Fishing Feast at Paradise
  |  First Published: November 2007

If I had to use one word to sum up the fishing in our piece of paradise it would be 'sensational'. It has now kicked into top gear and the weather has been very consistent allowing anglers to travel far and wide.

The gamefishing scene has seen some really good action occur off the local shelf at Opal Ridge and Linden Bank. The black marlin are arriving in size up to 500lb with the yellowfin and wahoo in tow.

November brings the best results as the big female marlin arrive to flirt with the younger stallions and our waters are filled with 1000lb plus fish. It is an expensive pursuit but now is the time to chase one of those big blacks, and sharing the costs amongst buddies can make it affordable. The memories of latching onto a big one will last forever.

If you decide that reef fishing is more your leisure you wont be disappointed because the coral trout have been chewing their heads off. They were very aggressive leading up to their first spawn in October and were caught in solid numbers in less than 10m of water.

With one more spawn expected for our regional trout they'll remain hungry right up to the reef closure due to begin on 3 November until 11 November. Other fish include sweetlip, small mouth nannygai, tealeaf trevally and spangled and red emperor. On the traditional floating pillie or live bait, the points have been split between reef mangrove jack and Spanish mackerel – both are a good dinner fish.

As days dramatically warm up, early starts and finishing by midday will make your trip more comfortable. The best results are definitely occurring on the turn of the tides. Be aware that the current is now running south which can make anchoring a little difficult, particularly along the shipping channel.

Inshore, we are now in the barra closure period but not before some good catches were recorded. Night fishers were rewarded in the deeper holes using live baits. Lure fishers by day had success flicking casts at pressure points of islands and creek mouths.

Tarpon have been very active in the deeper holes and flicking poppers or small lures have seen some light entertainment. The mangrove jack certainly upped the ante in recent times amongst the mangrove roots and timber snags by aggressively smashing lures and baits before any other fish could get a look at it.

Incoming tides have seen a swarm of trevally and queenfish shooting into systems devouring lightly weighted sardines left drifting in the current.

With some hefty tides moving in and out, the fishing upstream has improved. The fish are following the salt water so fishing the tides in and out will see you come across a variety of fish.

Other areas of interest have been the tuna school activity along the inshore reefs off Port Douglas where a metal slice is all that is needed to cash in on their presence.

The beaches are also fishing reasonably well with queenfish, trevally and dart taking advantage of better water clarity. Run-off creeks into the sea will be worth exploring for blue salmon if there is any sign of wet season build up. Let's hope the good times keep rolling on.

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