Pelagic paradise
  |  First Published: September 2011



Weipa has been experiencing some unreal pelagic action over the last month. There are massive schools of trevally, queenfish, Spanish & spotted mackerel and my absolute favourite; the northern bluefin tuna.

Out of all of the fish that I have caught, pound for pound, tuna pull the hardest on light tackle. We recently had a tuna session on 20lb barra gear and these beast peel drag off quicker than anything! I was nearly spooled by a good tuna that would have weighed over 15kg; it engulfed a little Richo’s Sardine that was intended for a just legal trout for tea! For some deadset line burning action, get out to the inshore reefs and headlands and get amongst the tuna action!

The Mission and Pine have been fishing well for good sized barras and threadfin up on the flats for the lure flickers. However the smaller tides have not allowed bigger boats to get up on the flats for any decent length of time.

There have also been some stonking barra getting hooked by the live bait brigade in the Hay river up around the Mud Gutter. Live mullet seem to be the massive barra’s food of choice.

The Embley has been fishing quite well with a bit of cleaner water in the system. Fingermark, cod, queenfish, pikey bream and grunter have been making their presence well known with the humble peeled prawn or fresh cut herring baits accounting for most of the fish. Although most anglers come to Weipa to fish for barra, a feed of fresh fingermark & grunter should keep most anglers happy. These species will be much more of a reliable catch without any prior knowledge of the area.

With the southeasterlies blowing for most of the last two months, the beaches around Mapoon and Pennefather have been great land based options for the fly fishos. There are plagues of small to midsized Queenies on offer with plenty of blue salmon, golden trevally and GT to keep you interested if you don’t have a boat. Once again, there are schools of tuna and mackerel that can be seen working just offshore so often a car topper is all that is needed to get out amongst the action.

The Wenlock has been firing with rat sized barras in the upper reaches however there are still a few 80cm+ fish mixed in with them. There have also been some nice sized sooties and saratoga mixed in with the barras with the sooties usually being the first fish to smash the lure. What the sooties lack in size, they sure make up for it in the attitude department. I recently had a good session in the Wenlock with fish up to 45cm and these dirty little hoodlums make you work all the way to the boat!

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