06
Mar

Last month turned out to be a good month, no barra yet but I did get boofed a couple of times one morning fishing before sunset.

Managed to get out to the reef twice, once on a charter and once an invite from some locals Steve, Mark and Jamie (many thanks to Christine for the invite).

The charter was fairly quiet most of the day, then one mark turned up a couple of coral trout within 10 minutes of each other for me. The larger one, which looks tiny in the photo fought really well all the way to the boat. Dad came along and managed a just legal small mouth nannygai and dropped a few good fish, but learned a lot in the process 🙂

coral-trout

The other trip out was on a local boat. Although we did very well off the first mark, the weather played havoc and the all nighter turned into a bit of a mission making it hard to stay on marks. The guys were onto the fish fast with some nice small mouth, a couple of cracking Maori Sea Bream, a green job fish, tomato cod, 2 stinking trevally, 2 baby jacks. I did manage a nice 70cm large mouth nannygai off some rubble while drifting which after catching 6 large spangled emperor in succession followed by a tiny cod, it was great to see. Gave the little jig stick a solid work out.

reef

There were a few land based sessions throughout Feb, most resulting in bust ups, lost fish or nothing. Caught that resident shovel nose again lol. A bit of tilapia culling, a baby salmon on a lure on the beaches and really not much. Tony caught this Sand bass, a rare catch, but so cute.

hookup

shovelnose

photo 1

photo 2

I’ve been buying a bit of gear lately too, which isn’t really a surprise, and I’ll do a post about that separately. But the above reef trips gave me a good chance to test a light jig rod I have and it’s outdone itself so far. Even though it only had a 4000XG sized Shimano Vanquish LE on it, where it really needs a 6-8000 sized Shimano, it still knocked over the two trout, spangleys and the nanny making for some good fun angling on light gear.

I really want to start doing some light jigging now, with madai, inchiku and slow jigging techniques. Also some micro jigging would be fun during the day. Looks like I need a boat now haha!!

14
Jul

Went out to a local reef close to Cairns. Overcast and calm day on the water. While we were going trolling for Mackeral, they were too busy chasing a big bait school around and it was nearly impossible to follow. Instead we drifted the shallows casting small and medium sized lures.

Mark got smashed by a good sized coral trout that he just couldn’t stop, a different rod and reel maybe. He had no chance, but it was entertaining none the less. Would have been an impressive and big fish. He also had a huge hit while trolling, we presume it was another coral trout, this one bricked him before long and bent the metal bib on one of his larger ‘swains special’ trolling lures. Not the best day for Mark, but I think next time he’ll be better prepared!! He did catch a mother-load of small Dwarf spotted rockcod (wire netting cod) and Hexagon rockcods.

I mentioned to Mark that I was going to catch a coral trout as I haven’t caught one yet on a lure. I cast out as far as possible at the edge of the coral drop off and the lure got nailed. Feeling a good weight and the fish taking off tight drag, I went pretty hard on the fish. I don’t like being bricked on shallow reef, nor did I want to lose one of my favourite (impossible to get) lures. No less than 30 seconds after my initial statement I’d caught a bar cheeked coral trout (Plectropomus maculatus). Stoked! How good is that?

Bar Cheeked Coral Trout, Plectropomus maculatus

Also another cod, that I assume is a blue spot rockcod (Cephalopholis cyanostigma?), although I’m not sure as the flanks of it’s fins were not the right colour, but I can’t find anything closer. **It’s a Coral Cod (Cephalopholis miniata)!** I also caught a heap of small assorted rod cods, greedy little buggers can’t resist a paused lure sometimes and they will hit anything, even lures bigger than themselves!

Coral Cod, Cephalopholis miniata

And lastly caught a flowery cod (Epinephelus fuscoguttatus) that put up a hell of a fight for a small fish.

Flowery Rockcod, Epinephelus fuscoguttatus

Great day out on the water casting lures, perfect. Looks like we found some good spots and we’re starting to map out where the good coral patches are and areas that hold trout.