February was a certainly the hottest month I have ever spent on the water. Some days I just couldn’t wait to get of the water, and that’s unusual for me.
The fishing during March should see a mixed bag of all our favourite Jumpinpin species on the bite, usually during spectacular weather. The banana prawns should be running along the Main Channel, which stretches from Jacobs Well all the way to Macleay Island.
After the recent early rains the late February and early March run-off, barra fishing has been amazing. Local freshwater areas have been getting many decent fish but looking for those run-off brackish spots where the barra are sitting is definitely the best way to go.
Heading forward into 2016 and the disappearance of the wet, it will be interesting to watch the season unfold and adventurous anglers begin plying the waters with renewed vigour. With some descent falls throughout the Cape, especially around the mid-west coast, a few meter barra will begin to fill landing nets and camera lenses with a touch of luck.
We have had a consistent run of pelagic activity across the Sunshine Coast. Spotted and Spanish mackerel have turned up in good numbers around the inner and outer Gneering Shoals, Caloundra 5,7 and 12-mile reefs and Coolum Reef, with fish weighing in around the 10-15kg mark.
After a great start to the pelagic season, a big low pressure has moved over New South Wales. This system has generated a lot of hot northerly winds, turning the water to a cool green colour and making fishing tough. The cooler green water off the Gold Coast has really made an impact on the mackerel fishing in February, so hopefully we see big southerly blows in March, which will improve the fishing.
Many anglers will be a bit distracted this month, as they make plans and preparations for an early Easter long weekend, at the end of March. Traditionally, it is quiet on the water in the weeks leading up to Easter, so it’s a good opportunity to make the most of it, weather permitting.
During the months of March and April, the seasons really start to change in the Cooktown region. The temperatures will eventually cool (just a bit) which is much anticipated after frequent steamy days through February. As the temperature cools, the breezes begin to slowly increase from the average 10 knots to up to 20 knots or more. By the end of March or the start of April our wet season usually begins to dissipate, however it has been known to hang around a little longer at times.
It might be a good idea to put down your cornflakes before reading this article. Actually, better you finish them first.
Boondooma Dam Yellowbelly Fishing Competition spokesman Terry Allwood says that the lake fished very well for the 2016 event with over 200 fish going through the catch and release section and 316 in the gilled and gutted section. The biggest yellowbelly weighed in at 2.25kg.
Is there anything more synonymous with freshwater and estuary fishing than a vee-nose punt in the classic 4m+ range? Hulls of this size are ideal for a huge array of fit-outs, can be towed behind even the smallest of family cars and they won’t break the bank. In fact, I own one myself, along with half the staff here at Fishing Monthly. We’ve all customised our tinnies different ways, from rigging them up as a dedicated tournament fishing machine or as something to keep the kids away from the Xbox.
Offshore fishing at this time of the year always depends on the weather, but with a bit of luck we should see plenty of good days to get out on the water and take advantage of the many reefs just off Noosa and Mooloolaba.
The opportunities that March provides can be mind-blowing. Once again, it depends on the weather and how much rain we receive. Last month there hadn’t been much in terms of rainfall except for the odd shower and storm, but March is when we normally see the bulk of our rainfall and boy, do we need it!
Whittley Boats have a long history of making boats that are family friendly. Well-appointed cruisers have made boating a pleasure for generations of Aussie boaters. Anglers, however, often don’t appreciate the refinement of a comfortable cruiser. We often don’t think twice about foregoing any level of comfort at all if it means that were working in a more ‘fishable’ space.
Summer is done and dusted and what a great season of fishing we have had in the Wangaratta area.
Although the summer began with a very hot period early on, the rains and cool weather that followed gave our catchment some much-needed water and our rivers received a good flush.
Tassie’s late summer months are often our most settled weather. Long warm days can give hours of quality fishing from dawn right through to well after dark. These warmer months can literally make for 24 hours of fishing and using a variety of methods to tackle different parts of the day and night.
