Bloke can be Lee Marvin

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

EX­PECT strong winds at the week­end, es­pe­cially on Sun­day. But, says Matt Gra­ham at Brans­fords Dis­count Tackle in Clifton Beach, “it’s still fish­able and com­ing off the neap tides we had ear­lier in the week we are start­ing to get the big­ger runs in the tides.

“I’d prob­a­bly be look­ing at the head­lands and out in front of the rivers, and the in­lets – there’s a lots of small mack­erel around, just right for an early morn­ing ses­sion before the wind gets up. Those spotty and grey mack­erel. It’s still nice in the morn­ings un­til you get a few miles out,” Matt said.

All this wind is to be ex­pected this time of year. July and Au­gust are prob­a­bly our two windi­est times of year.

“But they are some of the best fish­ing months of the year – it’s just that the windy con­di­tions slow us down. The cooler water brings on a lot of dif­fer­ent species – your mack­erel runs and the fish­ing for red em­peror and nan­ny­gai are at its best. And that’s when the small mar­lin turn up.”

Matt says they have ar­rived and peo­ple are out there catch­ing them, though num­bers of fishos are down be­cause of the breeze, which by the way has al­ready led to the can­cel­la­tion of a ma­jor fish­ing con­test.

“A lot of the char­ter boats can­cel when it’s that windy.”

Matt says there’s noth­ing stop­ping any hum­ble fisho from hav­ing a crack at a small mar­lin. They may be en­coun­tered from 15 km off­shore, half way to the reef. They’re are in those in­shore pad­docks.

They’ll be feed­ing on garfish and mul­let around the is­lands, es­pe­cially garfish, and yel­low­tail and fusiliers, swal­low­ing them up like jelly beans.

“You don’t need a fancy boat or fancy set up to go and do it,” says Matt. “Just a bit of local info which we can cer­tainly help with [at Brans­fords], be­ing in the right spot at the right time, what to look for . . . just the lit­tle things.

“Some of our guys go out there fish­ing the big com­pe­ti­tions and they’re just us­ing their nor­mal river gear, the stuff we catch bar­ras and jacks with. This is all stand up fish­ing, light line . . .

“If you were fish­ing in a river and you hooked up a me­tre-long barra, that’s go­ing to fight a lot harder than a small mar­lin, that’s for sure.

“You don’t have to be a cer­tain type of fish­er­man or what­ever – any­one can go out and tar­get these fish.”

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