Big barras on the bite before end of season

NICE CATCH: A big grin from young Luke Thompson with his 115cm barra off the banks of the Boyne River.
NICE CATCH: A big grin from young Luke Thompson with his 115cm barra off the banks of the Boyne River. Contributed

SATURDAY, being November 1, marks the start of the barra closure season at noon, which lasts until noon on February 1.

This past week the area has been alive, with huge barra being caught, from Johnny's clients last week through to Luke Thompson's single-handed efforts up in Boyne this week.

Luke's story was pretty cool because he was out by himself fishing off the bank, dropping this big live mullet in the drink when it was inhaled by this monstrous 115cm lady.

It's one thing to do battle by yourself with one of these but it's another to try and land it with your rod in one hand and a 20kg-plus beast on the end of it while trying to wrangle the net around it.

Well done Luke and he was pleased to see it swim off - once the happy snap was taken.

On a sadder note the region lost a real character this week, with the passing of Bill Pershouse, aged 87 years.

The Pershouse name is one of those foundation family names of the Gladstone and Benaraby regions and Billy (to his mates) was quite a character, even making it to an episode of Cookies Catch on RTQ7 back in the day (1980s), which we know as WIN Television.

Billy was an expert mud crab catcher, by fishing them out of their holes with a steel rod with a hook type of arrangement on the end. It's illegal now but back in the day he was the gun.

So much so that one day he was crossing a creek with the bar in one hand and an untied buck in the other, when halfway across his knee gave out and the crab latched on to his nipple.

I can hear you all wincing but the only thing he could do was ditch the bar with the hook and sacrifice his spare hand to get the crab to release his nipple.

This region is richer from the likes of Billy Pershouse but he will always be remembered.

Bill Pershouse.
Bill Pershouse. Contributed

Last weekend saw the conclusion of the first reef fin fish closure on Sunday morning and conditions were rather nice for many to get out on the water.

Boat ramps and trailer parks across the region were chockers as many headed to the reef.

Although the wind and big tides roughed things up a bit, by noon many reports of excellent reds, trout and sweetlip could be heard.

There were plenty of tuna around as well as some billfish, which some managed to entice up to the back of their boat.

Yesterday was another of the choice days as well, with light north-easterly winds and the tidal run somewhat reduced due to the first quarter of the lunar phase.

But if you missed yesterday and today unfortunately the weekend isn't going to be quite as nice, with a nice, stiff 10-15 or better northerly blowing in.

On the plus side the sea state should be quite flat.

The usual anchorages or sheltered spots like Yellow Patch or Pancake will have the breeze blowing straight in and won't be as nice.

I have friends driving up from Brisbane this weekend to launch their boats at 1770 and slip out to Fitzroy Reef for the weekend.

I have no doubt this "little puff" of wind will not hinder them at all and brace yourselves for the plethora of photos next week - well I am anyway.

Close to shore the crabbing has been reasonably quiet but I have no doubt things will liven up.

There are plenty of summer whiting up the top of Colosseum and the gravel bars have been producing some excellent grunter.

With regard to the Toolooa Bends boat ramp saga, no one is saying much but the actual waterway is fishing extremely well, with good numbers of barra around the structures as well as huge bream, some even skiting about 45cm specimens.

Christmas is just around the corner and as I said last week it's time for those wanting gear for fishing or boating to start circling items in the multitude of catalogues about to hit our letterboxes.

Retail in the region is very difficult at present so now more than ever we need to support our local marine and tackle outlets.

Plus entries for the 20th edition of the Boyne Tannum HookUp are now being taken.

BAM on Saturday and we might see you there.

Topics:  darryl branthwaite fishing gladstone sport outdoor-living outdoors top spots

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