Fishing Report – April 5, 2024

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The change in weather as we enjoyed our Easter break has been encouraging for fishing! Just when we were about to give up on any long weekend plans, the rain eased up enough to give us time to get in some good fishing sessions. The baitfish have been schooling throughout the Passage for a few weeks now, and the prawns have really come on, too. As a result, lots of bigger fish are hanging about.

Probably the best places to target bream have been north of the Ningi Creek yellow marker, off Banksia Beach or further north, around Little Goat Island. The rising tide has been the best time to try these spots. There have been some notable snap-offs at times, but some good fish have also been brought in. Will used a wet and windy day to get amongst a few big bream right up inside Ningi Creek. Gallagher’s Gutter and a rising tide did the trick for Michael, who kept two real beauties caught on prawns.

Plenty of grunters and sweetlip have been taking bait in the same area, again on the rising tide. Pilchards and mullet fillet have been popular baits.

There are also some biggish snapper to be found. Until this month, the snapper has been mostly under-sized, but the more mature snapper is showing. South-east breezes and early morning starts are a good strategy for snapper fishing at this time of year. North of the entrance to Pacific Harbour, along past Banksia Beach, is fine so long as you don’t enter the protected area surrounding Kakadu Beach. Keep your boat well away from the shoreline- there are signs indicating where you are allowed to anchor – or drift with the tide! Craig landed a 36cm snapper at a midday high tide, using whitebait off Banksia Beach. Doug caught another at the Ripples, using a pilchard. Blanc had two snapper to show off – both 39cm. He also caught them at the Ripples.

Over on the other side of the Passage, flathead have been going for anything at all. The falling tide has been the best time for flathead fishing. Intermittent showers are helping to cloud up the water at the creek entrances, so the flathead has been jumping at lures or bait. On the Thursday before Easter, two Fishability Qld crews caught enough flathead, bream and snapper between them to feed everyone on Good Friday! They spent most of their time at the Ningi Creek yellow marker, using pilchards and mullet fillet. Aaron also used prawns to catch a big muddy up at Ned’s Gutter.

Ryker’s 37cm bar-tailed flathead was caught near the VMR pontoon on worms— his first-ever fish, so he’s very excited! Scott caught two nice tuskfish and an elbow-slapper whiting at the same spot, but he had the advantage of live yabbies.

There’s been plenty of good news about the crabbing, too. Gerard had his pots just around the corner from Mission Point, left them out overnight and had some goodsized bucks among the very big jennies. Ron and Polly had 20 keepers all up; they “let heaps go that would have been big enough but not huge”. Their four pots were baited with chicken necks and fish frames not far north of Spinnaker Sound Marina. While they were waiting for the crab pots to fill, they fished on the north side of the bridge, near the 7th pylon, catching a 35cm tarwhine, two grinners (for bait), a 31cm bream and five more crabs on the line!