Everyone’s on a winner
Make most of enticing conditions before midweek wind gusts
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.