Golden days on the water
  |  First Published: September 2008

Time to look through the cupboards and dig out those warm clothes, winter is here. Although our days in Weipa only get down to 19ºC, if you have lived in the north for long enough this is cold! Despite the weather cooling down, the fishing is red hot.

It is a great time of year to chase pelagics, such as northern bluefin tuna and Spanish mackerel, and it can also produce some excellent bottom fishing. Mackerel have continued to run rife throughout August, with some great numbers being located close to the coast.

A recent outing to Boyd Bay, south of Weipa, saw six lucky anglers hooked up to Spanish and grey mackerel consistently in a session that lasted two hours. When trolling, they were unable to get the bail arm over on the spin outfits before being monstered by a mack, so they decided to drop down some 85g Raiders with exciting results. Every drop received attention; many didn’t even make it to the bottom before the line began to scream off the reels. Then, as usual, the taxation department arrived to collect their dues – sharks. After feeding them two Spaniards, they cut their loses and headed for home.

Good numbers of school sized large- and smallmouth nannygai, along with fingermark, have also succumbed to well worked soft plastics and squid fished on the bottom. Fishing patches of reef in Weipa is somewhat of a lucky dip, drop your bait to the bottom and you never know what will return to the surface. A selection of over 25 species calls these rocky habitats home.

The drop in water temperature over this month will cause the barramundi and other estuarine species to become very lazy. The river fishing becomes very patchy with some days fishing better than others, however with some fresh live bait and a bit of patience, you will see some good results. Snags and shallow creek mouths have been fishing better than other areas, and a decent run out tide also seems to get the bait moving and the fish actively feeding.

Moving into September, I expect to see a change in the barramundi fishing. As the water temperature begins to rise, these fish move out to the saltwater and begin breeding. Fishing rocky headlands and areas closer to the river mouth will produce some great specimens, both on shallow diving lures and live mullet.

Threadfin or king salmon will also be found patrolling these areas and surely make for a great meal after a big day in the sun, especially with the closure of the season fast approaching. If you do happen to accidentally capture a barra during this season, then unhook and release the fish as quickly as possible and with as little disturbance as possible, to allow these magnificent fish to return to the wild and continue breeding.

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