The wet season is over in the far north and the time is now right to get into gear for some serious fishing.
The weather started off quite ordinary with some sloppy 3m swells created from the recent cyclone, however the break in the weather really fired up the offshore scene.
Albatross Bay has been inundated with large volumes of bait after the rain, drawing to it queenfish, longtail and mac tuna and Spanish mackerel. The bottom dwellers are also making the most of this abundance of food and reports from this month indicate a great year ahead.
Barramundi have been in consistently good numbers up the estuaries and along the rocky headlands. Live mullet have accounted for the majority of these fish, however shallow diving lures have also been working well. It has been great to see large schools of mullet patrolling the shallow banks, and the return of the lower tides has made catching bait much easier.
Fingermark, blue salmon, king salmon and black jew have also been on the chew up the rivers, and again the live mullet seem to be the perfect bait for these species. Try fishing snags, creek mouths and deep holes close to the mouth for most consistent fishing this month.
The past week has seen some amazing pelagic action offshore and in the river mouths. The large amount of bait now present in the area has attracted grey mackerel and good sized queenfish into the mouth of the Hey River, providing some great angling opportunities. One morning last week I even saw a school of large bluefin tuna enter the river mouth – only two minutes from the boat ramp!
Although skittish, longtail tuna have been captured to the south of Boyd Bay and being a little bit patient when targeting these fish can prove to be very rewarding. I have found that trolling around the bait schools with deep diving lures in the area will generally turn up a few tuna, and also put you in a good position to tango with a few Spaniards.
Locating reef areas around where the bait is holding can make for some exciting bottom fishing for fingermark, nannygai and the long list of trevally species. Jigging metal or soft plastic lures will work very well, or alternatively squid and live mullet left soaking on the bottom should also produce the goods.
With the good weather and stacks of food, May should once again be an excellent month for fishing this year. I would expect to see tuna and mackerel turn up in ever-increasing numbers, and become a much easier target species.
Be on the lookout for birds working low on the water, as tuna, macks and trevally will have bait balled up on the surface quite regularly this time of year.
The rivers should also fire up for species such as the famous barramundi, king salmon, fingermark and black jew. Try to choose a tide with a generous amount of run for optimum creek fishing as this gets the bait and predatory fish moving and out feeding. Live bait will produce the most consistent results, however accurate lure casters will also reap the benefits of a day on the water.
Bookings for charters at the end of the year are filling up quickly, so if you were thinking of fishing Weipa this year give Dave Donald Sportfishing a call, or check out our website at www.weipafish.com.au Tight lines.Reads: 1428