Cooler waters will bring plenty of action
  |  First Published: April 2017

The foundations have been laid for a good fishing period ahead. As the wet season progressed we saw some heavy rainfalls in Far North Queensland – the catalyst for creating new marine life and rich food sources to enjoyed by our local fish species both inshore and offshore. This has been evident by the amount of bait life seen along our beaches and foreshore.

April is traditionally a crossover time where the summer and winter species all seem to be active as one. Barra, jacks and golden snapper will remain very active in our rivers and creeks and will now be joined by greater numbers of trevally, queenfish, grunter and bream to name a few. There should be some rainfall in April and the run off creeks upstream will be prime strike zones. This action will continue right to the river mouths.

Knowing that the fishing will be productive right throughout the systems, a good trick is to fish the river mouths at the start of the incoming tide and follow the fish and bait as they move upstream into the deeper holes for your trevally and queenfish. On high tide it is ideal to fish the deep holes on the slack water for golden snapper and any other species that have worked their way up. Once the tide has turned and is running out, this is the time to work over those small feeder creeks for barra and jacks.

April is absolutely ideal to fish local beaches for salmon, queenfish, trevally, dart, permit, flathead and barra. There will be a lot of bait in the shallows and this naturally brings in the mentioned predators. Big GTs up to 20kg are also known to cruise the beaches at this time of year, and good luck if you happen to run into one of those. Early morning rising tides with flat conditions are key ingredients to success along our golden sands. If you happen to strike an overcast morning with flat conditions the action can be even more amplified.

With a good spread of bait along the coast our local headlands, will be ideal to chase pelagics in the form of big queenfish up to a metre and more, trevally species, Spanish and grey mackerel and also mac and northern bluefin tuna. The likes of Snapper Island can light up with all these species at once if the bait supply is thick.

Offshore will see a shift in momentum as the water temperatures drop. Fishing has been quite reasonable over the warmer months but there will be a significant increase in fish catches. The nannygai duo will start to warm up again in preparation for the current to switch from the south, coral trout will peck away nicely and our emperor species will start to show up in better numbers. Spanish mackerel should be on the cards once again and reef mangrove jack also normally show a bit more attitude as the season changes. One would expect to see some more surface action in the form of mac, skip jack and northern bluefin tuna working the open paddocks rounding up the bait schools. The GT fishing, working the pressure points of some of our outer reef systems, always improves dramatically around the Easter period.

There’s a lot to like if you are fishing our local region in the coming month and all cylinders will be firing both inshore and offshore.

Local fishing identity ‘Sharky’ Shane Down caught a very rare 2.4m shark ray off Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas recently. It’s estimated weight was between 120-140kg and it took one hour to wind it in. Only a few of these fish have been recorded locally in the past 20 years.

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