Ev­ery­one’s on a win­ner

Make most of en­tic­ing con­di­tions be­fore mid­week wind gusts

Townsville Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE - Ed­die Rid­dle send us your catch news and photos: email

LO­CAL boat ramps might be brim­ming with ac­tiv­ity this week­end with out­door fore­casts likely to ex­cite plenty of an­glers.

Mod­er­ate 10 to 15- knot wind pre­dic­tions will al­low an­glers to in­dulge in al­most any per­sua­sion of fish­ing that takes their fancy – from es­tu­ary stuff right through to reef am­bi­tions.

Tides are also im­prov­ing fol­low­ing a neap pe­riod where lit­tle dif­fer­ence be­tween high and low tides was un­likely to ren­der preda­tory species overly ac­tive.

The in­flu­ence of the tides will favour an­glers fol­low­ing to­day’s first- quar­ter moon phase and right through un­til the peak­ing full moon next Fri­day, July 31, but strong winds are ex­pected to re­turn to the North Queens­land coast­line by mid­week with a large high- pres­sure sys­tem set to sweep across the south­ern reaches of the coun­try. Mack­erel on the bite DOG­GIE or Queens­land school mack­erel are ex­pected to be hun­gry this week­end and most pop­u­lar haunts are al­ready yield­ing qual­ity fish de­spite the, gen­er­ally con­sid­ered, poor tides.

Hal­i­fax Bay’s Bur­dekin Rock will be tar­geted with fish to 70cm caught dur­ing re­cent days. Both baits and lures have proven ef­fec­tive and will con­tinue to do so this week­end.

One Bur­dekin Rock an­gler out­fished all nearby on Wed­nes­day when he em­ployed a cast- an­dretrieve method with his pilchard and ganged hook rigs, a slow rolling re­trieve prov­ing ir­re­sistible to dog­gies that might have oth­er­wise ig­nored the of­fer­ing.

Johnny Simp­son was an­chored a few boat lengths away and ad­mit­ted that he drew only oc­ca­sional strikes with his pilchard bait sus­pended be­low a float while the fella do­ing all the cast­ing seemed to pin a fish ev­ery few casts.

Simp­son said he dis­pensed with the float and im­i­tated the nearby an­gler, with al­most im­me­di­ate re­sults.

Six mack­erel to 69cm were slipped into Simp­son’s ice­box be­fore he made a dash back into the Bohle to fish a favourite barra spot. He added a 62cm barramundi and a thump­ing mud crab to his catch. Heath’s keen on co­bia HEATH Kerr, reel re­pair man and counter jockey at the Fish­ing Ware­house, might be among the keen­est to chase a feed of mack­erel this week­end.

His en­thu­si­asm will fol­low re­cent ef­forts and a cou­ple of close en­coun­ters with big co­bia or black king­fish when he fished near the Al­li­ga­tor Creek weed beds.

Kerr found mack­erel a rea­son­ably easy catch but he ran into trou­ble when hook­ing at least one mon­ster co­bia.

“I just ran out of line,” Kerr said from the Duck­worth Street tackle store.

“All I could do was hold on and hope it would stop. But it, the same thing, hap­pened on con­sec­u­tive trips … and it might have been the same fish.

Kerr told of a co­bia caught from the same spot in the days fol­low­ing his close en­coun­ters, the big fish stretch­ing scales to 18kg or nearly 40 old- fash­ioned pounds. Es­tu­ar­ies brim­ming CREEK and river fishos must surely be happy with the win­ter run of yel­lowfin and pikey bream.

Most lo­cal es­tu­ar­ies are brim­ming with bream, fish to a whop­ping 40cm not an un­com­mon catch and es­pe­cially so when the fish are en­ticed with a lit­tle berley.

Brett Aldridge fished the Haughton River last week­end and pulled qual­ity bream from al­most all the deep backs that he tried.

Aldridge said he used fresh prawn baits to fool the big­gest fish but only af­ter they’d sought his baits out by fol­low­ing a berley trail right to his boat. He said he used a con­coc­tion of prawn head and shell, mashed pilchards and bread to tease the fish.

Low­er­ing the mash to the bot­tom and in­side a PVC tube capped each end with holes drilled to al­low small amounts of the berley to es­cape, Aldridge said he didn’t have to wait long be­fore bites came fast and fu­ri­ous.

Aldridge ad­mit­ted it was near im­pos­si­ble to use more than one rod at a time. His best bream was of the yel­lowfin va­ri­ety and mea­sured 38cm, while the largest pikey bream was recorded at 33cm.

An­glers are re­minded that bream are pro­tected by a 25cm min­i­mum le­gal size and an over­all com­bined bag limit of 30 fish, re­gard­less of whether the bream are pikey or yel­lowfin.

This com­bined bag limit also in­cludes tar­whine, a species regularly found in south­ern Queens­land. Chef’s per­fect recipe THE Kiss­ing Point rock pool has been kind to an­glers dur­ing re­cent weeks, giv­ing up worth­while catches of barramundi, jacks, trevally, grunter and oc­ca­sional dog­gie mack­erel.

But it’s a big cod catch by Fish Inn Rock­pool man­ag­ing chef Roys­ton Britto that re­cently set land- based fish­ing fra­ter­nity tongues wag­ging.

Britto regularly sets a line from the plat­forms set around the perime­ter of the rock pool, lit­er­ally just a good cast from his res­tau­rant work­place, and claims good fish on a con­sis­tent ba­sis. How­ever, just a few weeks ago, Britto snared his best catch.

Us­ing a fil­let of chicken breast as bait, pinned to a hook, light line and the flim­si­est of rods, Britto dragged an almighty me­tre- long gold spot cod from among the boul­ders.

The fish was an in­cred­i­ble catch from such tough ter­rain and had cer­tainly been hooked and lost at least once pre­vi­ously – a big rusty hook and part of a heavy leader still in the fish’s gul­let.

COD SPE­CIAL­IST: Chef Roys­ton Britto shows how it's done while re­cently fish­ing in the ship­ping chan­nel.

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