As we come out of the one of the biggest wet seasons ever recorded in the Far North and challenged our existence at times, the silver lining moving forward is that the harvest will be a bumper this year in fishing terms. This is already evident across the board and we've only just begun to reap the rewards.

Along the coast and also within our major water tributaries off the mountains the results have been solid. You make hay whilst the sun is shining and the coastal reefs are attracting some mackerel and a few hefty sized large mouth nannygai. There continues to be a really healthy supply of bait along the coast and this can turn it into a really vibrant environment. The prediction is that the month of April will be extremely prosperous along the coastline of the Port Douglas region.

Within the rivers and estuaries it has been down to business targeting barra, mangrove jack and fingermark. There’s only a certain window when these top notch species are fair game and in an enthusiastic mood. Many of the barra have been above average between the 72-80cm range, fingermark to 55cm and jacks to 45cm. Live baits are the preference as you can place these right into the strike zone. Highly good lure casting is essential to even closely match the effectiveness of live bait using 4 inch soft plastics or hard body lures which is not as easy as it sounds. These bites are happening right in amongst some serious structure with the turn of the tides being the time to fish hard.This purple patch of fishing will last well into May.

With our traditional wet season ticking along nicely and flushing the creeks and rivers out, it's pushing plenty of bait schools wide to the outer reef. Surface water temperature is still up there but will decline as the days roll on and will bring the reef into its prime. The bottom fishing has been consistent with good quality coral trout, nannygai, spangled emperor and red emperor coming onboard. Wonky holes between the mainland and edges of the outer reef are firing and they have been producing some monster model Large Mouth Nannygai and Cod on the shorter trips.

There are also plenty of Spanish Mackerel around on the outer reef proper, if you know where the bait schools are holding and always a great option if you want to go light tackle sportfishing. Trolling various depth hard body lures at around 5-6 knots has and will find the strike zone. Lately it has been the 6-8m depth range working best but this will push closer to the surface as the days cool down. 5-14kg varieties were as hungry as a pack of wolves and once the tight catching regulations on Spanish mackerel are met you can revert to alternative methods and target the abundance of tuna life working the top water on similar grounds. In short it's going to be a good light tackle season. 
We've planted the hardship seeds in the Far North for a while now and now it's your turn to come and visit and enjoy the spoils.