Hot times in the Tropics
  |  First Published: March 2006

The tropics have been steamy lately and the best time to fish has been early in the morning before heading home for lunch and a cold drink.

The jetty has been firing with some salmon, jacks, bream and trevally being landed. The best trevally landed while we were there was a 16.5kg horse.

The marina has been fishing well to with plenty of jacks caught all on the small side; good fun for the kids. All the fish feel for a variety of baits with the best bream being caught on peeled prawns.

Fishos chasing grunter have had to put up with a lot of sharks and rays in-between keepers but 3kg grunter are nothing to sneeze at!

It might be worth giving Damper Creek a miss because there has been a fish kill. Local crabbers found dead crabs in the pots and we even spotted a dead 1m croc! It’s under investigation so we should hopefully find out the answer soon.

It’s been tough for lure fishermen with the big tides but some excellent barra have been hooked on the run-in under the Abyssinians Mangroves.

The rockbars have been fishing well with some big barra hanging around.

Fishing the dirty water line paid dividends in Januaru and should continue in March if we get a decent wet.

We found fishing the incoming tide with B52’s and gold Bombers worked until it got too deep. The fish were just hanging off the colour change. We didn’t hook any on deeper lures when we switched to those.

In March the drains and feeder creeks should be running and pushing the bait out, so fish the colour change.

The best lures for us were the bigger B52’s in gold and the smaller version in the black, silver and trout colours. Gold Bombers also worked well. The preferred colours for leads and flatratz in the deep water were red and pink.

Fish for the future

Lately I’ve been receiving some emails about my advice to fish for the future, wanting to know if I release everything. Whilst there is nothing better than fresh fish with a plate of chips and some salad, we release the majority of our fish with some clients specifying ‘catch and release’ only.

My boat rule for barramundi is one 70cm+ fish with the bigger fish being released. We use 40cm+ as our guideline for jacks and keep slightly larger fingermark. Pelagics are always released unless they’re going to be eaten the same day.

On any given trip we probably only bring home 1-2 fish depending on the species. How many times have you spoken to the old time fishermen who say, “We used to get esky loads of crabs and fish here but it’s all fished out now!” It wouldn’t have anything to do with the esky loads that you caught in the past would it?

So remember ‘to fish for the future, and practice catch and release!’

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