Barramundi forecast bodes well for the Boyne
THURSDAY'S king tide may have discouraged some anglers from wetting a line on the first day of barramundi open season but the outlook over the next few months is tipped to be positive for the Boyne River.
The 2018 open season began at noon on Thursday, only a matter of hours after the king tide peaked at 4.8m.
It's no secret that many estuary anglers despise king tides, with the massive tidal runs between high and low tide causing dirty water, making it even tougher for fish to see baits and lures.
Daytime high tides were predicted to reach 4.53m and 4.26m on Saturday and Sunday.
The Boyne River remains the best location to snare the prized species according to data from Infofish Australia's 2018 Crystal Bowl forecast for barramundi in the Gladstone Region.
The 2018 outlook has stock levels remaining steady due to the additional fish that spilled from Lake Awoonga in April and October.
Catch rates will also remain steady at 2-2.4 fish per fisher day, with that figure elevated in the Boyne.
Bill Sawynok from Infofish Australia said the number of legal-sized fish should remain steady, although last year's spills didn't push many barra beyond the Boyne as first thought.
"The numbers weren't sufficient enough to really kick up the catch rate anywhere other than in the Boyne River," Mr Sawynok said.
"The April (spill) should have pushed the fish further out than the Boyne and in the October one the flow wasn't big enough to really push them too far out.
"What we've found is there are very few of those Boyne fish that have left the Boyne.
"So we'll see an elevated catch rate within the Boyne River - we've forecast 2-2.4 (fish per fisher day), but in the Boyne it's more likely to be three to four."
Mr Sawynok said Infofish Australia would conduct separate assessments for the Boyne River and Lake Awoonga at the end of the 2018 open season.
Local anglers Sam and Jess Hall launched their boat from Trevor Laver Boat Ramp at South Trees Inlet yesterday but were targeting "a variety of things" with barramundi not necessarily on the menu.
"We've had a bit of success here and there. We've just upgraded (the boat) to make life a little bit easier," Sam said.
Commercial netting activity on the Boyne River will open from May 1.
Read more about Infofish Australia's 2018 Crystal Bowl forecast here.