Crabs are steady, while down on previous years there is still a good feed to be had
Better late than never. The Little Howard finally hit full speed over the last set of spring tides. I had been for a walk up onto the flood plains and seen the masses of bait up there and new it would have to come out eventually. On the eight meter tide last Saturday my wife Narelle and I went for a short fish up there and landed a couple of nice fish including a 102cm cracker. The bait had just started to find its way into the river. As the week went on and the tides started to recede the bait started pouring of the flood plains into the river and the Barra just went off. We were hooking onto 15 to 20 fish a day and every boat I spoke to were catching fish. The barra were spewing up masses of Scats when you caught them and were in great condition. As the tides moved into the neaps the fish went quiet, probably full from the feeding frenzy they had had earlier in the week.
Crabs are steady, while down on previous years there is still a good feed to be had
I always maintain the equinox is the start of the run off season and this year has been no exception. Although because of the lack of wet season this year the fishing has not been at its best we have still been getting into some good fishing. On the day off the equinox we bagged 6 barra including a nice 92cm fish and if it wasnt for the pesky bull sharks stealing all of our baits we would have done a lot better. Both high and low tide fishing have been producing and even the neap tides have been good. Fishing on the neaps on Thusday we bagged seven fish and lost a lot more and today on the neaps we bagged 4 fish including a 101cm thunper caught by Dean Robinson.
Crabs have been a little patchy with some days producing good numbers and some days being very tough. The good news now though is they are all pretty full
In what has been the quietest build up i have seen since doing tours in Shoal Bay there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel. The last few weeks has been very encouraging.
The big rain we had in December has got the run off creeks running clean. Usually this first big rain makes the creeks flow muddy but there was enough rain to make them run clean. While it is still a bit early for these run off creeks to really perform on some of the best tides there has been a bit of action. On one session after the last springs we boated six barra and had a few others missed. A couple of the fish were swamp fish showing the flood plains have a bit of water up there. If we can get a bit more rain over the next month I think we will be in foe a reasonable run off season in Shoal Bay.
Low tide fishing has really picked up in the last couple of weeks with catches of five or more the norm. One trip last week we hooked up to over a dozen fish but inexperienced anglers meant a lot were lost.
Mud crabs are slowly starting to show up in better sizes and are getting fuller by the day
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After what has been a long hard dry season finally some good news. Water temps have been slowly rising over the past week and a half and the barra are liking it. With a constant temp of over 25 degrees and even hitting as high as 28 in places the fish are finally staring to get active.
Late last week fishing the low tide in the Little Howard saw us bag couple of nice barra and over the neap tides this week fishing the high tide we managed six fish on Monday and two on Wednesday and losing another five. Friday saw us back in the Little Howard fishing the low and bagging four quality fish.
Really big Blue Salmon have also been common among the catch.
Crabs Have been patchy and got very hard over the neaps but have picked up again as the tides have increased.
To say the fishing has been hard is a understatement. While we have been catching a few fish there have been quite a few days where we havnt managed a bite. There have been a few Blue Salmon about but the Barra have been elusive. One notable catch this week was a 101cm fish by Louise Schwarze from Victoria. Louise commented she would have been happy catching the bait as I tossed out the 15 inch mullet which accounted for the big girl. Louises farther Dennis at lost a couple of fish earlier in the day but this was the only barra we landed for the day.
Crabs are still about but are starting to show signs of slowing as they usually do at this time of year.
With a early start to the cold weather this year the fishing has been tough. Early in May we lost five degrees of water temp in a week and this has made the fishing hard going. There have has been some improvement in the past week with a few fish starting to show up again. Low tide fishing has produced a couple of big fish with a 94cm fish landed on Wednesday and Kevin Wheelahan landing a great 127cm fish on Friday. High tide fishing has picked up a little with Saturday proving a good morning when we hooked up on five fish up the little Howard.
While the fishing has been tough mud crabs have been the opposite. Catches of twenty plus crabs being common. Most crabs are full and plenty of bucks among them
Easter is always a good time to fish shoal Bay and this year was no exception. the big tides turned it on at high and low tide. I fished the low tides on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for some good results. Thursday we landed eight barra and a couple of nice Threadfin, Friday we landed Ten barra includung a 97cm and a 95cm fish along with some bigger Threadfin. Saturday things were a little frustrating with the barra boofing in front of us all day but not taking anything we offered them until client Mark Russo pulled out a green B52 from his box and proceeded to hook five fish in a short period but busting of the biggest fish and right on the tide change we bagged a 83cm fish on live bait giving us five for the day. Sunday and Monday saw a change of tactics to fishing the high tide on the flood plains in the evening. Sunday saw us boat six barra and loosing eight more in some tight water and it also saw Vince Vescio land the fish of the weekend and of a life time. Right on dusk he hooked and landed a massive 112cm girl on a live mullet fished in the middle of the river. It put on a massive fight getting completely airborne on several occasions. Sunday we fished the flood plain again for eight fish and many more lost.
Crabs started well but as the weekend went on it got harder to find the but the quality was excellent.
Shoal Bay is officially going off. The last fortnight has been as good as it gets with good catches being taken at high and low tide. The bigger tides have been better for high tide fishing and the smaller tides have produced some exceptional low tide fishing. Double figure hauls along with a few good Theadies have been common. There have been some big fish lurking up on the floodplains at high tide. Two catches of merit are Dean Khoos 91cm fish pulled out of the trees up Joes Creek and Ross Lavernders massive 107 fish also taken from the tight confines of Joes.
Mud crabs are out in full force and are now pretty full.
Have fished the last three days with Josh and Tristen from Sydney with some exciting results. Friday we fished the Little Howard River for a great result. We started the day fishing the mouth of Joes creek where Josh landed his first barra on a live mullet and at 82cm it was a good start to his barra fishing career. Once the tide dropped we moved to our chosen deep hole for the day. After collecting some live bait we settled in for the day. The live bait was proving fruitless only attracting sharks so we started to throw some lures around and thats when the action started. Over a two hour period we landed eight barra two threadiies and even a shark all on lures while the live baits still failed to produce a fish.
Saturday prooved to be a disaster. The day started with a bang after checking the crab pots we had left over night we had more crabs than we could handle, one pot had eight crabs in it and almost every other pot had two to four in them. After watching a floatilla of boats head up the Little Howard I decided to try Hope Inlet for the day. This proved to be a poor choice as we worked all day without a single bite from a barra just a got savaged by huge numbers of Bull Sharks.
Sunday we had planned to fish the Vernon Islands. We headed of early at 6am but by the time we had reached Gunn Point the weather had turned bad. As we stuck our nose out of the Gunn Point blue holes we ran into a huge storm so the decision was made to return to Shoal bay and fish for barra. With the tide still up I headed up to the flood plains were I thought I might be able to get some bait. We parked out front of a little gutter that was pumping heaps of fresh water where I netted a good haul of Silver Scats. This is a pretty good sign that the run off fishing has started, with the barra attacking lures with gusto and Silver Scats staring to show. We headed down to our hole early so we could secure our spot among the floatilla of boats. The results were the same as Friday only getting attacked by sharks on the live baits but landing four barra and losing several others on lures. At the end of the day we headed back up with the tides to fish the flood plains. Just on dark we set up in the mouth of a very snag filled gutter where we put the Silver Scats to work. We had about ten bait and in a hour and a half period the boys managed to pull out three barra from the snags and lost the rest of the baits to fish that beat them. All good signs that the run off fishing is under way which is a few weeks early for Shoal bay lets hope we get some more rain so it continues through till May.