Mack attack is back
  |  First Published: September 2016

We are now climbing out of the deep, dark, frozen depths of our North Queensland winter, and thawing out into beautiful springtime conditions, with birds chirping, Pokemon running wild and pollen starting to wreak havoc with those requiring a few hits of Zyrtec.

It’s a fantastic time of year as far as weather and fishing goes, and looking back on the winter period, we saw the usual suspects of Spanish mackerel and yellowfin tuna turn up.

There was a hint of spring fishing greeting us during August, putting a spring back into many anglers’ steps. I am talking about the presence of our bigger red fish, nannygai and red emperor in the deeper waters and less frequency of those menacing sharks!

The fish have been turning up in their usual haunts in the deeper waters in more solid numbers, and we should see this increase as we get deeper into the season. Along with these staple fish we have been seeing solid gold band snapper amongst the sea of red. They are a fantastic table fish and certainly have an aggressive fight to match. Fishing the deeper, wider 60m+ marks should see you find a couple of nannies and reds. So stack up on the leads and the good squid (if we ever see it again) as this would be a wise option if you are heading out in the coming month.

The outer reefs have still been fishing quite well and shouldn’t be discounted this month. Plenty of coral trout, red throat and the rest have been biting hard and should see you take home some reward for your efforts and look for the smaller tides. Whole pilchards have been the succulent selection for the reefies, triggering more aggressive bites resulting in better hook up rates, whether rigged on running balls or paternoster style. There are still heaps of Spanish mackerel about out wide, so floating a well presented live or dead bait while fishing for those tasty reef dwellers is another good option, along with a quick troll around the reef edges.

The reef edges around the Islands have been fishing quite well. So if you aren’t keen on the long haul to the outer reefs, the islands are still a good option. Good reports of coral trout, nannygai and good size grassy sweetlip have been flooding in and they can soon fill your icebox and stomach in no time. That is a tasty bag in anyone’s book! All without the hours of travel time and is a fantastic option if you have the rugrats on board.

Another fantastic option to get on board during spring is fishing the local impoundment, Lake Proserpine. As those water temps start to heat back up we should see natives, more specifically barramundi, become less lethargic and more inclined to take an offering. There is nothing like a monster barra trying to destroy your confidence amongst the timber. So if you intend on doing this, make sure your gear is up to scratch, or they’ll leave you scratching your head. It’s a great way to spend the day (or very early morning) and definitely less salty. Don’t forget to take your skis and tubes though, so if you get sick of the fishing you can also have a little fun to break up the day. If you aren’t too sure about how to go about landing yourself a fish up there, the best bet is to talk to the local guide who frequents the place. Alternatively you could go one better and book a trip with the local guide, where you have a much better chance to catch a fish, and will most likely learn a thing or two.
Speaking of learning a thing or two, I’m off to tend to my newborn son, who I think has left me a little present. Enjoy the coming month and hopefully you get to wet a line.


Jake Humphries with one of the many Spanish mackerel caught on a full day charter with Renegade.


A little black marlin caught on Renegade – keep your eye out for a few loitering around the bait schools.


Renegade skipper Luke with a quality red emperor, which should become more prevalent in the coming month.


These two lads were happy with their pigeon pair of large mouth nannygai.


Brian Householder with a large mouth nannygai caught on a recent trip.

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