Tropical species come on the chew
  |  First Published: September 2003

THE FIRST two weeks of September in Cairns can usually turn on some good weather – when the usual big ‘H’ in the centre of the weather map shifts away just long enough to turn on some crystal clear days as the sun starts to creep back overhead, making for warmer conditions.

The 30 knot southeasters that bring on coastal grey skies and send the mercury down, causing fish to have a bad case of lockjaw, seem to ease up. Unfortunately, most southern tourists are now heading home after their blown-out northern trip, but the next few months are the best North Queensland has to offer.


Critical periods for September are Monday 8th, Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th – leading up to the full. If you are not at Tinaroo over these nights you may miss some of the best fishing of the year as the moon period in September has always been awesome for me. The fishing ‘up the hill’ for the last two months has been quiet, which is normal, and September is always the turn.

Key spots with the water so low this year will be the whole basin from Yungaburra boat ramp around to Mazlin Creek, Tinaroo Park at the top of the Gillies, and the Research Station, as always. You could also try any bay down towards Tinaroo Township that holds a weedbed (if you're lucky), or open shoreline with a gentle slope.

The second bite of the cherry is Tuesday 23rd to Thursday 25th on the new moon. Both these lead-ups are a must if you plan a trip to Tinaroo.


September is a great time of year! Last year we had a spell of great weather for a week and with that I spent a night between Noggin and Raaf Shoals and caught emperors up to 10kg. The next day I went down to Northern Angler to see Jennifer Mondora stocking up on B52s and got the oil on Tinaroo, only to go up and land three barra over a metre the next night. I followed this with sessions down the Mulgrave catching small coastal barra. Later in the week the sea was still calm so I went night squid spearing after work on an oily calm sea. By the end of the week we were laughing at how many options we had with so little time and energy to keep up.


September can see low waters in the rivers and the best time I think for sooties is September/November due to it being so hot, which gets their ‘pre-wet aggro’ thing happening. It really does herald the start of our tropical species coming on the chew. The best times to fish the rivers are from 6pm on into the night, especially with small Rebel Poppers with oversized chemically sharpened hooks which make sure of smacked lures and missed strikes.

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