WITH one of the reef fin fish closures out of the way last Sunday at midnight and a public holiday last Monday many took full advantage of the good weather but you really didn't have to travel too far according to Rodney Milne who was down at the Boyne River mouth at the weekend and latched onto a pretty big fish.

Rapidly running out of line, someone offered him a lift in their boat to chase the fish, and after a bit of a battle this 1m-plus cobia was landed.

Now, catching a cobia on gear, which wasn't meant to catch big fish is one thing, but catching one off the beach I reckon is pretty much unheard of.

Well done Rodney.

Another excited fisherman was Corey Rankin, who landed his first red emperor last week, but it was no ordinary red, as it measured 90cm, and weighed about 14kg.

He was fishing in 50m of water, but using a humble prawn for bait.

This time around the last quarter and new moon lunar phase really heat things up on the fishing front, and also in the aggregation zones, where hundreds of trout and other species, gather to spawn and that is the reason why we have reef closures.

Another closure that is looming is the barra season, which finishes at midday on November the first.

Mark that down on the calendar.

There are heaps around at the moment both in the slat and also caught up in the fresh above Mann's Weir and Pikes Crossing.

I doubt these will get out to the salt unless we have a huge amount of rain and that isn't on the horizon.

There's not a great deal of tucker up there for them and some are getting pretty skinny.

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: Matt Branthwaite holds up a solid north-west red emperor caught last Tuesday.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: Matt Branthwaite holds up a solid north-west red emperor caught last Tuesday. Contributed

I mentioned last week about my lad Matty venturing up there on a stand up paddle board to catch some barra and the photo last week told the story.

He also filmed all the action via two go pro cameras, one mounted on the front of the board, and the other on a head strap.

His brother Dan is a dab hand at editing, and they came up with this awesome little clip, which has gone nuts since it went up on the web last Friday night.

Places like Turich Rocks, up behind Riverstone Rise, and upstream to Harbottles Crossing, have been producing excellent barra in the Boyne River

Looking ahead at the weather for the weekend, and also the moon phases, shows both are set to be pretty good.

The first quarter is on the go now bringing small tides and less current.

The breeze is coming in from the north and it will be warm over the weekend and, at the time of writing this, tomorrow about noon it looks as though it'll drop down around the 5 knot mark and repeat this again on Sunday.

Most of the time though it looks as though about 10 knots will be the norm and those venturing from Gladstone will most likely head for the southern side of Northwest or Broomfield or even Sykes, Lamont or the southern side of Fitzroy reefs.

The swell will most likely be north-easterly but not much at all.

In close to shore my picks would be chasing whiting along the Lillies, or in Colosseum, or else getting stuck into the jack, barra and whatever else in the harbour, Grahams, or in the Calliope.

There are loads of bait fish about at the moment and the fish are on the chew!

I was chatting to Mick, who has Reel Smooth, a rod, and reel repair business, which also sells band a little tackle, and we talked about how good we actually have it here, with the huge varieties of species and terrain we can target.

He agreed with me that many don't know how lucky we are, you just have to get out there.

Hooroo Dags