Big Wet Joy
  |  First Published: March 2008

The wet season has greeted us up north with a bang and like the majority of the rest of the state, it looks like it’s going to continue for a while yet.

The serious rain started up here right on New Year’s Day and by the middle of January all the creeks, rivers and swamps were full. A persistent and at times quite strong north westerly wind then continued to blow most of the heavy rain south, leaving disgraceful conditions along the eastern Gulf coast.

February however saw better weather, both for the estuaries and offshore. The first calm weekend in February saw plenty of empty boat trailers at the Evans Landing boat ramp with most people reporting good catches of fingermark and grunter for those who fished closer inshore.

My boat headed south with fresh fingermark for dinner the talking point on the hour long trip down the coast. As expected the fingermark were there in hordes and the 7” Gulp Jerkshads did the trick with several packets of pink shine used to get a feed of what were good quality fingermark. The best fingermark went 85cm, which is an absolute stonker of a fish.

The other nice surprise was a beautiful 10kg Spanish mackerel that Dave Donald Sportfishing owner Trevor Williams lip hooked using a Jerkshad on a quick retrieve from the bottom in 50 feet of water. With a quality feed in the boat we headed for home around 11am to beat the usual afternoon storm in.

Plenty of barra were on offer in the right spots when the barra season opened at midday on January 29. A few mates of mine (I had to work) headed out in search of that first barra of the season and found them not to be all that elusive. They were headed back to the ramp a few hours later with five beautiful barra from 65-85cm and big smiles on their dials. A mixture of lures and live baits bought them undone from an understandably undisclosed location not far from the boat ramp.

Moving into March should hopefully see the rain continue up here as a really big wet will trigger an awesome 2008 fishing season. We kick off our guiding season towards the end of this month so I really like to see the rain now and not too much then.

March has always been a great month for estuary fishing as the tides move away from the big summer highs to some very nice run outs. Anchored in a small creek mouth with a live bait or cast lure will see plenty of action once these run outs start during the day in March.

Offshore trips will be eventful throughout march but be aware of floating logs and debris washing out of flooded creeks and rivers as these can be found miles offshore and can take the leg off your motor in seconds. To counter this I do away with very early morning starts and long night travelling in the hope that they will be easier to spot during daylight hours. Even just leaving it another half hour before heading out can make all the difference and like I have always said the fish will still be there at 9am!

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