Testing out the winning boat for the Observer Boyne Tannum Hook Up for 2013 at Lake Awoonga Dam, (left) Sam Amos, 12, Cody Amos, 14, Keagan Amos, 16, Ned Beaumont, Jeff Amos.
Testing out the winning boat for the Observer Boyne Tannum Hook Up for 2013 at Lake Awoonga Dam, (left) Sam Amos, 12, Cody Amos, 14, Keagan Amos, 16, Ned Beaumont, Jeff Amos. Brenda Strong

Time to think about HookUp attack plan, check fishing gear

WITH only a week until the largest family fishing event in Australia starts at Bray Park, Boyne Island, it's time to check all the gear and start planning the attack for the weekend.

With the outlook over the next few days being not all that brilliant, winds and seas rising, one needs to have a fall back-up plan in case you can't get to where you wanted to go out on the reef.

The Boyne Tannum Hookup is all about the biggest fish in the species, and not about how many you can catch.

Many of the biggest fish, being Spanish mackerel, are caught at places such as Rundle Island, Jenny Lind Bank, or Bustard Head, using big fresh baits, or live baits.

With the event four weeks earlier in the year than the previous 16 years, things could be a little different.

The last quarter of the lunar phase is happening over that weekend, meaning smaller tides and run.

This should bring into play those deep spots over 50 metres, which hold the big reds, and snapper.

It also has an effect on the behaviour of the fish where they are a lot more active and for those chasing trout, and lipper you should be well rewarded, so long as the big fella sorts the weather out.

Inshore things will be really firing with the water being a little warmer at the start of May.

Firstly, the barra will be quite active, and if you know your spots, the likes of fingermark, mangrove jack and salmon will be targeted.

The whole region is in such good nick at the moment with loads of bait, and prawns in the system.

Most of the in shore species are live categories, where you are required to either measure, photograph and release, or else keep them alive, so that they can be tagged measured, and released.

They must stay alive in the recovery tank for a set time to qualify, though.

Organisation of the rules and the event has evolved over many years of trial and error.

I was part of this right from the word go, back in 1995, but now I need my life back and retired from it a year or so ago.

But the evolution doesn't stop and little, subtle changes happen every year, so make sure you know the rules.

To run an event such as this requires a lot if dedication by the team, and also a lot of involvement by sponsors.

Do yourself a favour and check out who is sponsoring and where you can, support them.

Finally make sure your emergency stuff is up to scratch and that you are also a member of VMR Gladstone.

It looks like you will all need to have a chat with the big fella, to sort the weather.