FISHING: Good fish around islands and nearby reefs
MACKEREL, sweetlip, cod, parrot, trevally, cobia, coral trout, red emperor and nannies have been at plenty of local spots around the islands and nearby reefs.
Much of the year the wider the better is the rule for big reds, rosy jobfish and the bigger sweetlip, from now until now until August is the exception.
When we get to a chosen destination we find there is no point in stopping unless there are fish on the sounder. This doesn't always have to be big stuff, bait schools are still worth a drop. Sooner or later the predators turn up and the action starts.
There has been a few spanish mackerel with some horse cobia smashing anything looking like bait and really testing terminal tackle to extreme.
The better baits are pillies, bonito and ribbonfish until the little white baits move in. This means a change in tactics.
Mack tuna and northern blues are arriving again in large numbers following the baitfish schools. The average size of the baits is about 50mm and the tunas and mackies tend to avoid the bigger chrome slugs and jigs in favour of smaller chromies. Flashas, bumper bars and lasers have been doing the job although red and white feather jigs should be a part of the tackle box.
Doggies (school mackerel) have slowly started moving in from the wider areas. They will increase in the coming weeks. Schools of spotted mackerel have been moving into the bay in small numbers and as the month wears on spotties are going to show up at some of their usual spots. Spotties don't hang around for long until later in the year.
Barra, mangrove jack, fingermark, bream, flathead and mudcrabs have shown across most of the local systems. Mud crabs were in supply again mostly full with stacks of good sized bucks heading for the cooker.
The rain in the last week has moved them downstream from previous weeks and the mouths of the creeks may be the place to try first up. Coorooman Creek, The Causeway Lake, Pumpkin Creek, The Narrows, Corio and The Port Alma area are all going okay.
There are some nice sized prawns about, if the rain continues they will fatten quicker and move down stream. Corio Bay and Waterpark Creek has shown a bit of promise and there was some queenies and small trevally taken on flashas at the heads.
Grunter, though a bit inconsistent, remains on the increase in Waterpark, Fitzroy and Coorooman. Some of the grunter taken in the previous few days have weighed in nicely around 2-3kg mark. They took decent frozen river prawns over other baits. They can be nailed on greenback herring, small poddy mullet, squid and occasionally on pillies.
Look for holes or cockle beds and even drop offs along mud banks. Grunter feed stronger around the full moon and in some places they also like to chew on the dark nights.
Thanks to Bluefin Sports, The Secret Spot, Kalka Bait and Tackle, Rosslyn Bay Kiosk, Stanage Bay Marine and Cooee Bay Marine, the locals who not only support the fishing column but also the fishing and boating community across the whole of CQ. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org Send your emails or photos in to be eligible for next $50 voucher draw.