One of the most unique aspects of fishing as a pastime would have to be the range of characters it attracts. I have never experienced a sport or activity that so easily unifies the old, the young, the crazy and the conservative (and everything in-between).
Unless you have been hiding under a rock or been away on a luxury holiday for the past 3-4 months you would know that SE QLD has been getting more than its fair share of windy unfishable days. This has forced many of us to stay at home, fish the local rivers, breakout a kayak or try something else like lawn bowels!
I want to tell you about the Jardine River but I don’t quite know where to start. I suppose, for the car-topping winter-dodger, the beginning of your Jardine River experience will be the exorbitant fee you’ll be charged to travel the 50 or so meters on a well-worn cable ferry to the other side.
When the alarm goes off at 3am and you’re already wide awake and drinking your second coffee you know you’re keen for the coming days fishing mission. Sure enough my mate arrived 15 mins early which cemented the fact that he too was overly excited at what this day could bring.
Our Creek to Coast adventures saw the team arrive in Gladstone last month for the week to catch up with local guide and without a doubt one of the best in the business Johnny Mitchell charters, along for the ride was young Andrew McGrath from BCF, our mission was to film a BCF half hour that would include a bit of offshore, bit of inshore and a bit of in between. The only downfall was the 20-30 knots of Southeast wind OOhhh and a bit of rain thrown in……..But if anyone could deliver it was Johnny Mitchell.
Most recently the Central Queensland based, Rockhampton Regional Council (RRC), undertook the second stage of its “Community Boating and Fishing Survey” as part of its community consultation commitment to the “Draft Marine Infrastructure and Fishing Tourism Strategy”, which Council is currently formulating.
At the time of writing local fishing has been challenging with heavy rainfall and squally trade winds ruling out trips for all but the keenest minority. Some of the larger local river systems like the mighty Johnstone react very sensitively to these unpredictable rainfall events. So it’s not surprising that such waterways are currently sporting a red tinge and flowing about a metre deeper than normal.
From my window seat, there were endless flood plains and rivers leading to the Arafura Sea. They teamed with diversity of wildlife and were home to leaping barramundi. From the other side of the plane was the spectacular, but rugged, Arnhemland escarpment, glowing red in the morning sun.
You know how you have them friends that when you catch up you always say ‘you should come fishing with us next trip’, then all of a sudden 3 years go by and at every party you repeat the same conversation? Well believe it or not, we finally came to a mutual agreeance to actually stand on the same together! And I’m still not sure after this day if Tamara and Robbie will ever come out with us again. Let me explain.
Sooty’s in winter? You bloody bet! Residing in Mackay, it would be fair to say that our local winter would be quite laughable, especially when compared to the southern states. Despite this, there is certainly a drop by at least a few degrees which is definitely transferred to the water. This can make targeting those fish that are characteristically renowned for being summer time brawlers, a little trickier…..or does it?