Red Hot Fishing FNQ
Right on cue this year the air temperature went from comfortable to a bit hot under the collar around the end of October. In accordance water temperatures also rose moderately. Moving forward into the hottest time of the year for several weeks to come the fishing will take on a new landscape. The upside is calm water conditions should remain stable for awhile to come still allowing anglers to explore the vast opportunities available in the area including night fishing opportunities.
We'll start with the ever popular reef fishing on the Great Barrier Reef itself. To be honest it has been quite sensational and the catches post spawn have been through the roof. Coral trout, large mouth nannygai and extra large red emperor have certainly made their mark, not only in size but in significant numbers. As the days move forward they will move back down into deeper waters to 30m plus and ride their time out during the hotter periods. The ride to this point has been one of the best we've seen in quite a few years. It will be interesting to see if the momentum maintains as each day seems to get warmer and the variable winds can make fishing a bit more challenging. Interestingly the spanish mackerel have seemed to have dried up on the reef itself and only being caught intermittently of larger size as individuals.
For those a bit more adventurous the Gt popper fishing and stick baiting across the pressure points of reefs has been very productive and the calmer conditions at this time of year certainly aid spotting the nervous bait schools. We've seen a lot of models around 15-20kg and up towards 25kg on occasions with specialist guides and anglers.
Going up a notch or two the heavy tackle marlin season really has taken off since mid October and that initial run of great weather ignited the big black marlin into gear. Reports have been solid from the north along the Ribbon Reefs right down to our famous Linden Bank. It has been common for these Formula One vessels to complete up to 3-4 tags a day on average and some better. This year seems to be the one that reiterates why we are the best big black marlin fishery in the world. Put it on your list as a 'must do' experience.
For the small boat brigade the coastal and river fishing has been awesome and really great value. The bottom fishing has been exceptional in regards to large mouth nannygai and bar cheek trout. Certain coastal reefs holding good bait are also seeing good numbers of giant trevally which have come up out of the surrounding deeper waters. Estuary fishing has been good for the likes of mangrove jack and proper river systems have been littered with a run of good sized trevally and a heap of fun on the light gear. Add to this tarpon schools, fingermark in the channels and accidental barra amongst the snags, the rivers have been on fire with some great tides at this time of year. The upper reaches such as the Daintree have been seeing fish way further up the system than normal.
Moving forward we hope the tourist trade picks up and most businesses up here have been running at around 30-40% for a long time now and it has been a real challenge. If you get the chance get up here before the wet season takes hold join us and enjoy some genuine good fishing tropical FNQ style.