Right time for families
SUPERB boating conditions have finally allowed holidaying youngsters and their families to wet a line in some degree of comfort.
Sloppy seas have given way to glassy conditions in bay waters where a timely run of doggie or Queensland school mackerel is making for happy kids and even happier parents.
The Alligator Creek weed beds, harbour shipping channel, West Point and Burdekin Rock are among the recognised hot spots that have yielded mackerel in worthwhile numbers.
Alex Brandon and son River enjoyed a bag limit catch of 10 mackerel each when they cast metal jigs close to shipping channel pylons on Wednesday morning.
Brandon Snr said the pair initially used a wire trace to avoid having their lures bitten off by the razor toothed predators. However the fish would frequently follow the imitation baitfish without offering a strike.
“We got rid of the traces and started catching fish right away,” Brandon said.
“They were really easy to hook without the traces scaring them off and we only lost one lure to a biteoff.”
MEANWHILE, spanish mackerel of over- size proportions are being claimed by anglers towing wolf herring baits in the immediate Cape Cleveland area.
They have been found feeding on small queenfish near Salamander Reef and when presented with a well rigged herring or large five- spot gar, they rarely disappoint with savage strikes.
The largest I’ve heard of is reportedly a 28kg monster but at that size, it’s one of the ones that would worry me with higher than usual chances of the big mackerel carrying the ciguatera toxin.
Jason Yarrow, fiance Katie Saunders and Jason’s young son Jy, 7, found cobia an easy catch when they recently searched favourite but secretive waters for spanish mackerel.
Jason said it was Katie’s and Jy’s first trip in pursuit of bigger mackerel than the doggies that each are familiar with and although the mackerel were AWOL, the cobia made up for the shortfall.
“I’m not sure on the weight of the cobia … one at 800mm long and the other one was 1100mm long,” Yarrow Snr said.
“They were caught floating pilchards and casting gold Bomber lures,” he added.
The trio backed up their cobia catch with a haul of fat doggie mackerel on Tuesday morning.
They fished weed bed grounds wide of Alligator Creek to stow no less than 15 quality fish in their icebox.
Giant whiting on run
WHITING are filling creels when anglers do the land- based stroll near both Bushland and Saunders beaches.
Live yabby baits or peeled prawn offerings are fooling some monumental whiting to a bit over 40cm when anglers chance their casts near the top of most 3 metreplus high tides.
Catches are often supplemented with an occasional flathead and grunter and recently, large buck mudcrabs. sponsored by
Nearby, fish within the Bohle River have proven plentiful throughout the school holiday period. However most fish landed have measured short of respective legal sizes.
Bream, grunter, cod and blue salmon are consistently entertaining anglers when they allow their baits to settle near the rock bars at the mouth of the system while silver jew dominate catches upstream.
Law reels in seller
A MACKAY man selling seafood via social media outlet Facebook has been fined $ 3000 in the Mackay Magistrates Court.
A public tip off alerted Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol officers to the illegal activity and after executing a search warrant on a Moranbah residence, officers found and seized 20 live mud crabs, a further three cooked crabs and eight frozen rock lobster tails.
The defendant pleaded guilty to charges of taking fisheries resource for commercial sale and failing to hold an appropriate authority to commercially sell the same resource.
The defendant was fined $ 3000 and no conviction was recorded.
Thirteen of the 20 live mud crabs were successfully released back into the Pioneer River.
If you suspect illegal fishing, whether seen in person or online, report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116.
Authorities ask that you don’t engage with the person, as this can compromise an investigation.
Busy weekend ahead
LOCAL boat ramps are expected to be busy this weekend should midweek boating forecasts hold true.
Slight seas and light winds are expected to precede a blow that is not likely to significantly affect Townsville waters before Sunday evening. Reefs are sure to be wellfished as will be the numerous shoals wide of Cape Cleveland and Magnetic Island.
The Palm Island group might not be a lonely place either with reliable reports of spanish mackerel and cobia or black kingfish in good numbers originating from Chillcott Rocks at the southern end of Great Palm Island.
Inshore shoal areas wide of northern beaches including Balgal, Toomulla and Bluewater have given up good catches of mackerel and fingermark during recent but infrequent spells of calm boating conditions and that trend is expected to continue this weekend.