For the last two months, fishing in Weipa has provided some of the best Spanish mackerel action I have seen in five seasons.
An average offshore excursion will produce about 10-15 quality macks, with some days producing in excess of 20. Most success has come from either jigging metal lures or soft plastics on the reefs that have been holding good bait. Likewise, trolling deep running lures through large bait schools has scored sizeable fish up to 40lb.
A good indication that bait schools are in the area is looking out for white turns and frigate birds working low on the water, and once you have located the bait, the macks will not be too far away.
These bait schools have also been attracting larger than usual numbers of small black marlin and sailfish. Captures of these species have become a common occurrence this month, with one day producing two sailfish captures, and one black marlin, approximately 250lb, all within 3nm of the coast! And expect to see the occasional white water fury of a school of marauding longtail tuna. Trolling a skirted lure in your spread while targetting macks can produce some exciting results on these generally difficult to target species.
GT have also been quite abundant offshore and some great fish have been landed by working the shallow reefs. Try using poppers on a good run-out tide, or by jigging large knife jigs in bait balls.
The river systems of Weipa have generally been fishing well, with large numbers of fingermark and grunter. However, the sudden drop in water temperature over the past couple of weeks has seen the local barramundi population become somewhat lethargic. Fishing gutters and shallow snags on a good run-out tide with some live mullet or prawns will be your best chance of landing a barra over the next month.
Smaller creeks and shallow water will be a few degrees higher than other parts of the system, so these areas will fish much better. I had a great action-filled day of lure casting with seasoned pro’s Mark Paton and Mick Smith on Mission River. We caught in excess of 15 barra, and lost another 30 in just a few hours.
The dropping water temperature for the next month will see the estuary species become a little harder to entice, however, all bream lovers out there, this is your month! Good live bait in warmer areas of the creeks will definitely improve your chances and see you come home with a good mixed bag of estuarine species.
If you would like to come and visit Weipa and indulge on a fishing trip of a lifetime, we still have a few spots over the September, October, November period available. Check out the website at www.weipafish.com . – Dan WrightReads: 859