On Tender Hooks
In August we saw a crippling effect on our fishing charter vessels due to COVID with an 85% reduction in trade. We are not sure how the September figures will pan out but we know it will be a mere shadow of normal times in what is typically one of our busiest periods of the year.
In the tropics this is reflected across the tourism business as a whole and our seaside fishing village is reeling. Future cancellations are rampant and it's been a hard pill to swallow watching dollars walk out the door through no fault of our own. At one point it felt like half the country's population was coming to visit our piece of paradise. It's an absolute shame because the weather is idyllic at this time of year and as a package the fishing is awesome across the board.
In the minimal trade we have been able to achieve the reef fishing continues to be a number one choice, and for reason. Coral trout have lead the way in a major way being the main catch. They have been caught in all levels of the water column frequenting more up along the ridges into the shallower water. They may spawn in early October thus the transition from the deep. Accompanying the highly sort after trout have been good dividends for the likes of red emperor and the nannygai duo. They have been bobbing up with regularity and have been sourced in the deeper water 30m plus. Spangled emperor, reef mangrove jack, long nosed emperor and gold spot trevally have continuously put on their guernsey as part of the reef team as well. Spanish mackerel had their big run in the cooler times but they will continue to be part of the outer reef action and will get bigger in size after a good feeding season on the reef.
The small black marlin season has gradually hit it's straps peaking around the start of September. We expect to see them for a touch longer before a real shift in focus turns towards the shelf for the anticipated arrival of the big black marlin. Seasons have changed quickly, almost overnight with warmer day temperatures which in turn rises the sea temperature. They say optimum sea temperature for the marlin congregation is above 27 - 28 degrees and that's not too far away.
This type of water temperature has already awoken the likes of barra and mangrove jack in our calm water coastal systems. The coming weeks are ideal for these highly requested species. We don't receive much rain and the river conditions are aided by good water clarity and handy tides. To add to the side show we'll still have high quality fish on the go including 1m queenfish, stocky golden and river trevally plus the local favourites of good sized fingermark and grunter. These last two mentioned species are just superb on the palate.
As you may get the gest this is the best time of year to be part of the fishing action with all and sundry firing on all cylinders. We pray to see as many of you up here soon to enjoy as to what I describe as the best fishery in the world !