Still blowy so head up river

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

IT’S not look­ing too flash off­shore but it’s still nice in the rivers.

Good num­bers of fin­ger­mark are be­ing caught in the rivers, ac­cord­ing to Matt Gra­ham down at Brans­fords in Clifton Beach.

“They usu­ally get a lot of fin­ger­mark over the neap tides, which was ear­lier this week,” he said.

The char­ter guys were catch­ing fin­ger­mark and queen­fish too.

The odd catch of per­mit fish was in­ter­est­ing -- “they usu­ally come in when it gets a bit colder.”

It sug­gests the sea is cool­ing a lit­tle bit, thank­fully, but it’s still got a way to go be­fore the mackerel show up.

He said this week­end looked good for fishos.

It’s the first of the mak­ing tides – start­ing Fri­day, and op­ti­mal on Satur­day and Sun­day.

“Th­ese are good lure fish­ing tides, up the rivers and up the creeks. You’ve got a big­ger bite win­dow. Good for bait fish­ing as well.

“And a bit of that Easter pres­sure has gone now.”

The big­gest tide will be on Mon­day, when there’s no moon. Then it will go a bit dead. There’s still a few barra around; it’s not too cold for them yet.

You could al­ways wan­der up the streams and go af­ter the jun­gle perch.

“They’re there all the year round,” said Matt. “They’re easy to catch. “You don’t need a lot of ex­pen­sive gear.

“A hand line will do, and you don’t even need a car, you just go and walk up the streams a bit.

“Any of the fresh wa­ter reaches of the stream will have a jun­gle perch.

“Ac­tu­ally, that’s how a lot of peo­ple get into fish­ing – they start off with jun­gle perch.”

The el­e­ment of sur­prise is es­sen­tial, for jun­gle perch are sneaky devils, ac­cord­ing to Matt.

One thing it may im­part is the need to think like a fish­er­man – or more prop­erly, think like a fish. You need to be very dis­creet with jun­gle perch and do your best not to be seen.

They’re a slow grow­ing fish; a 2 kg jun­gle perch will be 40 years old. That’s about as big as they get. They are not much of a ta­ble fish.

We have two species – jun­gle perch and flag­tail. Most peo­ple can’t tell them apart.

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