The wind has eased and the rain is now restricted to a daily afternoon thunderstorm, which means the fishing has certainly improved in Weipa.
Reports of large barra captures have been flowing in, along with some great stories of salmon and grunter up the estuaries. Offshore has also picked up, thanks to the wind dropping to a respectable level, and reports of reasonable sized fingermark, nannygai and the occasional Spaniard have been common.
With the large volumes of freshwater and the usual high summer tides, estuary fishing has become very patchy and inconsistent. Targeting areas close to river mouths will be the best bet for early year creek fishing. Live bait will considerably improve your odds; however finding enough quality live mullet at this time of year can become very frustrating.
Look for shallow areas and sand bars near small creek mouths and the bait won’t be far away. Prawns are also showing up in numbers, and make for exceptional live bait for species such as grunter, fingermark, mangrove jack and bream. At least if you don’t catch any fish on the prawns they will make for a great meal at the end of the day!
Large queenfish have been captured in the river mouths at the start of the incoming tide, and create some great entertainment for popper and slug casters.
With the wind dropping down to a nice 10 knots over last week, the Weipa boat ramp has seen more traffic than the previous three months. The change in weather has also appeared to fire up the offshore fishing and trevally, fingermark and nannygai have all been caught in good numbers and have been of considerable size.
When targeting these bottom dwellers, look for areas consisting of rubble and reef and target the up current side of this structure. Fish will always feed facing into the current, so anchoring on top of the structure will see the baits land behind the main school of fish.
It is always a good idea to anchor your boat a few metres beyond the structure to allow the baits to reach the current side of the drop-off.
The pelagic action offshore is still a little slow, however, the odd Spaniard and tuna have been found. I would expect to see the surface action improve considerably over the next few weeks, and looking for working birds and large bait schools will help you find the fish.
The coming months are generally our most consistent fishing times in the far north. The weather is usually good, and the excess bait produced from the previous wet season fills the bays and produces some very exciting blue water fishing.
Sailfish and black marlin will also inhabit the waters of Weipa and make for a very exciting break in between tuna and mackerel.
The receding levels of freshwater in the estuaries will create some excellent river fishing situations, and the return of the smaller tides should fire up the barra and salmon in the gutters.
Overall, I would expect to see some exciting, consistent fishing coming up in the next few months.Reads: 1113