December in Weipa
  |  First Published: December 2016

Finally we are getting some cracker late arvo storms with plenty of thunder and lightning – the downside is the oppressing heat build-up before it rains, and the excessive humidity the day after – the upside is the fishing is going off!


The estuaries are fishing well, with small golden snapper up to 55cm and in good numbers. Live baits are working well also, but I prefer lures, as you cover more country and it’s more rewarding to land one on a lure. Deep diving minnows in fluoro colors that get down to 3m, 20g vibes and small plastics are working well – keep an eye out for deep rocky holes and snaggy banks

Bigger golden snapper (fingermark) over 70cm are an offshore fish. Just like mangrove jack, when the golden snapper mature they move offshore to the rocky, shelly areas, and can be targeted on vibes and live baits. They also respond well to a trolled deep diver or even better, a micro-jig. They love ‘em!

We’re currently in the middle of the barramundi closed season, but it still amazes me how many anglers are specifically targeting them. Remember it’s illegal, and if you get caught, be prepared to pay the penalty.

Barra can be a pest when fishing the drains for threadfin at this time of the year, as they inhabit the same areas and eat the same food. If you catch a barra during the closed season, please release it as quickly as possible, to avoid stressing the fish to the point where it will not breed. In any case, threadfin are much better on the plate. I honestly think barra are the most overrated eating fish available, but due to commercial advertising, they’re a glamour food fish.

Threadies love a bit of fresh run-off, and can be frustrating when they’re fixated on jelly prawns. They’re an awesome table fish if bled and cooled, and fight and jump as good as anything – they can reach 150cm and 20kg.


Offshore, the light winds make for some great morning reef trips, with some big golden snapper, tuskfish, coral trout, sweetlip (emperor) and nannygai to be caught before the afternoon westerly sea breeze arrives.

Bloody sharks are a nuisance as usual, and even though the radical greenies keep telling us they’re becoming extinct, they’re in plague numbers and increasing every year. They’re becoming a real problem, and it’s about time measures were taken to reduce their numbers.

The big run of Spanish mackerel has finally ended with a few stragglers around. At the moment there are plenty of grey and school mackerel, and tuna can be found pretty much everywhere in small pods.

As usual, queenfish can be found just about everywhere, with sizes ranging from 30cm-120cm. They’ve been smashing baitfish in the river mouth and offshore, and they’re a lot of fun.

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