Chilly Weather Brings in Macks
  |  First Published: July 2006

Chilly and clear winter mornings, well as chilly as TNQ gets any way, is what we are hoping we will find in July. In early June we only had the chills because of the wind and rain.

More tinnies will head out in July to chase doggies and spotties at the local inshore hot spots like the shipping channel markers, the weedbeds off Alligator Creek, Maggie Islands headlands and bay, Burdekin Rocks, Paluma and Crystal Creek shoals and Rattlesnake Island.

Try an early morning troll to find a school of fish and as the sun rises, anchor up with a nice berley trail and float pillies through it.

Further offshore Spanish mackerel will be the prime target for most anglers with the odd big red thrown in. Areas to try would be Maggie Island Shoals, Shark Shoal, the Bomber, Salamander Reef and any of the main reefs your vessel can get you to.

Trolling baits and lures is the most effective method but when things are slow try working a berley trail and floating baits down while chasing reds.

Beaches north and south of town will see plenty of action from local waders as the run of big winter whiting and bream gets into full swing. Dedicated beach combers favour freshly pumped yabbies or peeled prawns.

Some barra fishers have been a little sad recently as water temperatures continue to drop and shut down barra fishing. Most barra boys know that during winter you have to drop your baits on their noses to get them even remotely interested in feeding. Big live prawns fished on dropper rigs set deep in snag piles should see some action but landing these fish can sometimes seem impossible.

Recently a friend of mine rang in the middle of the night requesting help as he had broken down out off Cape Cleveland with his very nervous wife onboard. I dragged myself out of bed and I found out a few of the minor details on the trip back to shore. His motor was overdue for a service, Townsville’s radio monitoring service doesn’t cover 24 hours a day and numerous other boats ignored his flare.

Now there are a multitude of morals in this story and if one reader takes note of any of them it will be worth the ink to print this – if not there will just be some more wrecks for me to fish out there!

While I’m on my soapbox, I’ve been watching the marine parks and sanctuary issues that are being proposed for SEQ and now NSW. It wasn’t that long ago that we faced the same fight and requested help from southern anglers. We received the indignant response of ‘not our backyard, why should we help?’ All I will say is that precedents are dangerous things! From my experience in the green zone debacle, which saw 33% of our areas closed, I can tell you the discussion making process is done and finished. By all means fight hard but it’s a fixed fight that anglers are going to lose.

The only silver lining has been the emergence of the Fishing Party as a political force up here; hopefully it can become an Australian wide voice for us in the future. You only need to look at what a small party of greens has done to us with a little bit of power! Even Peter Garrett, like him or not, knew that all the songs and protest marches he led hadn’t changed much so he is trying to change things from the inside. It’s time anglers did the same.

Sorry about the blurb but it had to be said, and next month I promise more fishing and no rhetoric!

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