We are well into the winter months now and into the annual migration of mammals up our coastline. The annual migration of humpback whales has begun!
We were greeted with some spectacular weather over the past month, which made it easy to spot the huge playful creatures frolicking on the surface. With numbers on the increase we are seeing more and more whales make the long journey up the coast, so it is a good idea to keep an eye out for them this month, both to witness them in all their glory, and to avoid an unwanted collision out on the water. They can literally pop up out of nowhere and will cause some serious damage if collided with. My tips would obviously be to keep a sharp eye on the water while travelling, reducing your speed and to avoid travelling during darker hours.
Another tip for this month would be to try your luck with some Spanish mackerel. As predicted, the numbers have increased over the past month and are about in great numbers. Many average around the 10kg mark, but larger beasts have been on the prowl. Large schools can be found around the outer reefs and many are about around the outer and inner islands. All methods have been working on the Spanish, including trolling divers, baits, jigging and casting surface and sub-surface artificials. Once they start to eat you can be in for an exciting fast paced session. So it will pay to keep an arsenal of tackle for them when you head out this month.
The outer and island reefs, have been producing an excellent number of coral trout. In previous reports I had mentioned they were plentiful and it has been no different over the past month. Solid numbers of the highly sought after coral trout have greeted most anglers and their iceboxes, and the trend looks set to continue. The humble old pilchard fished close to the bottom has worked a treat, however most baits and lures have provided a positive result. If weather permits this month, it would be a good idea to head out and target both aforementioned species. You would have to be happy with a brace of either, or both!
Besides these two crowd pleasers, the red emperor are around and are another species that should be on your radar if you head out this month. Sharks have slowed a little, giving us a slight reprieve in the deeper waters and allowing us to land a few. Be sure to drop a line around the outer islands, shoals and reefs, as the mighty reds should be on the chew, and will bring a smile to anyone’s face!
Another thing that is sure to put a smile on your dial is the recent estuary fishing reports. Although the barramundi have slowed with the drop in temperature, most other species continue to be available for capture. You can still be rewarded for your efforts in the creeks and rivers with good numbers of mangrove jack, flathead, salmon, bream, whiting and mud crabs cruising around the systems. All of these species are great fun to catch and are also a great way to include kids in fishing and some always needed family time. These trips could be the ticket to giving them the bug to kick off their love of this great pastime. I mean bug in both senses of the word, both the addictive fishing bug, and the little people bugging you to go fishing! I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Recently we held our Annual Renegade Fishing Charters Ladies Day. This day was a hit, with a group of women filling both vessels and heading out. We headed for the reef where we were met with fair conditions and some quality fishing. There were plenty of coral trout, red throat emperor and Spanish mackerel to be caught. The day was filled with some wild antics and plenty of laughter. This is a popular event on our calendar with a huge interest and following. So much so, we are considering making this a bi-annual event. So keep an eye out on our social media for upcoming events.
Short and sweet from me this month. Good luck and remember to keep an eye out for those migrating whales.
• If you’re interested in a game, sport or reef fishing charters around the Whitsundays, give Luke a call on 0429 724 822 or email --e-mail address hidden--Reads: 264