It’s been a great start to winter with most of our favourite species of fish on the bite. Flathead and bream have been around in good numbers with the odd good whiting, mulloway and tailor also being caught.
Winter is certainly upon us, and with the cooler waters we see nice calm weather, big reef fish and even bigger Spanish mackerel. The cooler water also brings out decent schools of bream and whiting onto the flats along with blue salmon in the creeks and rivers. On top of all of this, the crabbing in the region has been great in the past month, with many people catching big hauls.
The beginning of winter marks the onset of nasty cold weather around much of the country. But this is not the case in Queensland’s tropical far north. Despite the southerlies that sometimes plague this month, anglers can still expect cool mornings and warmth throughout the day.
The Sunshine Coast has been a little hit and miss over the last month or two due to poor weather and seasonal change. Transitional periods see a decline in water temperature from around 24-25°C and soon will drop to around 20°C and even lower.
Something happens to me the minute the boat slows down and the anchor goes out and it comes time to throw a line in. Those plans I’d spent days, weeks or months organising in my tiny mind drift away like feral kites.
Trinity Inlet has continued to be the surprise package this year, fishing better than it has in a very long time. Barra and golden snapper have been the main attraction, but they will most likely slow down this month with the continuing drop in water temperature. However, most anglers will be looking offshore this month in search of mackerel and reef species, whenever the weather permits.
Cape York will be flooded with tourists during June and July as these months are much cooler for visiting and camping. Lots of festivities are held in and around Cooktown during these times. If you are planning on visiting Cooktown, then make sure you jump on Cook Shire’s website to check the dates for fun celebrations and time your visit to coincide.
May remained pleasantly warm on average with fairly low to moderate winds that made Moreton Bay a hive of fishing and boating activity last month. Given the public holidays and school holidays during that time, the boat ramps were kept busy. Catches were wide and varied – still a few whiting around on the beaches but bream become predominant. Banana prawns enjoyed an extended stay with the warmer days hanging on. Good catches of snapper were reported through the bay and offshore to the north.
Over the coming months, there is going to be a lot of discussion around the Moreton Bay Net Free Zone. With an election looming in the not too distant future and with the Labor Party looking to carry through their previous election commitments to a Net Free Zone, there will be a lot of discussion online and in pubs.
Now that the prevailing south-easterlies have started to ease a little, anglers are able to head offshore and be rewarded with good numbers of both mixed pelagic and reef species. It’s that magic time where you’re blessed with the best the pelagics have to offer as well as the snapper really embracing the run.
It still amazes me how the water changes so quickly here in the tropics. It only took a week and the water temperature plummeted and you could watch your lure swimming to the bottom in 3m of water.
We’ve finally had our first little bit of cool weather, but it hasn’t been enough to shut down the jacks. It seems they’re trying to get in a final feed before the cold weather really sets in. Myself, my father and a friend recently went down to Deepwater Creek and got stuck into some nice jacks, and it was great to see them still biting hard. They seemed to like the ZMan DieZel MinnowZ in the red shad and opening night colours best.
That period between seasons is an awesome time to fish. It’s warm enough to still yield barra and jacks in the estuaries, and cool enough at night and early in the morning for winter species like blue salmon. Larger numbers of blues are showing up the harbour, which is great. The best time to target them is on bigger tides late in the afternoon and into the night, and early in the morning. Most fish are being taken on fresh gar, live herring, yorkies and the like.
The humble little whiting is the very first fish that most of us catch. You can spend untold amounts of money on the latest rods and reels to catch big fish, yet you can’t beat the taste of whiting. They taste as good as anything coming out of the ocean. And besides, it’s a fish that makes us happy to catch, our kids are happy to catch and, as we get older, our grandkids as well.
From the perspective of a Victorian fishing journalist, the hardest time of year to fish coupled with the trout season closure is approaching.
Just a timely reminder that the salmonid closed season in Victoria is in place from midnight Monday 13 June until midnight Friday 1 September. There are some exemptions to this that can be viewed in the 2016 Rules and Regulations booklet, available at most tackle stores, along with the Vic Fishing app, which is available on both iPhone and android operating systems.
We finally got some essential rain in our region through late April and early May, and over this time the rain events have fired up the big fish. There have been weekly reports of fish between 80-100cm caught in the Goulburn River.
My last two trips to Western Port chasing whiting have resulted in just two fish on each occasion, so I think that they are really starting to slow up now.
It is June and despite the fact that everything’s cold, the fishing is still productive if you’re tough enough to brave the conditions.
Tackling the surf beaches in Victoria usually kicks off in May and runs right through until August. Although some species of fish can be caught year round, including gummy sharks, silver trevally and yellow eye mullet, it is the Australian salmon that is the highest prized of all.
I can’t believe we’re nearly halfway through the year already! We are right into our tuna season now, and we’ve seen some great results coming in.
As I was reading through last month’s report the other day, I was amused with my revelation that the summer months were over, and the days and nights were getting colder. Someone forgot to communicate this trend to the department of climate change, however, and we experienced a few weeks of very ‘summery’ conditions.
Surprises make our great sport engaging and addictive. The mystery, the extraordinary captures and the joys of discovery are all part of why we fish. I have a mulloway story to share with you that has amazed bait anglers and totally shocked everyone who throws lures in the Gippsland Lakes. Even more bizarre is the news of two gummy sharks caught in the system as well. This report will delight you with what anglers have discovered recently and highlights some of the secret treasures we are so blissfully unaware of.
It’s June and once again the winter is upon us, however, the fishing can still be hot if you can make the most of any breaks in the weather.
As I mentioned last month, the streams and rivers of the West and South Gippsland region are not stocked with trout but rely solely on natural reproduction, so it’s important to practice catch and release, particularly as we edge closer to their spawning season when females might be carrying eggs.
After an extended warmer than average period weatherwise through much of autumn, those sharp winter westerlies have arrived with a vengeance. Melbourne anglers face some obvious challenges in terms of battling the elements throughout the winter months, but the fish still need to eat.
It’s that time of year when the motivation to get out of a warm cosy bed early and be on the water at the crack of dawn waivers, even if ever so slightly. Admittedly, adverse weather in winter can pose a few challenges for southern anglers. Indeed, it can get bitterly cold in costal parts of both Victoria and Tasmania, although thermal layering, a water/wind proof jacket, over-pants and a beanie generally provide adequate protection against the elements. In most instances, the greatest challenge is engaging a positive mindset, and that really shouldn’t be too difficult given there’s loads of big bream gathering in your local estuary right now!
The farmers, as well as the fishing fraternity are excited for the upcoming winter and rain anticipated to arrive soon. As the whole system is very low on water for stock and domestic use, the buzz of a normal winter and rainfall has raised the excitement for many and some very encouraging projects are on the table to enrich the region and bring back the much needed tourism. Wimmera could well become the next Eildon!
Cue scary music of impending doom, not unlike whenever Darth Vader mooches into scene. Unfortunately, this is what most people feel when they think of fishing in Tasmania in June. The start of winter can draw some people indoors and shut down their outdoor activities, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Let’s first deal with the undeniable facts.
Clark Aluminium boats are an iconic brand manufactured in Queensland. They produce all manner of boats, from car toppers to offshore vessels. I recently visited Lake Mulwala on the border of New South Wales and Victoria to test a boat designed specifically for the sportsfishing market – the Clark Dominator 455 side console.
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