Winter gone and fish hot
  |  First Published: October 2008

Winter is now over here in Weipa, and the weather is really beginning to heat up. The water temperature has risen some 4 degrees over two weeks, and those illusive barramundi have finally come out of hiding. The build up to the wet season up here is one of the best times of year to chase this iconic species, and this year is no exception.

Lure fisherman, this is your time of year! Throwing lures accurately into barra country has produced some great results already this month. Targeting snags and narrow creek mouths in shallow water has proven to be the most successful method, both with live bait and shallow diving lures. The rise in water temperature cues the barra to move out into salt water to mate, so fishing areas close to the river mouths and even rocky headlands and coastlines will be the best bet for end of year fishing. Look for bodies of water that may be slightly warmer than the main estuary system, and the barra will be there and they will be hungry!

The closed season for barramundi is fast approaching, and it is a good idea to be aware of when this will happen in your area. Most of Queensland will enforce this rule from midday November 1 to midday February 1, however closed barra season in the Gulf region begins in early October. Check with your local authorities for details.

The wind up here in Weipa is generally much kinder in these warmer months, allowing for plenty of days offshore fishing. Some great catches of fingermark (golden snapper), coral trout and black spot tuskfish has been common while fishing the reefs with soft plastics and metal jigs. GT’s, golden and bludger trevally, along with Spanish mackerel and cobia have all been eager to engulf a well presented plastic, and provide some exciting fishing for anglers. Tuna have begun to repopulate the area and have also been captured in numbers, by trolling deep diving lures, jigging, or casting.

Given the current weather trend here at the moment, getting out and retuning early and avoiding those unforgiving afternoon sea breezes is an excellent idea, and will make for a much more comfortable and enjoyable day out on the water.

The coming month should provide great fishing for Weipa, not only in the estuaries, but also offshore. Expect to encounter some of the best barramundi fishing of the year, particularly in areas close to river mouths and headlands. Again, shallow diving lures worked over rock bars and mangrove banks will certainly produce results. However if casting lures is not your thing, live mullet left soaking in gutters and creek mouths will definitely get the job done.

Offshore, look for birds working low on the water for your pelagic action. If you find them, you find the bait, and the predators will be there in numbers. Trolling deep diving lures around bait patches is the best way to cover plenty of water, and also to determine the location of your targeted species. Happy fishing…

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