Night on the reef to start catch

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

THE week­end is shap­ing up well for fishos.

In fact, here’s how Matt Gra­ham of Brans­fords Dis­count Tackle in Clifton Beach sees it: “Fri­day night is looking good for the overnight red fish­er­men, and Satur­day morn­ing mack­erel fish­er­men will be happy.”

That’s kind of code for the fact that to­mor­row night is a prime time for night fish­er­men tar­get­ting red em­peror and nan­ny­gai, due to the wind back­ing off a lot and mak­ing con­di­tions very con­ducive.

An­glers keen on this will be head­ing to the outer reef, fish­ing on the edge around 50-plus me­tres deep for the red em­peror; nan­ny­gai can be had in shal­lower wa­ters.

But see­ing the wind is fore­cast to pick up on Satur­day morn­ing, Matt reck­ons that’s the time for the mack­erel – “good tides, nearer moon, there’s no rea­son why there shouldn’t be plenty of mack­erel around”.

There’s also a lot of boats in Cairns gee’d up for black mar­lin too fol­low­ing the Yorkey’s Knob and Fitzroy Is­lands com­pe­ti­tions.

Matt says there was plenty of fish caught but con­di­tions were not favourable for the Yorkeys comp, as winds got up to 30 knots and the last day was can­celled.

Due to the wind, most of the fish­ing talk has been about the rivers. Matt says there’s been good catches of jacks and bar­ras. “Most of the lure fish­er­men have been get­ting them on lures,” he says.

Sun­day is prob­a­bly going to be a river fish­ing day.

The price of crabs has gone up, so pre­sum­ably de­mand is has too, though ac­tion on the crab­bing seems sub­dued.

It’s been a warm win­ter, so the barra have never re­ally gone off the bite. Now that spring is of­fi­cially here there is typ­i­cally warmer weather and less wind, so ex­pect the barra to be get­ting around in the build up to the breed­ing sea­son.

Ju­lian Weimar of Nau­ti­cal Marine Sales in Port Dou­glas says bar­ra­mundi are start­ing to come back out and are feed­ing up ac­tively.

Lake­field and the fresh­wa­ter spots have been pro­duc­ing barra, as well as the river mouths at Moss­man Heads and Newell.

They are in good num­bers on the Dain­tree River, with a few ex­am­ples around 80cm mark.

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