January 2020 Report
Not the easiest of months to kick off monthly fishing reports for Coral Bay. As usual it has been quite quiet around, except for the Australia day long weekend and Blowvember (November) was late and lasted 2 months. Traditionally, the fishing is good over the summer months, especially inshore but It’s a little hard to get a gauge on what has been happening unless there are actually people fishing. But there where some, and we got out there when we could, so heres the word.
Unfortunately the bait we were starting to see inshore and around the shallows and boat ramp late last year has not really built up to much. In good summers the Hardie Heads are thick down the boat ramp and sand flats. If you got there just before high tide there would be plenty of action, with schools of Goldspot Trevally and Queenfish up to a meter smashing bait. There has been a few Queenies hunting around the shallows around the jetty, but without the schools of bait to keep them there, they quickly move on.
On a better note with a little less bait and not too many fishing the Spangled Emperor have been as hungry as ever. Seen a few landed during the day down the boat ramp and I found out myself at sunset they are thick down at Mauds, but you do have to race the sharks for your dinner down there. The best way to get onto them is a un-weighted or floating bait left alone just on sunset. If casting from the back a running sinker will do the same job.
Offshore it has been a bit slow but steady. Fish don’t seem too hungry and the bite times didn't seem to matter much. But they where still bitting just not really firing at any particular time. Have been seeing good fish including the normal Goldband, but just had to really work for them The biggest news for offshore fishing is PINK SNAPPER. In years gone by (before my time) pinks had been thick in a few spots but in more recent years (my time) they where the one off by-catch and if you did get onto a school you would be putting them all on the measure with 1 on 10 just going the 410mm. Not the case lately. Not only do they seem to be almost everywhere, they have been of decent size. Started to see it late last year when we even picked up a couple of lumpy head models, and has continued on in 2020. Not sure if it has anything to do with new restrictions out of Carnarvon after their Pink Snapper fishery almost collapsed, but will have to wait and see.
Sharks have been particularly bad this month. Not normally causing us too may issues they have been as bad as I have ever seen them. Hopefully just a passing cycle but from what we have been hearing over the last couple of years we may be getting to a tipping point with the shark populations, But thats a whole other issue and not enough room for me to get into that here.
On the offshore Pelagics we have started to find blueish water form the 80-90m mark and been seeing more flying fish. But as yet have not seen or heard of much else. We have come off the slowest Billfish season I have seen in Coral Bay, but no doubt just part of a cycle and we will start seeing them soon. The conditions out wide have looked the goods and I have no doubt that with a bit of time and effort they will be there.
So there we have our first monthly fishing report. A bit on the sad side by usual Coral Bay standards, but I’m sure things are about to heat up and no doubt come Easter the tables will be full of Red’s, Goldband and stories of Billfish. Will try and keep these up this season and make sure if you get onto anything or have something to report post them up on the Fishing Coral Bay or Seaforce FB pages. Still chasing some more content and photos to help keep building fishingcoralbay.org so get it up there.