Big wet aftermath set to fire
  |  First Published: April 2017

With afternoon storms still lingering on and all the creeks and rivers flowing, it looks like we will have a ripper season ahead. Everyone knows drought on the land means drought in the sea and it’s true. The big rains up here in the gulf get everything breeding and feeding.
The gulf has a massive commercial prawn fishery with the trawlers working offshore catching tonnes every year. Inshore the prawn fishery is nothing like down the east coast, banana prawns up here don’t inhabit the estuaries in numbers or size, you will catch a few ,but it’s nothing compared to the size or numbers on the eastern side of the Cape.

The prawns do breed in the billions and the juvenile prawns (we call them jelly prawns, as they are soft and jelly like) move inshore along the beaches in clouds that can be kilometers long, and everything eats them.

It is a great time for shallow water fishing up here, masses of blue salmon, queenfish, golden trevally and every other fish you can think of hunt these prawns in the shallows, which makes for some exciting fishing. We regularly have groups of clients landing over 40 species for a week fishing.

Barramundi have been going hard with some nice fish in the 80-90cm range and plenty of 75ish cm fish being taken. A few black jewfish and golden snapper have also been caught by anglers in the know fishing vibes and micro-jigging certain reefs.

Offshore there have been a few Spaniards and queenies around the beacons, but bull sharks are close behind. Don’t try and tell me their numbers are decreasing. It seems like the opposite and not just up here, all down the east coast everyone complains about them! I have seen their numbers increase over the past 15 years to plague like quantities in some areas.

Reefies have been fishing well over the last few months. I just went for a quick fish for a few reefies and landed four big tuskies, sweetlip and a couple of legal reds over a few hours of fishing and I wasn’t really trying too hard.

Fresh eating quality prawns are the gun bait for most reefies up here. Fish heavy to stop tuskies and beat the sharks. We have been using 9/0 octopus hooks with great results.

Just a quick warning for the newcomers visiting this area, I had a quick barra fish off the beach last week and saw 50-60 big box jellyfish along the beach. These are possibly the most venomous creature on the planet and can kill adult humans if you’re unlucky enough to get a big hit from one. Box jellyfish, along with crocodiles and bull sharks mean you do not wade into these waters unless it’s extremely clear.

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