Storms expected to impact fishermen this weekend
ANGLERS will have to prepare themselves for some rough conditions on the region's waterways this weekend as severe weather is expected to play a part.
The Bureau of Meteorology predicts the first storms of the season will roll into Mackay from Friday resulting in difficult conditions on the water this weekend.
A weak ridge over northern Queensland waters will be maintained over the next couple of days as a high pressure system moves across the Tasman sea.
The storms are expected to have a greater impact on areas south and west of Mackay, which means some popular dams and creeks may be impacted.
Fishing spots that may be potentially impacted by the storms include Kinchant Dam, Sandy Creek, Rocky Dam Creek, Eungella Dam and the Pioneer River.
Fishermen who decide to go out to these locations will have to prepare for thunderstorms with localised heavy falls as well as wind gusts in excess of 90km/h.
In terms of rainfall, around 20mm of rain is expected to fall throughout the region which may leave many fishermen deciding to stay indoors this weekend.
Clint Hassan, of Tackle world Mackay said he would be cautious about the forecast for the weekend.
"To be perfectly honest, I would not abandon any plans to get out on the water this weekend, I'll probably see how Friday afternoon's looking first," Mr Hassan said.
"From what I've heard, the wind might be the biggest factor this weekend, there will be a few north-easterly's hanging around which might be becoming a bit tricky to deal with during the day".
This weekends storms are expected to stir conditions up on the waterways and Mr Hassan believes anglers should stay inshore.
"Storms can play a big part offshore, a squall of storms can chop your sea up pretty quick so I'd be very careful going out there if the weather turns rough," he said.
The predicted rough weather breaks a string of weeks where the sun has been out in the skies although the wind has been ramping up in recent weeks.
Catches of Spanish Mackeral have been increasing in recent months and Mr Hassan believes there is still plenty to get your hands on.
"There's been a bit of Spanish Mackeral around the Harbour at the moment, Flat Top and Round Top Islands have also been getting plenty of decent Mackeral catches," he said.
The creeks and estuaries are expected to be a better spot compared to offshore fishing this weekend.
Mr Hassan said that the creeks and estuaries would provide fishermen with plenty of fish to catch and believes land based anglers should check out Bakers Creek.
"The creeks will still be worth checking out this weekend, there's been some Mangrove Jack and some Brim popping up which is good to see," he said.
"Barramundi is still on the chew in the creeks, there is also heaps of King Salmon and Blue Salmon catching on there as well".
The expected rain won't be enough for the mudcrabs to start firing and Mr Hassan believes much more will be needed.
"We will need a bit more than a couple storms for the mudcrabs and the prawns to get going this year, we need a few inches until they really start coming out," he said.
"It's been a bit of a rough season for them because of how dry it's been but hopefully we get a bit more rain so we start seeing more of them".
October is the month where squid and ribbon fish species start spawning which has started to occur in Murray and Constant creeks.
Mr Hassan has stuck to inshore fishing over the past few weeks and says he will be looking to do the same this weekend.
"The wind has impacted offshore fishing a fair bit in the past couple of weeks, it's been quite lumpy out there," he said.
"I've been mainly chasing Barramundi and King Salmon, we actually got some really big Flathead on live baits down at Notch Point which is another area that might be good this weekend".
While the weather may be a bit rough this weekend, Mr Hassan advises anyone who still wants to go out to check out a few of the creeks before the weather gets bad.
"I would stick to the creeks this weekend, Bakers Creek, Alligator Creek and Sandy Creek will be great in the early morning depending on the weather, so give yourself plenty of time in case there's a bit of rain," he said.
The storms are expected to clear on Sunday with rain easing throughout the morning which will encourage anglers to hook a few lines in the afternoon.
Temperatures are expected to reach the high 20's this weekend which will encourage anglers to think about heading out despite the storms.