After a few tough fishing sessions over Christmas, the whiting have started to show up in better numbers and although the sizes haven’t been huge (mostly in the 32-34cm range) with the odd 40cm one thrown in, I have managed about ten fish on most trips. The top end of the bay around the Tooradin Channel has fished well with some large garfish caught in the same area.
There is only one bad thing about fishing in March – choosing which fish to target! The dreaded weather however has kept quite a number of anglers at bay but when the opportunity arises to head out, there are some very impressive fish to be caught.
The lure of catching southern bluefin tuna is in the veins of the majority of Victorian saltwater anglers these days, and with tuna right on tap just a few hours west of Melbourne, it’s no surprise!
Anglers who fish the Yarra this month will find the usual catches can vary, from carp and eels through to an elusive Macquarie perch or Murray cod. The river should start to cool down a bit over the next month, which can bring on some quality trout fishing higher up. For the moment the aforementioned species are more active.
What a month we’ve had in Portland, with the mighty kingfish appearing, and many anglers achieving results, from 5-6kg fish to monsters close to 20kg, which has made this one of the best seasons in years. Others have been spooled or snapped off, and with some of the gear being used catches may get even bigger.
Warm and settled conditions continued for the majority of last month, treating the bay anglers to some superb days on the water. Some welcome rain arrived during the middle of last month, giving the inshore areas a real shot in the arm, and juicing up the food chain on the inshore reefs. As is the trend during this time of year, evening offshore easterly winds have cleared the inshore and beach areas very quickly, once again making fishing missions during the low light of early morning, late afternoon and evening much more effective.
The peak of summer and early autumn is when Metung delivers the goods and right on cue we have seen an influx of species – with a few additional surprises. Although the bream are yet to turn up, just about every other species has set up in Metung at the moment, including a few large elusive kingfish. The flathead have been very slow to fire this summer, and for whatever reason it may not be a stellar dusky season. The real prime time for flatties is still a few months away so they may surprise us yet.
The Shipwreck Coast Fishing Classic is held annually in March. The competition is fished in local estuary, surf and offshore waters between Port Campbell and Yambuk from 12-20 March. Keep these dates in mind if you’re thinking of making a trip down, as there will be plenty of prizes for both junior and senior anglers. If the fishing continues with the excellence of late, the competition should be a ripper.
When you think of Portland, you think of deepwater fishing. Starting with the Lee Breakwater, which gives land-based anglers a great chance to fish depths usually only accessible for boaties. The adjoining deep-water harbour is a great sheltered fishing spot as well. Heading offshore to the famous tuna grounds and excellent bottom fishing that offers a range of tasty deepwater species, Portland really has it all for those keen to target the salty depths.
After months of very little rainfall, recent storm activity has delivered some much-needed precipitation across the local region. A flush of freshwater is just what the Melbourne rivers needed to kick the fishing into gear in the lead up to Easter. For those up for a challenge, early March through to the winter months is prime time to cross paths with a metropolitan mulloway. These once mysterious predators have been in far greater numbers over the past few years. Hopefully the pattern continues and we see many more enter the system over the coming months.
With less boat traffic throughout the Wimmera the fishing has settled down and regained some normality. The lakes are virtually deserted through the week, but see many visitors on weekends as well as ski and wake boats. Plenty of fish have been landed and many released over the holidays with resurgence in redfin populations in Lake Fyans – a thrill for many. Other lakes have continued to suffer a decline in water level, but a bit of much needed rain has seen a couple that looked doomed hanging on by a thread.
The signs are there that March is going to be a great month for fishing, particularly game fishing. At this stage the Easter break is shaping up to be sensational.
Every autumn blows me away with how well the area fishes. Species such as gummy shark, school shark, yellowtail kingfish and southern bluefin tuna have made massive comebacks from previous years. These fish were once myths and whispers, but are now staple fare.
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