Summer Marvels Arrive Early
  |  First Published: October 2009

The summer fishing action has arrived ahead of time with fine and hot conditions allowing anglers every opportunity to get out amongst the prime targets. The calm weather has been great for small boat owners chasing some table fillets offshore.

At the local reefs most boats have seen plenty of coral trout fill the ice boxes and for those fishing a little wider of the reefs in the open country there has been the welcome addition of quality reds, including excellent large mouth nannygai and red emperor. This pattern should continue throughout November with this year's extended mackerel run likely to finally taper off as we head towards the end of the year.

Inshore, estuary and river fishing has been very productive as well, with the focus on fingermark and jacks in and around the snags and deepwater. This month is ideal for chasing fingermark and is usually one of the prime months for these sought after fish.

Best options for fingermark are to seek them out either with some deepwater trolling amongst the snags or entice them with live baits. Fingermark like most fish are usually taken near the tide changes but do prefer the smaller slower moving neap tides around the quarter moons.

Jack fishing will remain a good option for lure casters this month and of course anglers should remember November is the second month of the annual barra seasonal closure.

In the local freshwater scene of Lake Tinaroo there have been some outstanding barramundi captures, and once again in the lead up to the full moon this month the barra should go off. If you still have not made the trip up to Tinaroo then do yourself a favour and take some time to fish the full moon this month. Casting any of the many weed beds early morning or late afternoon into the evening is going to give you a real chance of nailing one of the many trophy size barra that inhabit this lake.

Once again over the recent school holidays I headed off to fish the western Cape York with an eager crew. The barramundi closure on the west coast of Queensland meant our group was only going to get in five days of fishing and dealing with often unpredictable tides. This can mean a hit and miss affair with jagging ideal fishing conditions.

It turned out the first couple of days a few big fish showed up but generally the action was a little slow until we started to get a bit of run in the tides.

Early signs of some quality fish about were encouraging, including a nice barra of around a metre which managed to dislodge itself from my lure at boatside after being attached for several minutes. The barra fishing certainly picked up as more water shifted around. As we started to get closer to the makes on the full moon we had our best action with a few hot bite periods and most certainly the fishing would have gone into overdrive after the seasonal closure came into place.

My brother, Ian Mayes, was making a welcome return from the cooler southern climes in search of his first barra for many years and he did not have to wait long before he was connected. Ian found that an old original Elliots Darwin Dart he managed to look after for many years was still a popular lure as he nailed a PB on a cast barra with a lovely clean salt water fish of 78cm.

He went on to catch plenty of barra on the trip but was well and truly bitten and flew home still with a mild case of barra fever.

Meanwhile on the trip David Mayes and Jesse Hayes found the barra really on the chew one day up in the brackish upstream water during the neap phase. The boys cleaned up one day as they enjoyed explosive casting action with almost every snag producing quality barras on a range of hardbodies and snap back plastics.

The deepwater trolling on this trip proved to be quite a challenge as we encountered a real bloom of oysters and barnacles covering most of the timber structure we were trying to extract the barra from. The abrasive timber was proving to be lethal on our heavy mono leaders and many good fish were lost in the sticks. There was plenty of knot tying practice as the crew was kept busy rigging biminis and allbright knots.

At the end of the trip the largest barra to see the inside of one of our boats was a somewhat modest barra of 85cm. However, there were some beasts lost including a sighted monster that rolled out of the water and over a log to eat a lure. The boys estimated this fish to be over 1.3m.

Until next month enjoy the November fishing - it should be great.

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