February 2011 Fishing Report

Sharks, Wind, Rain, What A Battle

Well, it hasn’t exactly been the best month for charter fishing.

Between strong winds, massive tides, sharks and continuous wet season rains, the crew have been working hard to get fish. The skipper of our charter boat Mako, Brad Everett revealed that fishing has been difficult offshore. He reported that the rapid tidal movement associated with the 6m plus tides has made fishing in the deeper water difficult.

“We’d be drifting fast and then when we did go over the GPS marks, the fish were there,” he said. “Unfortunately though, the sharks were also around and weren’t about to lets us get away with our captures. The punters were hooking really good fish and it was just breaking my heart to see the sharks move in time and time again,” he added.

coral troutFurther out and near the reef, Brad has been finding a few pockets of coral trout, but there have been very few larger specimens, however this could be due to the fact that the winds and currents have kept the boats from effectively fishing the deeper reef.

On a brighter note, the cobia are still about; with several nice fish taken this month. Cobia will sit off the bottom and are exciting to target on jigs. We’ve had a lot of success with soft plastics and slower-actioned ‘octo’ jigs.

The trick is to use a heavy leader – 100lb-plus – and a fast actioned rod in order to effectively work the jig and cushion the strike as the cobia hits. These are a hard fighter and will run long and hard before being subdued, so buckle up for a battle if you get a big one!

They are also excellent eating and should be cooked up fresh – on the BBQ is especially good.

Inshore, the rivers and estuaries are very, very dirty and fishing has been difficult to say the least. Pushing up the river and inland creeks like Cattle and Teemburra is probably your best bet and those that have been doing the miles are landing plenty of small barra, sooty grunter and the odd mangrove jack. Keep your gear light for added excitement and employ small minnows, spinnerbaits and soft plastics.

Fishing Charter SunsetIf you’re after a feed of seafood then a cast net and a crab pot will be your weapons of choice this month. Crabs have been on the march and big bucks are coming from the mouths of many local estuaries; however, due to the big tides, it has been imperative to find somewhere safe and out of the main current for pots.

Also, it pays to use fresh baits and check your pots regularly, as debris washed downstream will often clog openings and impede the effectiveness of your trap.

Prawns are also worth targeting and are of good size in many creeks around Sarina and Seaforth. Target your gulleys around the fronts of the smaller creeks at low tide and watch out for crocodiles as they have been especially active lately. If you don’t want to travel, local creeks like MCcReady’s and Barns have been holding prawns if you’re willing to work for them.

Lastly, on the impoundment front, Teemburra is still fishing hard and anglers are really having to spend a lot of hours on the water to find fish. Kinchant and Proserpine however, are producing some really good catches of metre-plus barra on trolled lures and slowly retrieved soft plastics.

Well, that’s about it for this month, and it’s time to start looking ahead. Book early, as we’ve got some very exciting mothershipping operations and liveaboard trips onboard Mako, going ahead towards the second half of this year. With the inshore waters fishing as they are, they will be a great opportunity to get back into some serious fish!

For more information, or to check out some of the action from previous long-range trips, check out our website charter rates.