity has seen all the tourists head south, leaving only the locals and mad-keen anglers to tough it out. We had an awesome finish to the barramundi season, with plenty of bag limit captures before the close off on 7 October. There weren’t many big fish caught but there were good numbers of 60-70cm fish, which kept anglers happy.

Strong winds limited opportunities to chase grunter out the front, but anglers made the most of the few weather windows to catch some big 70cm specimens. Paying attention to the wind can help if you decide to fish north of the channel. The wind can keep the tide out by over 0.5m, making it impossible to get back without going all the way around the sand islands, adding 6km to the trip.

November is black jew month for those willing to suffer the 98% humidity and temperatures around 38°C. The wind will continue to blow so I recommend going up the river to fish the deep holes. You need to be there two hours before the change of tide until two hours after to give yourself the best chance to catch a fish. Big baits of squid and mullet should get the job done, but remember that black jew suck the bait before swallowing. If you don’t strike until they start to swim away, you should be on a winner.

There will be grunter out the front when the wind doesn’t blow, and we normally get the big ones at this time of year. Please take lots of water and drink it frequently when fishing, as you can become dehydrated very quickly in these conditions. Also organise some shade, even if it’s just a beach umbrella. If you’re not shaded and hydrated, you’re a prime candidate for heatstroke.

The world-class pontoons in town have made a big difference to loading and unloading your pride and joy, and I would like to thank the Carpentaria Shire Council for putting them in. There is now a loading zone for commercial operators at the top of the ramps that gives people only 20 minutes to get their jobs done and then leave. The lane closest to Pelicans, which is on the upstream side of the ramp, has been made available to commercial fishermen, and the other three are for all users. Please also note that there is a 15-minute time limit on tying up to the pontoons, so keep an eye on the time so you don’t get a fine!

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