Moon and big tides a fun run

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT - OUT­LOOK Shane Ni­chols

TH­ESE are in­ter­est­ing days for lo­cal fish­ers, es­pe­cially if they have a han­ker­ing for pelag­ics.

The very big tides and now the “dark” moon for the next few nights are a deadly com­bi­na­tion to pull in the pelag­ics to the shores.

Any­one cast­ing from the shore­line or head­ing out to­ward the reef – it’s go­ing to be a bit blowy but not too bad – can do well, says Matt Gra­ham down at Brans­ford’s Tackle in Clifton Beach.

The southerly winds will gather strength, up to 15 knots for the rest of this week and the week­end, so the con­di­tions won’t be so calm and pretty. But the fish­ing should be pretty re­ward­ing.

“Mack­erel like a dark moon and a big run, the big tides,” says Matt Gra­ham. “We get th­ese big tides this time of year.

“Gen­er­ally on the darker moon you’ll catch more pelag­ics than on a full moon.

“For the next four days we’ll have good tides and then on Sun­day it starts on the neap tides again.”

He says the con­di­tions will be right for school mack­erel off the jet­ties and small Span­ish mack­erel, which have been plen­ti­ful off the coast in re­cent days.

The tides would be per­fect for that sort of fish­ing in the next few days, he reck­ons. “For the early morn­ing crew you can have a bit of that fish­ing be­fore the winds sits up too much.”

He says with the big run in the past two weeks the reef fish­ing has been good, with red em­peror, nan­ny­gai and co­ral trout in the thick of it.

“It was quiet four weeks ago, it was tough, but the last seven days it’s been very good,” he says.

Harry Walker of Nau­ti­cal Marine Sales in Port Dou­glas likes the out­look un­til Sun­day. Fish­ing out of the river mouths for pelag­ics (the moon, big tides) should be good.

Off Wonga Beach this week there was a good catch of barra and tar­pon he says.

“The rain will be bring­ing the barramundi out of their dor­mant stage,” he says, “they’re a bit more ac­tive and bit more ag­gres­sive to­ward your lures.”

The barra fish­ing was hard un­til a week ago. The rain has helped a lot though.

At the week­end he’s head­ing up the Dain­tree River to Mud Is­land, look­ing for barra and man­grove jack. I’M from Vic­to­ria and do lots of fish­ing in Port Philip Bay. I live in Wer­ribee and the bay is about 10 km away. I’ve got a small tin­nie. Two fish that stick in my mind are a five-foot gummy shark and a 7.5 kg snap­per – that was caught when I was fish­ing for whiting.

I was us­ing a bit of mus­sel, it was about 4 me­tres of wa­ter, and about 7 am.

When this fish struck I thought I thought it was a stingray and I had fair bit of trou­ble get­ting it in. It took most of the line out, which is why I thought it was a ray.

It had a nice hump head and was nearly a me­tre long.

The gummy shark I caught on squid two years ago off Point Cook. That was a good fight. I knew it was a gummy. We usu­ally catch a few squid and then come in­shore a bit when we’re af­ter gum­mies.

Around Oc­to­ber to Novem­ber it’s re­ally good for gummy sharks in the bay.

It was about 40 lb – yeah, a big fish. A lot of flake on it!

TOP: Good on you Bryce – this trevally wins you the Com­bined Club’s $50 voucher (caught with Dave’s Dain­tree Fish­ing Char­ters). MIDDLE: Tommo with a small mouth nan­ny­gai, caught with Cook­town Barra Char­ters. BOT­TOM: Also with Cook­town Barra Char­ters, Bob reeled in this gi­ant her­ring.

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