Under the weather feel
GARRY Dunkley from the Fishing Warehouse was far from the jubilant fella that most are accustomed to when I spoke to him. I wanted to talk fishing and he freely admitted the latest bout of crook offshore weather was wearing him down.
“I‘ ve got no reports,” he said. “Other than a few doggies ( mackerel) that are being caught in the shipping channel there’s not much to tell … and some kids are finding a few whiting and flathead along the local beaches during the first week of the holidays.”
Dunkley was as truthful as he could be but selling his fishing report prowess short because that’s as good as it got this week.
A persistent southeasterly influence licking the entire Queensland coastline has maintained offshore seas at better than 1.5m, ensuring journeys to shoal and reef areas are uncomfortable in even larger craft, while those contemplating such trips in more modest- sized vessels are ambitious at best.
Dunkley said the keenest anglers were spending time servicing their reels, replacing cracked and broken guides on their rods and retro- fitting their Spanish mackerel lures with heavier hooks and rings.
“And a lot of blokes are stocking up on Chin Guard keels to swim their wolf herring and garfish baits,” he said. “They’re fitting the Chin Guards with big trebles instead of single hooks … which seems to provide a much better hook- up rate on the Spanish.”
Dunkley said he expects plenty of mackerel to be at popular haunts including Cape Cleveland, Salamander Reef, Orchard Rocks and Acheron Island. Ghosts’ grim toll THE Hinchinbrook Channel has given up a staggering 144 unattended and abandoned crab pots during a three day clean- up and compliance exercise by Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol ( QBFP).
Abandoned fishing gear is a growing environmental issue with numbers being recovered on the rise, according to QBFP district officer Rob Ibell.
“Some of the pots found had been reported stolen and were returned to their rightful owners,” Ibell said.
Much of the equipment recovered was considered abandoned or lost but was still catching fish and crabs.
“Fishers need to make sure they remove their gear from the water when they’ve finished fishing so it doesn’t unnecessarily entrap, kill or injure wildlife,” he said.
This is referred to as “ghost fishing” – the term for lost or abandoned fishing gear that continues to catch fish and other wildlife and it’s a major environmental problem.
Ibell said lost fishing gear – particularly pots and nets – also presented a safety issue for boats.
“Lost gear that is submerged can damage boat motors and present a safety risk to boaties,” he said.
Ibell pointed out that it is illegal to interfere with gear you didn’t set, even though it might seem lost or abandoned, and anglers should report suspected lost or abandoned gear to Fishwatch on 1800 017 116. Bream on the bite MEANWHILE, bream remain active in southern creek and river systems and offer anglers a worthy alternative when winds blow too hard for offshore exploits.
Reports of near bag limit catches have come from anglers fishing within Morrissey’s Creek and the Barrattas Creek system while larger fish are keeping anglers keen when they fish any number of nondescript creeks within Bowling Green Bay.
Bruce Glanville and a mate pulled a recent haul of fish from Morrissey’s which included no less than 19 bream and a handful of cod, the catch also sweetened with both mud and sand crab captures.
The pair returned just a few days ago and told of another 15 quality bream that were slipped into their icebox.
Des Carrington and son Richard were never going to divulge the Bowling Green Bay creek from which they fooled more than a dozen bream each measuring better than 34cm.
The pair used mullet fillet baits to entice fish from the leading edge or up- current side of deeper holes within the creek.
Carrington senior said smaller bream and grunter were hungry when baits were cast into the hole and slightly downstream, however the largest fish seemed to hold place up- current and presumably picking off the morsels as they flow with the tide and into the holes.
Weekend weather predictions seem to be more of the same with meteorologists suggesting winds will maintain 15- 20 knot intensities and mostly of a southeasterly nature and seas still somewhere between 1.5 and 1.8m.
Tides will slowly drop back to “angler friendly” status within the estuaries following yesterday’s peaking full moon, the biggest run being the evening flood tides following the late afternoon low tide periods.
Monday’s Show Day holiday is traditionally a doggie mackerel hunt for many anglers and those willing to do their thing during the morning period when winds are less likely to affect inshore grounds will welcome a near midday high tide.
The Alligator Creek weed beds, the shipping channel and West Point might all be well fished with cleaner waters possible near the high tide and inciting fish to bite.
TRAPPED: Callum Ransome shows the devastating effect that ghost fishing can have on local wildlife – this turtle drowning in a lost or abandoned crab pot.
Chin Guard- rigged baits will fool mackerel like the one Warwick Jackson caught.