It’s a cool time to go up­river

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

THE strong south east­er­lies have been a bless­ing, cool­ing air tem­per­a­tures a lot, but the out­look well into next week means most fishos will give up on fish­ing in the la­goon.

It’s go­ing to be lumpy for any­one ex­cept mil­lion­aires on mega-yachts, so it’s time to look in­shore and up the rivers.

Heavy rains have helped cool the rivers by a cou­ple of de­grees at least, says Matt Gra­ham down at Brans­fords Tackle in Clifton Beach, which will bring those es­tu­ary species on to the bite.

The barra have been in the thick of the ac­tion al­ready, of course.

“The fish­ing in Trin­ity In­let has been stand­ing out – what they’re catch­ing in there at the mo­ment is ridicu­lous,” Matt said.

Fresh wa­ter push­ing bait into the main sys­tem means the fish­ing has been ex­cep­tional.

“It’s been un­heard of, the fish­ing they’re hav­ing out of there for many, many years.”

He said the sizes had been good and there had also been re­ports of large schools of bar­ra­maundi, of more than 50 fish.

He said the Dain­tree had been fish­ing well, with fresh wa­ter push­ing through.

“When the wa­ter temp out the front of rivers is 30-32C, you get up the top of the rivers and it’s four de­grees cooler be­cause of the rain,” Matt said.

It’s a big im­prove­ment on the many weeks up till now when wa­ter tem­per­a­tures have been ev­ery el­e­vated.

The barra, man­grove jacks and grunter will be on the chew.

The rain means mud crabs will be head­ing for saltier wa­ter in the river mouths and be­yond, so it’s now a good time to drop a pot or two in places like that.

And the prawns are still a read­ily avail­able feed for the cast net­ters.

“That’s what I’d be do­ing this week­end,” said Matt, “get­ting a feed of prawns. You can’t beat fresh prawns.

“And with a strong wind at least it’s keep­ing the mozzies off you.”

With Easter ap­proach­ing, thoughts are turn­ing to Span­ish mack­erel, which tra­di­tion­ally show up around then as the sea­son turns and cooler temps ap­ply.

Matt said wa­ter off­shore had got­ten cooler in re­cent weeks by a cou­ple of de­grees. So far, so good.

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