FISHING GLORY: A nice barramundi put up a fight at Lake Awoonga.
FISHING GLORY: A nice barramundi put up a fight at Lake Awoonga.

'Tis the season to be fishing

TOP SPOTS, with Darryl Branthwaite

Darryl Branthwaite.

DON'T you just love spring time in the tropics, with flowering mango trees, warm sunny days, school holidays and big bait schools.

This whole region is lousy with bait at present which only means one thing: pelagics.

Longtail, and the odd yellow fin tuna, plus mackerel, cobia, and juvenile black marlin are in the region, feasting on the abundance of food all the way along our coast.

This should last for the next month or so and while some, such as Lagoons Resort manager and keen angler Simon Della Santa, call them "rats” I am yet to catch one.

I have had them up behind the boat a few times but never on the line, instead ending up with a longtail tuna, which happens to taste pretty good, by the way.

Decent leader, tight and secure knots, strong sharp hooks and plenty of line on the reel is required and if it's old line on there then ditch it because if you had the fish of your dreams you want to have everything spot on.

This past week has been glorious with the big fella providing some sensational weather right across the region.

Those chasing the big red emperor did very well, with some excellent numbers and sizes caught off 1770 and out beyond Sykes Reef and Guthrie Shoal.

Inshore the fishing was just as good, with some big barra and solid fingermark and grunter being caught.

Some are holding up some pretty solid muddies after the big tides off the new moon but this weekend the tides are different.

With the first quarter the tides are small with very little run.

By the looks of the weather predictions the wind could drop off tomorrow, and Sunday morning looks amazing.

It could be the ideal time to fish the deep (50-100m) stuff outside of Sykes, Fitzroy and Boult Reefs or you could go further north beyond Guthrie Shoal and attack the big reds and pearl perch which love the deep, cool currents.

There are bigger billfish out that way also so brace yourself.

You can hire a boat at Lake Awoonga and, with the weather and water temperatures rising to about 24 degrees on the surface the fishing is becoming more active.

Expect one-metre-plus barramundi lurking in the quiet bays, in the weed beds and around the dead timber.

To be successful on lake Awoonga, however, requires you to be in stealth mode and not make a sound with motors, anchors and chains when approaching your spot.

The same applies when you see someone else fishing a bay.

Stay well clear of them so you don't upset their spot otherwise you will have one very upset angler screaming at you for being inconsiderate.

Nevertheless others might choose to buy a permit from Boyne Bait n Tackle and slip up to Lillys Beach for some whiting and a game of cricket, while others, like me, could be glued to the TV watching the battle of Bathurst all day on Sunday.

One last thing: this month's coral reef fin fish closure is October 28 to November 1 and every second which falls on those dates.

Enjoy your weekend.