Weather is against us

Townsville Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE -

A STEADY 15/ 20 knot lo­cal boat­ing fore­cast is set to frustrate many small boat own­ers this week­end and in par­tic­u­lar, those who might have been har­bour­ing ideas of fish­ing off­shore shoal ar­eas for span­ish mack­erel.

The stiff southerly breezes and sloppy af­ter­noon seas have dogged an­glers all week and it’s not un­til early next week that fore­cast­ers pre­dict a break in the pat­tern.

The mack­erel are hun­gry and there to be caught but it might only be crew of larger ves­sels able to take ad­van­tage.

John Galloway and sons Michael and Luke found school size mack­erel to a me­tre long an easy catch when they fished near pop­u­lar spot ‘ Bun­nings’ dur­ing sub­lime con­di­tions late last week.

Scad baits jigged from ship­ping channel grounds proved ir­re­sistible and the men opted to forego bag limit catches keep­ing just two mack­erel each be­fore drop­ping the live baits to fish pre­sent­ing deep in the water col­umn.

Rods were fully loaded in equally quick time when a pro­ces­sion of golden, bludger, blue spot trevally and pen­nant fish were en­ticed from large schools swim­ming wide of red fish hold­ing struc­ture.

Res­i­dent bull and whaler sharks were no­table by their ab­sence and only an oc­ca­sional ham­mer­head showed in­ter­est in hooked fish.

Michel might have been hap­pi­est with a pair of thump­ing golden trevally while John and Luke ad­mit­ted that they were rapt with the prospect of mack­erel din­ners.

Luck changes with tide

WELL known sport fish­er­man and revered rod builder Ron Poole tried his best to put vis­it­ing brother Richard on to fish last week. The pair drifted pilchard baits near hotspot Al­li­ga­tor Creek weed beds for lit­tle re­sult be­fore de­cid­ing to try their luck in the har­bour ship­ping channel

Ron said the fish­ing was ex­cep­tion­ally quiet given the re­cent re­ports of plen­ti­ful dog­gie mack­erel but it was late in the tide when the broth­ers’ luck changed.

“We fished the outer mark­ers in the ship­ping channel and fi­nally found a cou­ple of dog­gies, but also two mon­ster queen­fish as well,” Ron said.

Non- stop ac­tion

MEAN­WHILE, man­grove jack re­main hun­gry in lo­cal estuaries, Craig Allen telling of non- stop ac­tion when he, part­ner Kari Hodgkin­son and daugh­ter Asha Allen recently fished a favourite creek.

“We caught plenty of good fish in­clud­ing three jacks, blue sal­mon and big fat pikey bream. Kari scored the big­gest ( jack) be­ing 46cm,” Allen said

The col­umn reg­u­lar said the trio lost a few fish when fish­ing close to promi­nent snags, “but we man­aged to rip a few out too.”

“We all had a blast. The ac­tion was vir­tu­ally non- stop all day, lots of un­der size stuff as well and that’s good be­cause Kari and Asha ab­so­lutely love fish­ing with me ... as long as they are catch­ing,” Allen said.

Bait eas­ier to find

WEEK­END tides in­vite an­glers back into lo­cal creeks and rivers fol­low­ing the al­most un­fish­able run of last week­end’s king tide pe­ri­ods. spon­sored by

Mod­est flood and ebb tides will al­low an­glers to find bream, cod, jacks and barra in the snags while grunter could be found hun­gry near the mouths of most sys­tems.

And crab pots can now be set with­out fear of the tide car­ry­ing an­glers’ trap and catch away.

Bait will also be a good deal eas­ier to se­cure this week­end and live prawns are likely to tempt bar­ra­mundi with a drop­per or pa­ter­nos­ter rig per­haps the best.

Clued- up an­glers will prob­a­bly thread two or three prawns on a sin­gle hook be­fore de­liv­er­ing the bait im­pos­si­bly close to struc­ture around which winter barra are likely to con­gre­gate.

This is a par­tic­u­larly favoured method when fish­ing the Haughton River and its trib­u­taries.

Jacks in­hab­it­ing the same struc­ture shouldn’t pass up a bunch of prawns, al­though they’ll just as read­ily eat a cut flesh bait like gar or mul­let.

Land- based an­glers can ex­pect to en­joy qual­ity bream and grunter catches if they’re able to brave evening chills and fore­shore winds.

The casino break­walls and rock groynes punc­tu­at­ing The Strand have given up some fine fish through­out the week and this trend should con­tinue well into next week.

The rocky fore­shore of Kiss­ing Point and neigh­bour­ing Rock Pool re­mains an ob­vi­ous place to tar­get th­ese tasty ta­ble fish and an­glers will do best to rig with small sinkers run­ning right down onto the hook ( size 1/ 0- 3/ 0) to min­imise snags.

Best baits – al­ways live of­fer­ings in­clud­ing prawn and her­ring but also peeled prawn, mul­let fil­let and strips of squid – es­pe­cially the lat­ter should pick­ers or small fish be per­sis­tent.

SUB­LIME CON­DI­TIONS: Michael Galloway tested his skills on this brutish golden trevally.

Luke Galloway shows off one of many mack­erel hooked dur­ing a re­cent trip.

Richard Poole hooked this me­tre- long queen­fish in the ship­ping channel.

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