Weather is against us
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.