Big rain­fall shakes it up for fishos

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

IT’S been a happy new year, weather-wise, says Matt Gra­ham down at Brans­fords Tackle in Clifton Beach. That’s thanks to the rain. “It’s been great,” Matt said. “It stirs ev­ery­thing up a lot. There’s been plenty of weather and plenty of fish – you can’t com­plain.

“It’s been stir­ring up the prawns, the mud crabs, they’ve been on the go.”

Matt said the fresh wa­ter had pushed the jelly prawns and crabs out into the river mouths and off­shore in search of saltier wa­ter.

That makes it a happy hunt­ing ground off the beaches and head­lands for the preda­tor fish - and fishos.

“They’re eas­ier to find out there on the flats, or the river mouths, or the feeder creeks, flush­ing out into the salt­wa­ter.”

Queen­fish, per­mit, the dart, salmon – “all those pelagic, mid wa­ter sur­face feed­ing fish, they’re smash­ing them along the beaches at the mo­ment.

“The kids are go­ing out and hav­ing a ball catch­ing lit­tle mack­erel, wolf fish, and trevally . . . any­where around the rocks, jet­ties and beaches up to Port Dou­glas.”

Ac­cord­ing to Matt, there are now good blue salmon and the odd threadfin, he said, up to 1.5 me­tres. “The threadfins are the tro­phy fish of the mo­ment. There’s been some big ones caught lately.”

Get your­self a cast net and get some live bait if you fancy a battle with a threadfin.

“Fresh is best with those things,” Matt re­it­er­ated. “That’s why they pa­trol the beaches – they’re look­ing for a nice fresh feed.

“A bit of stinky piece of squid or old prawn is not go­ing to cut it.”

Threadfin don’t muck around - they hit the bait and then they run hard.

“They don’t give up, ei­ther,” said Matt. “Most peo­ple lose them right at the end, try­ing to pull them up on the beaches. Salmon go to the very end.”

Matt said you need to back the drop off as you are try­ing to land one.

“The closer it comes the less drag you need on. You don’t need to be putting that pres­sure on when it’s right at your feet. Then you’ve got a much bet­ter chance of land­ing them.”

We’ll start to see some king tides soon.

“The next set is go­ing to be a cracker,” Matt said.

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