Rampaging reefies take spotlight
  |  First Published: April 2016

Where is the rain? Everyone is asking the same question throughout Far North Queensland and the Cape. The Bureau of Meteorology’s statistics state that our most consistent rains fall throughout February, March and April. February has been a fizzer except for a few very active summer storms that usually hit much earlier in our summer season, so here’s hoping we’ve had some good rain by the time this QFM magazine hits the shelf.

Fortunately, the few flushes of freshwater from storms has kept the fish biting. Once you find the bait in the estuaries, it won’t be long before you find the predators following them. Last week, I took my little family up the river and we found a flooded drain spilling dirty water and leaving a distinctive colour change in the water along the edge of the bank. My children had an absolute ball catching and releasing a huge variety of small estuary species on their little made fishing rods. I was so busy baiting and unhooking fish that I had become their personal deckie for the trip and I did not get a chance to fish myself!

It was well worth it seeing their smiles. But without doubt, I will be back at that location very soon on the same tide and fishing with large live baits or lures because there will be some big fish stalking those drains. All estuaries have drains that flood out fresh water at this time of year and usually there is a lot of disorientated bait flushing out too. For the large predators, this is like sitting at sushi train restaurant and they are simply picking off the best looking dish as it rolls by.

Bloomfield River has lots of freshwater coming down that short river system at this time of year, therefore, the bait will most likely be congregating down in the salt near the mouth of the river. Fishing the river mouth area would be most productive, but it doesn’t take much to work the whole system.

The Bloomfield River fishes well and the sealed road all the way in makes it easy towing for boaties and there is some great places to camp as well.

The McIvor River is a slightly longer system than the Bloomfield and it carries lots of fresh too. McIvor is for the people that are a little more adventurous. It is an easy drive on dirt and most people camp at Elim Beach, which is a very nice location.

Annan River catchment is quite large, which means plenty of fresh will be flushing through it but this river cleans up very quickly. If it’s dirty, stay down near the mouth and if it’s clearing, work your way up the river. The upriver side of the bridge is hazardous to navigate with shallow rock bars everywhere, but it all fishes well.

The Endeavour River Wharf continues to produce quality fish, as does Martons Stonewall. It’s also worth trying around the boat ramp or a little further out the front around the granite boulders.

The reefs continue to fire in Cooktown’s region. To be honest, there has only been a few mad keen estuary anglers hitting the rivers because the rest are taking full advantage of the perfect weather and hitting the reefs. As I mentioned earlier, February has not had rain and it has been very hot but no one’s complaining, because the winds have been pretty much non-existent too.

The South East trade winds will be beginning to making their mark by now, so make the most of the good weather on the reefs now as it won’t be long before Cooktown’s breeze begins to increase to a constant blow throughout the winter.

When the seasonal winds do spring up, people will be restricted to the estuaries or exploring creeks further inland. Lakefield National Park remains closed, and will depend on the amount of rain we get before it opens. Keep an eye on Cook Shires website for the latest in road conditions in Cape York.

For current information while visiting or planning a trip into Cooktown or South Cape York’s region, simply ‘like’ my FaceBook page titled ‘Stacky’s Fishing Adventures’ and send me a message.

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