Too windy so shift to es­tu­ar­ies

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

EV­ERY­ONE had their chance to get to the reef in the past week or so, and it was cer­tainly a busy place.

But now we’re head­ing into windy days, with a few show­ers about too.

You can prob­a­bly for­get about the blue water for now, as 25 knot winds pre­vail into early next week at least.

That means the es­tu­ar­ies and river mouths are the place to go, says An­drew Rich of Brans­ford Tackle in Clifton Beach.

From to­mor­row (Fri­day) un­til Mon­day the tides are favourable for wet­ting a line, and the moon at the quar­ter phase work­ing up to the full moon is help­ful too.

“It’s a good tide for barra and there’s plenty of fin­ger­mark and sal­mon get­ting around in the rivers and river mouths.

“The boys have been do­ing very well on the sal­mon and fin­ger­mark lately, the char­ter guys have been say­ing.

“I would def­i­nitely be look­ing at the river mouths and with that lit­tle bit of rain we’ve had there might be a few prawns around. “They’d be ideal bait. “That’s usu­ally why you get a lot of sal­mon in the rivers.

“Live prawns, large sar­dines – they’ll go for those,” An­drew said.

“Give them good-sized bait, a big eat­ing ta­ble-type prawn. The bet­ter you present your bait the bet­ter you will do.

“You have to give them some­thing that’s what they nat­u­rally eat.”

Ju­lian Weimar at Nau­ti­cal Ma­rine Sales in Port Dou­glas said the windy out­look meant it was time to fish the fresh­wa­ter for species like sooty grunter and jun­gle perch.

One of the guys at the shop had been hav­ing a rea­son­able time off the Su­gar Wharf, catch­ing this and that – grunter, bar­racuda, etc.

We’re start­ing to get the cooler month species now — grunter, flat­head, brim and whit­ing — un­til about Au­gustSeptem­ber.

It’s a good time to chase flat­heads.

“There’s plenty in the es­tu­ar­ies around Newell, brim and flat­head and things like that,” Ju­lian said.

“Use a small sinker and a bit of prawn.

“I do a lot of lur­ing. They’re def­i­nitely around.”

Off the banks you’re reel­ing in to shal­low water to­ward your fish. THE best fish I ever caught was re­cently, in April.

It was a man­grove jack. We’re stay­ing at a car­a­van park and had been com­ing down here to the wharf for ages, but ba­si­cally just feed­ing the fish!

Any­way, this time, it was in the golden hour, and I had turned away to talk to some back­pack­ers and I saw the rod move.

I grabbed it and hauled in a good man­grove jack.

I knew it was a man­grove jack. It felt re­ally heavy but on the scales it was only a cou­ple of kilo­grams.

Then it was back to the BBQ.

I’m from Bel­gium and I never used to fish back there.

We’ve also caught lots of brim from the wharf, but un­der sized, and a queen­fish. We lose a bit of line, prob­a­bly when we’ve hooked a ray.

It’s a great spot to fish down here – the view is amaz­ing.

TOP: John with a golden spot trevally, caught Dave’s Dain­tree Fish­ing Char­ters. MID­DLE: Merv with an 18 kg gold spot cod, caught with Tom Nevins’ Cook­town Barra Char­ters. BOT­TOM: Merv again, with two 4 kg co­ral trout.

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