Gearing up for a Big Month
In more recent times we started to see the south east trade winds ease as the day time mercury level shifted to the next level. Forecasts predict it is going to be an extremely hot and dry summer period in the tropics this year.
With better sea conditions to head offshore anglers have taken advantage and found the fishing to be quite productive. Coral trout have made a move into the shallows at certain sections of the reef and is all based around their spawning congregation. The general opinion is that the October new moon is when the bulk of the spawning will occur this year. Following the spawn is when the trout can really let loose having gone through a bit of a fasting period prior. Timing is everything to catch these prized fish in that really aggressive mood.
It has been a great time to chase the 'Reds' in the open water. Red emperor and large mouth nannygai have been the targeted species. Firstly you have to find your ground such as gravel patches and isolated reefs in 40 to 70 metres. The best results are 4 days to the day of a dark (new) moon, with the second best period the same on a full moon. A rising tide has always seemed to produce the best results even at night time. Big fresh fillet baits on ganged/snelled hooks (8/0-10/0) is a typical set up for day or night. Artificials during daylight also have their moments if you are prepared to work and will get the results. Some local favourites for artificials are Nomad Vertrex, Squidtrex and Beserker Meat Heads 300g if the current is strong.
The reef itself has also been a good time to troll up some great spanish mackerel and different tuna schools on the light tackle gear. Outside on the shelf there's more bonuses to be experienced such as yellowfin tuna and wahoo on the light tackle gear. There's a bit more travel time involved to reach the shelf but this is the time of year to be attempting this especially with better conditions. To take it to the next level there's been plenty of encounters on the big black marlin already and this will only improve and the fish get bigger as the big females turn up from the Coral Sea to breed with the smaller male models. The experts like to skip decent sized tuna or scaly mackerel on the surface or swim queenfish and scad below. All signs are leading to an exciting Port Douglas Marlin Challenge Tournament scheduled for mid November over 4 days with registrations still open.
Our main rivers in the region such as the Daintree have fished very consistently for a variety of ripping fish such as fingermark, 1m queenfish, golden trevally, river trevally and barramundi. There's still a great window of opportunity remaining before the days get too hot to fish during the day. Live bait supply remains healthy and will always attract more attention. For those that can handle the heat, soft plastics and lures have been productive especially on the turn of both tides amongst timbered areas.
As you can tell we are gearing up for a big month of fishing in the tropics and all indicators are very positive.