Trade wind trade off
  |  First Published: May 2010

Nasty trade winds – who invented them? In recent weeks the barometer has spent more time rising than Gordon Ramsay’s swear jar.

But there has been the odd reprieve and the few that have ventured offshore have been rewarded well with captures of trout, red throat, and red emperor.

These species can only improve as the winter approaches. Providing Mother Nature allows us to venture out, it should be a great season. Who needs green zones when so much of the year is taken up by bad weather?

As usual I’ve received a few reports of early season Spaniards closer inshore around the islands and headlands. Early morning bites seem to be the best time at present but they should bite right through the morning tides as the water continues to cool.

With the ordinary weather we have had a constant high and a rising barometer, which has put many species off the chew inshore. But there is one species that will always feed in high barometric conditions: grunter.

When the barra are quiet the big grunter always come on the bite, as Gary Lester from Hong Kong found out recently. Gary’s crew caught 30 grunter in two days and he was stunned by their eating quality after taking a box of fillets back to Hong Kong.

A couple of my good regulars Anthony Tipping and Ross Bennett from the Townsville region also spent three days with us recently catching 20 grunter and seven good sized fingermark.

Don’t be too disappointed if you come north with your own boat and fail to catch heaps of fish. No matter where you are on the north tropical coast, the trade winds will effect the inshore fishing.

In these situations my best suggestion is to target foraging species, as they still seem to respond well and turn your attention back to predatory species when the weather fines up or the barometer relaxes.

In June I would expect to see some good conditions out on the blue, as we are a little overdue for it. The inshore Spaniards will reach their peak season and there are usually some real monsters among them.

It’s often better to release a big Spaniard if you encounter one as the risk of ciguatera poisoning becomes pretty high and believe me you don’t want to get it. A fellow operator, Eddie Riddle from Townsville, was unlucky enough to receive a dose of ciguatera poisoning a few months back and he’s still feeling the side effects. I also had a severe dose about 14 years ago with symptoms like partial paralysis lasting nine weeks. Be wary of ciguatera poisoning in most shallow water predatory reef species; the bigger the fish is the harder you fall.

June should also bring some nice silver bream and stud whiting on the northern beaches of Rockingham Bay as well as the flats on the northern end of the boat passage. Best baits would be fresh peeled prawn, squid and flesh strips of mullet for the big silver bream.

In the next couple of months I should have our new website up and running. I will post the address once it set up and you can check out those wicked packages we are offering up here, or in the meantime call me on 0418 538 170.

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