Stacey Popp with the 117cm barra caught while with Johnny Mitchell.
Stacey Popp with the 117cm barra caught while with Johnny Mitchell.

Fantastic hauls for fishers as barra season closes

THIS past week with the last quarter lunar phase has been nothing short of spectacular on the fishing front and the only wish was that the big fella was a little more friendly with the wind.

For those who did get out late last week like Thomas Hayes who slipped out with Scotty Wilson and co, managed to bag themselves some nice reds out at Douglas Shoals.

They tell me that last Thursday night they slipped out to the reef and a good time was had by all.

While talking about off shore Tony Lloyd Jones and crew dragged a lure behind their boat on Sunday morning and managed to land this little blue marlin which Darren is holding and subsequently was returned to the water.

Thomas Hayes, Scotty Wilson and Co with their catch of Reds. Photo Contributed
Thomas Hayes, Scotty Wilson and Co with their catch of Reds. Photo Contributed Contributed

They will tend to stick around in packs and often can be found feeding on the schools of bait fish.

Speaking of the reef we are in the middle of the second and final reef fin fish closure which ceases on December 4 at midnight.

There's a lot of confusion in regard to when these closures start because it states that it begins midnight on the 30th and ends at midnight on the 4th.

But the start time is confusing as some might tend to head out last Wednesday thinking the closure begins at midnight of Wed/Thurs.

It probably started one minute past midnight Wednesday morning.

My best advice is for every second which falls on those dates and the time in between is reef fin fish closure.

Better to be safe than sorry.

Barra season closes today at midday as well so if you haven't been out and got a feed by now you might have to wait until midday on the 1st February next year!

You are still able to target them up at the dam and take one home per day, but I have to say that it's more of a trophy if you do because they aren't very flash to eat.

This past week there have been a lot of barra caught though and some real cool stories to go with them like the treat Stacey and Greg Popp had been lining up for months to get on a charter and this particular one was their wedding anniversary and Greg's birthday.

So off they went with Johnny Mitchell and had an absolute cracker day out.

The main thing was that they both wanted to learn new things and as you can seem, both did very well and on this occasion Greg was beaten by the bride whose reported casting techniques came ahead in leaps and bounds.

The score card for Stacey's "awesome" casting technique by Sir Johnny was 11 out of 10!

They ended up with a few with the biggest at 117cm, another at 110cm and the rest between 98cm and 60cm.

A colleague of mine, who has the Raine and Horne franchise at Wagga Wagga, has also been up, and landed himself a 105cm and looks rather happy with himself.

The Toolooa Bends or rather South Trees inlet has been producing some pretty good fingermark these past few weeks.

The harbour and our region is lousy with all these fish at the moment so find yourself a sheltered spot out of the wind and weather and throw a line in.

Mark Oliver has been very successful with these, recently catching them on more than one occasion, even to the point of bagging two in 10 minutes one day not far from the boat ramp.

They love live bait, and lutjanus Johnii would have to be one of the best table fish in the ocean, but be ready for them as they will take you on and if there is any structure around they fight dirty, taking you into that in the effort of breaking the line or snagging up.

Looking towards the weekend the wind is certainly going to keep some off the water but considering that barra and reef fin fish are off the menu, it might be time to return to the basics and chase a good feed of whiting, bream, flathead, threadfin or king salmon and maybe some mangrove jack, grunter or fingermark.

The harbour and our region is lousy with all these fish at the moment so find yourself a sheltered spot out of the wind and weather and throw a line in.

Have a go at some soft plastics around the snags and if you don't know how to work them, try casting into the swimming pool and watch how the lure behaves when you twitch it or raise and lower the tip of your rod.

Finally there are some pretty good grabs around at the moment so with these big tides, get those pots right into the tops of the creeks and drains but hide them if you can as some have been raiding pots up through Grahams Creek this week, which isn't very nice.

I don't think I'd like to be on the receiving end if someone was actually caught.

Hooroo Dags