Surprise return of mackerel
LOCAL fishos are licking their lips and clearing their freezers in preparation for what’s looking like a welcome early run of mackerel this year.
A forecast temperature drop and ease in sea conditions is expected to entice more boaties back onto the water tomorrow.
Fisherman Harry Goodman, of Nautical Marine Sales, said mackerel were biting around Port Douglas, Snapper Island and Undine Cay.
“Mackerel are on for some reason, they are usually later in the year,” he said.
“It could be something to do with the cyclone, or some sort of current change.”
The Far North angler said light south-easterlies should provide good fishing conditions in the next few days.
“If you want to go fishing, go on Saturday morning – or take a sickie on Friday,” he said.
“Use a deep-diving lure with a woghead and try to use different depths when trolling for mackerel.”
Mr Goodman said plenty of prawns were being netted at beaches.
Clifton Beach Bransfords Tackle Shop owner Matt Gra- ham said the mackerel being caught were small.
“The water is still hot, as soon as that temperature drops, it is the start of the mackerel run,” he said.
“They are not in schools, but they are around here and there.”
“When the temperature gets into the 20s they start turning up in schools”
Locals have also hooked swags of barramundi at the northern beaches the week.
A 110cm specimen was the biggest catch.
“All that storm buildup and change in pressure always helps stir things up – we have weighed a lot of fish in the past few days,” Mr Graham said.
“A lot of kids are bringing the photos in. Most are caught off the beaches and rocks, basically anywhere they can get to by pushbike.”
Earlier in the week threats of Cyclone Debbie lashing the Far North did not deter keen anglers, with a “few mad buggers” wetting a line.
“There were a few diehard fishermen who went out through that time because the bite you get when a cyclone is coming through is incredible,” Mr Graham said. “It is like a bloody fat kid on a cup cake – they are not going to say no.”
These three anglers with Cooktown Barra Charters were happy with their catches, including Rodger (top) and Daisy (centre) with large-mouth nannygai and Mark with a cobia.