Weather is set to im­prove

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

THE weather’s not been very kind but boat­ies with a bit of shel­ter on their ves­sel have been do­ing well enough if they take to the wa­ter.

River species have been the main fo­cus, but with the weather out­look im­prov­ing the week­end is a good prospect for those want­ing to get off­shore.

It’s go­ing to be around 15 knots wind by the week­end, which is a con­sid­er­able im­prove­ment, and the fol­low­ing week is de­cid­edly bet­ter still. At last.

Peo­ple have been chas­ing jacks, barra and grunter too, in the streams and es­tu­ar­ies.

“We’ve had good re­ports of grunter,” said Matt Gra­ham at Brans­fords Tackle down in Clifton Beach.

“Grunter are a very hard hit­ting fish, they don’t pick or nib­ble at your bait, they just whack it and run.

“They’re good at hook­ing them­selves. And they like a rea­son­able sized bait too. Don’t put a lit­tle prawn out there.

“Grunter work the flats,” said Matt, “where you get a lot of bait fish, your prawns and crus­taceans, what­ever.”

A large gunter checks in at a cou­ple of ki­los, “and pound for pound they are a very hard fight­ing fish. The win­ter es­pe­cially is when they are in big­ger num­bers.

Some of the fish­ing shops have been busy fit­ting out fishos who are set­ting up for the series of light tackle mar­lin com­pe­ti­tions that take place up and down the coast in our re­gion. Yorkey’s Knob, Fitzroy Is­land, In­n­is­fail, Townsville – there a com­pe­ti­tion some­where over the week­ends for nearly a month.

Most of the com­pe­ti­tions are club based. “We’ve been see­ing a lot of peo­ple buy­ing stuff and get­ting ready for it,” said Matt, “mak­ing rigs, get­ting their baits ready and pre­par­ing their boats.

“There’s a LOT of prepa­ra­tion for these comps.

“It would be three quar­ters prepa­ra­tion and one quar­ter fish­ing, fair dinkum.”

There’s cash prizes and al­ways on the night, a cal­cutta.

Oth­er­wise, the at­ten­tion is mostly on mack­erel for most fishos.

Fraser Cot­ton, at Nau­ti­cal Marine in Port Dou­glas, said the re­cent rain will help con­di­tions just off the es­tu­ar­ies, with more fish at the heads than up the rivers and creeks.

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