The past month here in wonderful Weipa has seen some consistent fishing both offshore and in the estuaries.
Thanks to a great wet season, the barramundi fishing has been some of the best I have seen for this time of year, and larger size specimens have been found in good numbers. GT, queenies and tuna have also graced our waters this month and have provided some exciting offshore fishing.
May is generally one of our most consistent months of the year, and this has once again been proved to be true. Estuary fishing has been outstanding, with reports of fingermark, king salmon, blue salmon, grunter and barramundi flowing in. Most fish are being caught on large live mullet in smaller creek mouths towards the entrance of the river system, and the Mission River bridge has also accounted for some meritorious captures.
Lure casters have also been rewarded for accurate casting, snaring good numbers of barramundi and mangrove jack on shallow diving lures and soft plastics. The number of large mangrove jacks being caught in the rivers has certainly increased this year, with some fish measuring in at a whopping 58cm.
Large volumes of bait in Albatross Bay have finally been located. Marauding schools of Spaniards and longtail tuna have been tearing through the bait, creating an exciting and tiresome day on the water for anglers. Spanish macks have been captured most consistently on the troll around nervous bait schools and also on deeper reef systems. Try using a lure that will swim to a depth just below the bait school, and make sure you have plenty of line on your reel. I have found a troll speed of around 4 knots seems to work best on these toothy speedsters. Tuna have been a little skittish, but chasing them with small slugs of around 50g has proven to produce best results.
One of my all time favourite types of fishing is surface fishing with poppers in dangerously shallow waters. The past month has reminded me why this is so much fun with some awesome popper captures south of Weipa. In one session four GTs were landed with the largest one estimated at 25kg. A 70cm fingermark also added to the excitement, knocking off a large Halco Rooster popper. When looking for areas to fish this exciting technique, try to find a place with a good ledge and plenty of current. The current pushes the bait against the ledge and the predators are there to reap the rewards.
The drop in water temperature over the coming month should see the pelagic action really fire up. Expect to see plenty of Spanish macks and tuna working the surface, as well as gear-testing trevally working the reefs. Bottom fishing reef areas should also fish quite well, with large numbers of fingermark and black jew already being found this year. Species such as barramundi and king salmon will become a little more elusive over the next few months, and river fishing in general will slow up. Live bait will be your best bet for middle year estuary fishing.Reads: 1960