The first couple of months of barra season have been hectic and the tides for the opening were spot on, the water clarity was awesome, and the fish bit well. Plenty of 1m+ monsters were caught, and while plenty were taken for the table, the majority that I have heard of have been released which is awesome news.
March brought on typical wet season weather patterns and a significant amount of rainfall throughout the region. As a result the water level on the lake has gone from 90% up to 98%, with a total rise of about 1.2m in height.
The weather has started to cool down but the fishing remains hot! Apart from all the wind we’ve had, the fishing has been great with plenty to go around. The dreaded southeasterlies have caused havoc – it seems every weekend the winds would pick up to 20 knots. Luckily there have been some breaks lately and anglers have made the most of it with some trophy fish!
It’s no secret that the most dramatic development in angling over a number of decades has been the creation of a seemingly endless variety of artificials. This should not be news to any of our readers as they are most likely ardent users of at least some lures. Successful as they might be, there are still lots of situations where fresh baits just can’t be beaten.
April is going to be another cracker month to get the rod bent and land a few fish! Its a great time of year up here in the tropical north. The weather has started to cool right down and the humidity has finally subsided. It really is the perfect time to get the land-based gear out, and start exploring the many sweetwater systems available to the keen angler!
Many creek anglers shy away from fishing surface lures because of the misguided belief that it’s just too hard. In actual fact, surface fishing for species like mangrove jacks, barramundi and even bread and butter species like bream and flathead is not as hard as it seems and can actually be a go-to method when the variables are right. When fishing surface, you need to have a mix of the right conditions to be successful. Like any form of fishing, you need to be strategic about what you are doing and choose when conditions suit to launch your attack.
A few years back, Hyundai Motor Company had a family-orientated SUV wagon named the Tucson complementing their range of family sedans. The Tucson was fairly popular, if somewhat oddly styled, and was in essence a cheap and cheerful people mover. A diesel engine option ensured frugal running, while a decent ride offered comfort along with the economy.
The Baysports 600, turned out in a well-finished package by Glen Grams of Noosa in South Queensland, has every hallmark of a rig built to last. There’s 28 years of boat manufacturing experience behind each hull, while modern glass crafting techniques, the use of solid fibreglass mouldings throughout linked to a complete fibreglass under-floor stringer system, plus a complete absence of timber within the transom and centre board flooring on Baysports ensure longevity.
After an awesome summer of fishing, crabbing and prawning, it’s sad to see the warmer months behind us. Although the warm, balmy days have declined, April still has plenty on offer for keen anglers.
Barotrauma is a condition that affects fish brought to the surface too quickly. The fish’s swim bladder controls its buoyancy and is inflated and deflated by gas from the blood. However, when an angler brings a fish to the surface too quickly, this gas can’t be reabsorbed fast enough and the swim bladder expands way past its normal limits. The consequence of this is that the fish’s internal organs are crushed, causing the eyes to pop from their sockets and extending the swim bladder out of the fish’s mouth.
April is highly anticipated and welcomed with open arms by the Gladstone fishing community. The wind starts to back off and we get to target new species not necessarily prevalent through the summer months. The days are still warm, which makes fishing more inviting on every level.
So much for autumn starting! March was hot and wet in Bundaberg, so let’s hope April cools down a bit and gives us a chance to get out on the water. April is traditionally the cooling down month of the year, with shorter days and clearer nights, which marks the onset of more stable weather patterns.
The past month has seen some extremely hot conditions for this time of year. This year so far has been a scorcher, and even the Northern Territory has been way hotter than normal. These kind of conditions have made fishing the shallows a little difficult, but when the odd bout of southeasterly winds come through some reasonable barra have been caught in shallows again. Overall it has been a pretty good year on the barra so far, especially considering another failed wet for not just our region but most of northern Australia.
As a boat company, Stessco seems to be on a bit of a roll at the moment. The factory is busy, there’s some keen, young managers in there getting things done, and they are kicking out some great product.
