Reef fishing current events
  |  First Published: November 2017

Summer is on its way with our daytime temperatures hitting 38°C. The weather isn’t the only thing that’s been hot – the fishing is going off too!

The past few weeks have seen excellent numbers of big Spaniards averaging 10-18kg with the odd larger fish as well. Usual areas like the 3 Mile, Speedys, 9 Mile and just about anywhere in between have there fair shares of fish where you find birds working over bait.

Spaniards need to be handled well if you are to release them. Unhook them in the water, as a fish taken aboard for pictures is doomed to die, so you’re better off eating it rather than feeding it back to the sharks! Longtail tuna have been patchy, but a few have been offshore on the 20m line. Sailfish numbers are good with the odd small black marlin mixed in. Reefies are biting well with golden snapper, sweetlips, tuskies and trout on livies, green prawns and crab baits.

The annual barra season spawning closure is now on in the Gulf, but prior to that they were showing in good numbers. Weipa is famous for its pygmy strain of barra, but the odd metery is around. The largest I’ve heard of up here was a staggering 151cm fish from the Rocky Point Boat Ramp.

The next month will see an increase in big golden snapper on the shallow reefs. They love livebaits, but I prefer to vibe them or fish light plastics. Be ready for big hits, as a 75cm golden snapper can hit hard on light tackle. We’ve recently been micro-jigging a few – this technique is deadly on most reefies up here including black jew. The inshore flats and beaches have good sight fishing, when conditions suit for blue bastards, permit, queenies and trevally.

There’s always something to see when you have a look in close. Another species that’s firing is the mighty jack. Weipa has five rivers that flow into Albatross Bay and jacks live there! Look right up the top end of the systems for the best results. We have plenty of rock bars and snags to catch a few. Personally, I can’t kill a jack – they have real character. They’re too cool a fish to catch!


The reefs are firing up with plenty of species on offer.


Golden snapper love a micro jig.


Big tuskys are active on the reefs now.


Ben Godfrey with a barra caught on a fly.

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