Weekend tipped to become nasty on the water
IF YOU were intending to visit the reef, and you are not out on water now, then you might've missed your opportunity this weekend.
By lunch time, or soon after, the real nice conditions are about to become rather nasty, with the breeze expected to pick up to around 20 knots this afternoon.
It should continue through Saturday and maybe Sunday it might drop off slightly.
Next week the second closure comes into effect on Wednesday, October 30, at midnight, through till midnight on Monday, November 4, taking in the new moon lunar cycle.
At present the last quarter is the go with little tides, very little run which has heaps of advantages like targeting those waters which usually have loads of current racing over and through them.
The likes of the areas between Tide, Witt and Turtle islands and Curtis Island certainly gets its fair share of current and at times, on the big tides, you would swear you were in the Kimberlys, with pressure waves and back eddies everywhere.
These are the place where you will find those predatory species like jack, barra, finger mark and bream as they sit just out of the current behind a rock, a ledge or a snag waiting for the tucker to swim on past!
Soft plastics and hard-bodied lures go extremely well and even a light weighted bait floated down the current can normally bring success.
Speaking of barra, the season for those is rapidly drawing to a close on next Friday, November 1, at midday, and won't reopen again until February 1 at midday next year.
This gives them the opportunity to spawn up the top of some of our creeks and river systems in the region.
With the weather warming up Awoonga Dam is starting to produce some good fish and during the closed barra season you are still able to target them and also take one per day per person from the impoundment areas.
For those chasing whiting, and flathead, the Lillies, Colosseum, Mundoolin, Seven Mile, and over at Facing, and South End have been coughing up some very healthy specimens with plenty of summeries around, but in regard to the flathead make sure you are aware of the size limits.
The big girls we need to take a photo of and release.
If you do manage to get out on Sunday, take full advantage of the small tide run, and target the deep stuff.
Quite often we all fish too shallow (15-25m) and only come up with fish which are barely of legal length, but look around for a bit of structure like a bommie or some weed which will stand up on the turn of the tide and have a go at that.
The bigger, more adult fish, especially red emperor will be in that water 35-55m deep and sometimes deeper.
A year or so ago I ventured out with Grant Cooper and co to the 100m gradient line beyond Sykes Reef and believe it or not I pulled up a weetlip from there! Amazing.
Plenty of pearl perch, and lumpy napper at those depths too, but you really do need to have decent lead on the end.
A mate of mine, Darren Box, who owns Boyne Island Bait and Tackle, which is for sale if you are interested, just loves fishing those deeper areas chasing reds, trout, and decent lipper between the 35m and 60m.
When fishing those depths though, you do need to slow your drift right down, and this can be achieved with a drogue, or a sea anchor, which is basically a big parachute out behind the boat.
Another thing to remember is that it's important that if you have two or three people fishing the bottom, that they should all have basically the same weight on their lines, as this helps prevent tangling with the other fishermen as you drift along.
Nothing worse that dropping your line down 30 or 40 metres only to get caught up with old mate beside you and both of you spend the next 30 mins trying to untangle everything.
If you do get out, make sure you log on to VMR Gladstone, channel 82 VHF, and let them know where you are going.
Things can happen right when you don't want them too.
Have a great weekend!