Spaniards have been on fire
  |  First Published: August 2007

The strange winter weather experienced all over Queensland has not been lost to the Gulf. Unusual winter rains and even swirling cloud masses have graced us over the last couple of months. Commercial mackerel fishermen near the Wellesley Island have reported a difference in weather to any other year.

What’s been happening

The fishing in Karumba has been patchy over the last month with the weather dictating the type of fishing possible. Strong winds have hampered any attempts to go too far a field.

The appearances of grunter have been inconsistent as ever, with a few fish turning up occasionally but vanishing as quickly as they arrive. Fish in the 45cm range seem to be making up the bulk of the catch with the 60cm monsters nowhere to be found.

The blue salmon have been seen belting the bait at the mouth of the river. It will not be too long before they start schooling up on the flats waiting to breed.

There are still the odd big queenfish around the Sandbar. It is possible to find them by trolling the good old gold Bomber, B52’s or even a popper over the top of the bars on the run-in tide.

Spanish mackerel has also been around in good numbers. The average size has been good with fish around 20kg being quite common. Target these fish by anchoring on the drop-off at the back of the sand island and floating out pilchards. If you want success when targeting Spanish mackerel, berley can help attract and hold fish in an area.

Berley is a great way to rid the growing amount of old bait in the freezer. It can be minced up with some fresh pilchards, and other things such as squid, scallop shells, prawn shells and a bottle of tuna oil. A bit of bread thrown in and a few handfuls of sand for a great tempter of Spaniards. However, be wary of berley as it can attract other marine predators, which can be bigger than some 12ft tinnies.

If you wish to target Spaniards more proactively then trolling a lure or several lures can be a profitable exercise. Trolling whole gar using weighted gangs or the trolling skirts will also bring success. If you find a good school then try trolling a popper for some sensational action. The mackerel will clear the water as they attack the surface presentation, therefore do not have the popper too close to the boat.

What to expect in August

Pelagics, such as the trevally and queenies, will be gone for the year, but the Spanish and spotty mackerel should still be around in enough numbers to be targeted.

Blue salmon should gather to breed at the mouths of the rivers and creeks on the shallow flats. Bluey’s are a great sportfish and make for an easy target. They eat a variety of baits such as live and dead mullet, prawns, squid and pilchards and certainly bite well.

August marks the start of the northwesterly sea breezes. This can certainly hamper an afternoons fishing for the smaller boats. The good news is that the Barra will start to make a move and on the warmer days they should be a real proposition on lures and live baits.

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