Offshore Going Off Tap
  |  First Published: June 2008

What a cracker start to the fishing season we have had here in Weipa.

The offshore has really begun to fire in the last couple of weeks while the rivers have fished consistently since early April.

The spring tides early in May saw some real quality fish on the move in the estuaries on lures and live bait. The barra caught have been in awesome condition no doubt thanks to the good wet season, while the king salmon have really fired up with the large amount of prawns around in the rivers at the moment.

Offshore started a bit slower but in early May all hell broke loose. The longtail tuna showed up from nowhere and this really does seem to kick everything else into action. Our offshore boat the Humpin Dog skippered by Dan Wright found some mind blowing action on the local pelagics. Spanish macks, tuna and trevally have made up most of the captures. A few hours one morning proved too much for his clients however and they were back at the hotel (still shaking their heads) not long after lunch.

The day started with the usual run offshore and getting straight into a few tuna and macks on the troll, however it wasn’t long before the cartwheeling terns and frigates gave away what turned out to be a bait ball consisting mainly of GTs eating their way through the tightly packed school of herring. After the GTs, which averaged 15kg, gave everyone’s arms and tackle a work out, the boys headed to some shallower reef to throw a few poppers for bit of a “break”. After 4 casts however the big Halco Roosta Popper was eaten by what Dan estimated to be a GT of at least 35kg. The big fish headed for open water initially but then thought better of it and gave them a comprehensive smoking around a rock in 20 feet of water.

While the boys sat there doing the usual head shaking and going over what they should have done differently, a black marlin of about 250lb swam up and had a look at the big Suzuki’s propeller. Two casts later with a big popper and the boys had it on and heading west fast - sometimes in the water and sometimes not. After a few jumps however the black managed to send the popper flying back towards the boat leaving the boys to do some more head shaking.

June’s Jewels

Heading in to June will see the winter pelagic action continue to fire, and will probably even get more consistent as we move through the month.

Some great barra fishing should also be had in June mainly during the spring tides just after the full and new moon. These big daytime lows create the best gutters and runoffs for the year with the predatory fish waiting at the mouth of these gutters for the bait to wash out and then they give it to them. Different gutters will fire at different times of the tide so keep moving from gutter to gutter, but watch your sounder when heading up any small side creeks because on these big low tides most of them will dry up and it can be a long wait for the tide to come back in and refloat your boat.

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