The local systems have had a great flush with the rain late last year, which means the crabs and prawns are on the move and the fish are firing up.
This time of the year everyone is getting ready to target the saltwater barramundi with the season opening at midnight on the 31 January 2021. As soon as the season opens, the tides are quite large so the estuaries are bound to be holding some quality fish, especially the upper reaches of Calliope and Boyne River systems as well as the creeks throughout the narrows.
As the week goes on, the tides are backing off so you can expect fishing in the harbour to come in to play around the rocky headlands. Along with the artificial structures, such as rock walls and even some wharfs and jetties - keep in mind the exclusion zones.
Crabs have been moving throughout the narrows and south trees systems, as well as the harbour around the smaller creeks and mangrove-lined mud flats. It still seems the larger tides on the make to the full and new moon are most productive and, if we continue to get more rain, it should keep them fired up.
There have been reports of some good prawns being cast netted and dilly trapped in Auckland Creek, along with the Calliope and some patches throughout the narrows.
The estuaries are also continuing to produce some great grunter and mangrove jack fishing. Reports are coming in from all over the CQ area and, now the kids are back to school, get out there and enjoy a little less traffic on the water.
The sand flats and yabby beds in the mouth of south trees have seen some beautiful whiting and flathead of late, especially on an incoming tide as the water starts to flood up and over the banks. The run-out can also be very productive for chasing flathead, as they will often lie in ambush waiting for the baitfish and smaller whiting to fall back off the flat with the receding tide. It seems to becoming more popular to chase these fish on swimbait style and large soft plastic lures anywhere up to 200mm in length, as well as the faithful old surface lures like fizzers and walk-the-dogs.
Offshore opportunities are always few and far between this time of year, however when the locals get a chance it’s on with some great reports coming in from out wide. There have been some great captures of red throat emperor and tuskfish around Rock Cod Shoals, and even some beautiful calamari. The wrecks are holding nannygai, cobia, and some nice school mackerel, which is always a great option There are always a few mackerel with in reasonably close range, including Red Dolphin, Bindaree and Moreton star.
For the guys heading to the wider reefs and shoals, there seems to be plenty of joy. There have been great mixed bags of some of the best table fish going. There’s been heaps of coral trout taken on vibes and stickbaits, and even some nice red emperor on the deeper structures.
This last month has seen people from all over flocking to the mighty Lake Awoonga, arguably the hottest barra dam at the moment, in search of the magic metre barramundi. The success is clear throughout social media and YouTube with the majority of people making the effort to get there rewarded for their efforts.
Predictions are the dam will continue to fire and, if we get some more rain, targeting fish on topwater will becoming the style everyone is doing - it’s highly addictive watching the bow wake come flying in then the ever-so-distinct explosion.
The other style of fishing is to get out there directly after rain and fish the run off into the dam, which will often draw small baitfish and therefore drawing the barra. It can make great fun with big numbers if you find the right run off.
For all the latest info on what’s biting and where, drop into the store or give us a call. The team have their finger to the pulse to what is happening in the area, and are sure to point you in the right direction.