In the last few months I have noticed that Western Port has had a lot more fishing pressure than it has had in previous years.
With the days cooling off and the water starting to do the same, this month really sees the start of the winter cycle in the bay. However don’t be fooled as the coming month or two can produce some of the best fishing of the year. Snapper can come back on the bite, pinkies and calamari invade the shallow reefs and even some surface feeders like salmon and even kingfish are still around.
April is the month that bids farewell to the yellowtail kingfish season.
For years I looked at photos of people catching Murray cod from the banks of rivers on lures and often wondered how they did it.
As we approach the end of one of the longest hottest, driest and windiest summers for sometime, most anglers can't wait for winter to get here. But before it disappears for another year, it's time to make hay while the sun still shines!
This is a step-by-step guide to making Asian spring rolls.
February brought plenty of rainy days, and the rest have been hot and humid. These conditions will continue through March and into early April. Visitors to our area from the south are often amazed at the rainfall, where 200mm+ overnight is not uncommon, but Mackay’s catchments are all fairly short creeks and rivers and they clear up pretty quickly. This means that the creeks and rivers are still producing plenty of fish even though the water may not be the characteristic clear water we have much of the year.
The open barra season brought all forms of anglers out to test their skills against our iconic sports fish.
Pleading looks from ‘Zico’ my kelpie cross, as well as curiosity, had dog and supposed master on the beach for a walk as the honeyeaters were waking on the morning of January 25 this year. Zico has an endless supply of pleading looks, but I was curious as to whether there would be any signs of fish or seabirds feeding, shells that might be collected or fish being caught by the surf anglers that were sure to be fishing.
Now that the slightly cooler weather and the rain has started to set in, we should see a lot more top water action and activity throughout the local canals.
With a wet season looming in the northern part of the state and one cyclone already impacting the lakes from Gladstone north, the weather will play a big part in what the following month has to offer. Already some lakes in the tropics have had a top up but in the southern part of the state, the lake levels are slowly dropping.
We have had another nice little run of weather that allowed us to get offshore a few times with fantastic results.
What a month we have had! With Mother Nature’s minor hissy fit during the early stages of last month, northern bay anglers were ducking for cover and retreating to their favoured estuarine haunts in desperation.
Cyclones and tropical lows during January and early February kept offshore fishing to a minimum but when the wind and the seas settled, the mackerel fishing was red hot!
If the weather settles down this should be a great month for chasing game fish off the Gold Coast. The marlin have been in good numbers around the bait schools on 36 and 42 fathoms and the Spanish mackerel have arrived in numbers on the close in reefs.
Last year at this time I was expecting that we would get a late wet, but we missed out totally. This year we got a wet happening and all systems are now go! Water will flush the barramundi out of the lagoons and put them in anglers’ way.
The Far North has had as a normal and healthy wet season leading into March. There have been good rains distributed across the top end which began from around mid-January and have been consistent since. There’s been tropical lows and a few cyclones to keep an eye on but you expect that for a normal wet season. We can expect much the same for the coming month.
I really do love being optimistic, like I was when I wrote last month’s column. After the succession of most unfriendly conditions during the first weeks of 2014, we must look forward with as much enthusiasm we can muster into the months ahead.
March is always a great month to attach ourselves to a wide range of species in our area. This will be a bit of a transition month where our warm water pelagic are still around in healthy numbers but a range of tasty reefies will start to present themselves as our coastal currents slow.
The late run to the wet season will be a big disappointment to creek anglers this month, as the lack of run-off before the 1 February will see spawning opportunities for the big barra lost before the commercial nets do their toll. However there will still be plenty of barramundi on offer for those seeking out a big chromie and Bowen’s many creeks and estuaries are prime this time of year.
Nissan has taken some bold steps with their new fourth generation Pathfinder. Gone is the 4x4 low range capability; likewise the diesel option. However, the newbie is larger all round, styling has been upgraded to a more conventional, smoother look and there are some terrific seating options in its very spacious interior.
I recently had a great stay at the Dunk Island View Caravan Park on Wongaling Beach. Where is Wongaling Beach? I hear you ask. I didn’t know either. Turns out it’s one of several suburbs that make up the picturesque Mission Beach area east of Tully in Far North Queensland. That’s settled: we’ll move on.
The beginning of autumn can be the start of some very good tuna fishing for flyfishing enthusiasts. There have been reports of mac tuna and the larger longtail or northern blue tuna in their usual haunts, including Moreton Bay, for most of summer.
Previously I reviewed the Kapten Waverider 490 powered by a 40hp Titan outboard. In the seas off Mooloolaba the Waverider’s radical hull – with its remarkable similarity to the successful features of the very well received Kapten Boat Collar – proved itself as a soft riding straight tracking craft with enormous potential.
The Fitzroy River was the place to be for barra opening last month and since then we have had some rain giving a fresh boost to the system and improving the catches all the way from The Barrage down to Port Alma.
The arrival of the barra season in early February also saw the arrival of the wet season big time up here on Cape York, and since then it hasn’t and doesn’t look like it will let up any time soon.
If there was one word that we could use to describe the summer weather it would have been ‘windy’. It’s funny how it can put a bit of a dampener on the fishing but the positive side is that the fish are just waiting for a good feed so it has its advantages.
The southeasterlies have been relentless over the past couple of months with only a handful of good boating days. This should start to ease off a bit this month but I wouldn’t hold my breath as the monsoon season is still in full swing in the north of the country. Your best bet is to plan a few trips around lakes, rivers and creeks and if the Huey the weather god decides to give us a break grab your chance while you can!
The barra season is in full swing and we’re getting some settled weather again which is great. I bet most tackle shops have just about run out of lures now as anglers have started to take advantage of some prime conditions for hunting down Australia’s most sought after sportfish.
A lot of fantastic, Australian-built boats have humble beginnings. Built by passionate and knowledgeable people, there’s been no shortage of local offerings that are tailored to local waterways available to boaties over the last few decades. South East Queensland has always been a hub of boat building activity – from the giants Telwater, Haines and Riviera – right through to the shed-born gems.
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