There always seems to be a fever in the air when anglings start talking about September. The month brings a calmer climate and sees a burst of tropical species to tempt any anglers out of hibernation – it is definitely a special time of year.
The next two months are the most productive for fishers as the winter and summer species crossroads. No matter which rod you pick up, there is the anticipation that something remarkable will happen - and more often than not it will.
The progression of our winter species has been best for reef fishing with consistent catches of quality nannygai, coral trout, red emperor, reef jack, trevally and Spanish mackerel.
The recent windy days has prevented a lot of offshore boat activity. This means that our stocks have had less pressure and the introduction of the settled weather brings in more productive catches.
The opportunity for more night trips will be on offer, where the fishing is better for emperor and nannygai schools. Night is also a good time to target mackerel activity, working weightless pilchards and garfish through the water column. Recently, MV Doreen Too was on an extended trip and came across a patch of mackerel at night. They boated an impressive total of 30 Spanish between 30-70lb using the above method.
The dominant inshore species during the cooler months have been grunter, blue salmon, queenfish, flathead, whiting, dart and trevally. With improved conditions and better water clarity to come, these species will definitely move up a gear. River entrances, flats and beaches with deep gutters will see a lot more action.
Surrounding headlands and islands will fire more consistently and I have heard reports of grey and Spanish mackerel in the areas. Let's hope the pro netters give the area a miss this year, allowing the small boat recreational section to enjoy the chance to catch a decent fish or two.
With the winter species shaping up nicely, the summer species will also start to become quite active with warmer water temperatures. Barra, mangrove jack and fingermark will spice up the inshore scene. Offshore will see the improvement of more regular black marlin coming to the shelf to prepare to breed. The appearance of the marlin also sees the arrival of wahoo and yellowfin tuna, offering gamefishers an array of challenges.
The consistent weather and a host of fish at this time of year will see an increase in visits to Lakefield, the Cape and Weipa. I can't wait to see what turns up on the tables especially after such a cool and windy dry season.Reads: 710