The weather up here in Weipa has been quite ordinary for the start of 2009, and the fishing has followed suit. Westerly swells coupled with northerly breezes have created conditions that resemble something of a washing machine on spin cycle, making offshore fishing very difficult.
The beaches have been receiving the full impact of these swells, creating very dirty conditions. It’s not all bad news though, a brief break in the weather has seen the fishing pick up considerably, and for those making the effort to get out and have a go there have been some great rewards on offer.
Large queenfish around the metre mark have provided some awesome fun for popper throwers, and have also been captured mid water on soft plastics and metal slugs. The big summer fingermark have also been lurking on some of Weipa’s reef systems, making for a great fight and also a great meal for the festive season.
Black Jew have been found in plague proportions in the estuaries, however finding a legal size one has proved quite difficult. It is always reassuring seeing large schools of these fantastic fish species, and it is a good indication of a healthy ecosystem. Catches of good-sized king salmon have been reported along mangrove edges and rocky headlands, however the high summer tides have made extracting them from their timber havens difficult at times.
With the monsoon trough lingering over the cape, Weipa has received some great rainfall already this year, filling up the river systems and cueing those famous barramundi to begin their annual trek upstream. This is an excellent time of year to do some freshwater fishing, and already the results have been speaking for themselves.
Reports of saratoga, sooty grunter and tarpon have been flooding in, with anglers trying their luck on both fly and lures. The nearby freshwater reaches of the Wenlock River have been producing some consistent results as well as areas closer to home such as the lakes and Trunding Creek. As the rain continues to fall, access to areas like the Wenlock River become impossible, so get in early before you can’t get in at all.
The excess water does create new fishing opportunities with the rise of the Myall Creek. This is a great day trip when conditions are right and can produce some of the best fishing on the cape. A 50km trip out of town, load the tinnies, then a six hour run downstream to the Mission River – not a trip for less than adventurous anglers! Fishing clean freshwater run offs into the main dirty river system is our version of the Northern Territory’s run-off fishing, and is sure to get the heart pumping.
Expect to see more and more rain over the next month as the wet season continues. The rain seems to bring large volumes of bait into the bay firing up queenies, tuna and other pelagics. The beaches should also produce some good results for blue salmon, queenfish and barramundi. I would also expect, or at least hope to expect a change in the weather conditions as we run into the new year, making offshore fishing more accessible.
If the weather manages to allow offshore fishing sometime soon, great redfin like this will be available.
The summer rain brings prolific bait into the bay firing up the queenfish.
When the barra season begins again on 1 February, big brutes like this will be on offer.
Threadfin are a welcome and tasty catch for any Weipa angler.Reads: 995