April is a fantastic fishing time of year at the Pin with cooler weather, dropping water temperatures, and plenty of fish on offer. There should still be some banana prawns around in the main channel between Jacobs Well and Cabbage Tree Point, the Logan River, and all the way to the top of Macleay Island. These prawns will attract bigger fish like snapper into the Pin area which makes now a great time of year to catch a few.
All the rain and run-off events, although less than previous years, have significantly helped the newly recruited fish stocks to move up into the freshwater and there has been a massive boom in bait. A lot of this rain did come late February to mid-March from the monsoonal low, ex-cyclone, and it was a welcome relief not to be belted by one this year!
The El Nino has created a desperate lack of activity along the monsoonal trough, with not a single cyclone crossing our coast so far. This can lead to some awesome localised fishing early in the season, especially along the Gulf Coast. However, it does not bode well for later in the dry season and for the years following.
Most anglers have had a bout of cabin fever over the past couple of months so hopefully the crazy wild weather will turn around in April. The target species in April will be varied, and will include blue and striped marlin on the wider grounds and wahoo, Spanish and spotted mackerel on the closer reefs.
It’s looking like being a late finish to the wet this year, so there is hopefully more rain to come this month. The start to the year has been particularly dry, so we certainly need more rain to really give the streams a solid flush out.
Where is the rain? Everyone is asking the same question throughout Far North Queensland and the Cape. The Bureau of Meteorology’s statistics state that our most consistent rains fall throughout February, March and April. February has been a fizzer except for a few very active summer storms that usually hit much earlier in our summer season, so here’s hoping we’ve had some good rain by the time this QFM magazine hits the shelf.
If that sounds like the kind of philosophical question asked by fishers forever, you would be right. Most of the time it’s the question that gets asked when things aren’t going well and often with swear words. Still, it’s an important question when you are stocking fish.
Pelagics has been high on the agenda for most offshore anglers. One particular reef that has been fishing extremely well lately is North Reef off Noosa. With a great variety of fish like yellowfin tuna, big Spanish mackerel and wahoo hanging around, it’s not hard to understand why!
The Redland Bay Amateur Fishing Club is again hosting the Wilson Moreton Bay and Offshore Family Fishing Challenge.
What a pitiful wet season we have had so far in North Queensland, and once again it’s sunshine and blue skies for the foreseeable future. I don’t want to sound like a broken record but we need rain and lots of it. It has been stinking hot, and even some of the battled-hardened locals have been heard complaining about the heat and humidity!
Finally some decent rain has fallen this month giving our farmers a little relief and putting a smile on the local barra fishers’ faces. We saw some minor flooding, which resulted in pockets of fresh run-off, luring many of the local fishers out of the pub, and hooking straight into some great barra fishing.
The Sunshine Coast weather turned it up for a blowy end to summer but this unfortunately limits our ability to venture offshore. The few days we actually did manage proved highly successful. The fish were hungry and on the chew hitting just about any lure or bait we submerged.
Applying yourself to your hobby to try to achieve a result is a nice feeling. It’s even better when you manage to get to where you wanted to go despite setbacks. Not that I’d call fishing a hobby. Maybe a sickness, a passion, an infatuation, a love affair, a sordid secret, a sad addiction or a problem depending on whether you’re talking to me, my significant other, or members of my extended family. Or the Dudds, in which case, fishing is a distraction. It allows the Dudds to get away fr...
Living in Brisbane has given me some great opportunities to fish a wide area of South East Queensland and take advantage of the species that call the waters home. But for me, it doesn’t get any better than arriving at the boat ramp pre-dawn on a calm morning and setting off to target snapper on lures in the shallow waters of Moreton Bay. I started to focus on fishing for snapper around seven years ago and it didn’t take long before I was addicted.
Summer ended on a very hot note with daytime temperatures threatening to break records. As a result, we saw some very good cod fishing in the Ovens and King rivers in the final days of summer. Hopefully, this late season burst of heat leads to a delay in the autumn cod fishing downturn that we experience each season.
In the past month there have been plenty of fish caught in both the Goulburn and Broken rivers. Troll bright green and red diving lures like Old Mates and StumpJumpers in the Goulburn River. The biggest cod reported was an 89cm specimen caught on the edge of a drop-off out towards Bunbartha.
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