It’s a tale of two worlds

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

IN­SHORE and off­shore con­di­tions have been two dif­fer­ent worlds for fishos this week.

Nice in­shore, where fishos have been busy tar­get­ting the big­ger fish that haved moved in to the 5 km zone.

An­glers have been vis­it­ing the in­shore wrecks and mark­ers and other spots, es­pe­cially to tar­get­ting bar­ra­mundi.

But it’s very lumpy off­shore, ac­cord­ing to Matt Gra­ham at Brans­ford’s Tackle in Clifton Beach, where the char­ter guys have been chas­ing mar­lin.

Un­for­tu­nately Matt reck­ons the wind is fore­cast to pick up a lot from to­day, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult in the im­me­di­ate days.

Big schools of Span­ish mack­erel have turned up on cue, fish in the 8-12 kg range – in the “good eat­ing size”, says Matt.

“It’s one of the most tar­geted eat­ing fish, I sup­pose. Ev­ery­one loves a mack­erel. And it’s one of the eas­i­est to catch.” (See Tip be­low). “They’re easy to fil­let and you get a lot of meat off them, a good re­turn, you can see why they’re pop­u­lar.”

The bag limit is three per per­son, and they must be over 75 cm, “which is not hard by Span­ish mack­erel stan­dards”, says Matt, “that’s quite a small one. The lit­tle ones are a lot bet­ter chew­ing as well.”

The black mar­lin sea­son is kick­ing along nicely.

Matt says there’s “heaps out there”, and this month and next are the best times to chase them.

“A lot of the big­ger boats are go­ing re­ally well. They’re catch­ing three to 10 fish for the day. Mostly char­ters, but a lot of pri­vate guys are in there too, on their own boats. You of­ten don’t hear those re­ports.

“You don’t need any­thing too spe­cial, it’s just stand-up fish­ing with nor­mal 10kg fish­ing line. If you get out there in­side the reef, it’s on.”

Off Fitzroy Is­land, be­tween Pixie and Oys­ter and in those lit­tle in­shore pad­docks – that’s where the mar­lin fish­ing has been good.

So long as you can reel them in with­out in­ter­fer­ence from the sharks. The place is lousy with them, ac­cord­ing to Matt.

“We’re try­ing to change the rules on that, be­cause a lot of those big fish are lost to sharks,” Matt says.

Come Septem­ber it will be heavy tackle time for those big fe­males that re­ally fire up the in­dus­try.

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