I’m dreaming of a Weipa Christmas
  |  First Published: December 2016

With the temperatures getting way up and storms appearing on the horizon, let’s hope we get a great wet season this year to fire things up. The whole ecosystem really benefits from big rains, especially the banana prawns which must spawn by the billions every wet. March to June sees a jelly prawn soup along the beaches like you wouldn’t believe. Everything that swims there is eating them.

The annual barra spawning closure is on and we’re seeing them everywhere at present. Even though we’re not targeting them, they’re caught as by catch when targeting threadies, jacks, golden snapper and other estuary species. Do the right thing and release them as quickly as possible.

Big golden snapper have been caught on the close reefs with fish up to 80cm caught in recently on livies and plastics. Micro jigs are working a treat for these. Even up the massive river systems here, smaller golden snapper to 55cm can be jigged from the holes and snags.

Big jacks are around and frequent the same areas as the river golden snapper. I won’t kill a jack, as they’re way to cool and snapper taste better. As usual, estuary cod can be a pain when targeting jacks and golden snapper. Cod grow big and pull hard, often snagging up lines. Juvenile grouper up to 45kg are also here and are basically unstoppable on lighter spin/baitcast tackle.

Offshore, decent nannygai, tuskfish, sweetlip, trout and a few black mulloway are available with the right technique and baits. These are all great table fish. Make sure in this heat you bleed and ice the fish as soon as possible.

Whopper Spanish mackerel can still be taken. A mate of mine caught three up to 30kg on trolled lures last week and missed quite a few. The next few weeks should see the end of the Spaniard run as water temperatures climb past 33°C. Big trevally, both GT and brassys, which are often confused with each other, will be active and move inshore to spawn. GTs above 40kg can be found in the river mouths and will feed on anything from pikey bream to blue salmon, so use really big 10” plastics and poppers.

The weather should calm out with the wet with big afternoon storms, so early morning runs before the weather sets in are the go. Most anglers from down south will fly in, as the road at Archer Roadhouse is often cut by floodwaters and the PDR is closed in the wet.

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