WHAT a sensational time of the year to be in the Gladstone region with the temperatures heating up, the winds starting to swing around to the north, and the fish on the chew.
This week we saw the last quarter moon phase with tiny wee tides and reasonably smooth water, and Wednesday's and yesterday's weather was just awesome.
It's very short lived though as this weekend we will see the wind and sea steadily build today right through to the middle of next week by the looks.
In other words if you didn't get out to the reef or out the front during the week for a fish, the opportunity might be gone with the reef fin fish closure starting on October 21 and finishing on October 25.
Now there is a bit of discrepancy about when this actually starts and finishes but my best way to look at this is that every second that falls on those dates counts as being closed.
I don't think it'll bother us too much though given the predictions by the weather forecasters at the time of writing this.
These closures are centred on the new moon lunar phase of October and November as studies have shown that the likes of coral trout congregate on some aggregation zones to spawn and other reef species also time their spawning around the new moon.
There used to be one in December as well but as Queenslanders we love our local freshly caught seafood for Christmas lunch and also many lunches and dinners prior to that too, and the whole state was up in arms when the first couple of December closures were conducted.
Another closure that is looming up very quickly is the barramundi season closure happening at noon on November 1, 2014, and this lasts until noon on February 1, 2015.
There are heaps of barra in our system at present and all you need to do is find them and use either live bait, or throw some lures at them, soft plastic or hard bodied.
As Johnny Mitchell always says though, you need to understand where they are, why they are there, and their feeding habits.
Quite often they are not in the same place twice as they will move around.
This chap is a wealth of knowledge and if you are prepared to learn more about any sort of fishing be it barra, king salmon, mackerel, or lately it's been billfish then you should invest in a day out with him.
I was chatting with "Nifty" Nev Welch during the week, who just loves targeting flathead, and he gets loads of them, about 200 or more in recent months, but only keeps the odd one for a feed.
He commented how cool the water actually is at present along the coast, which is rather unusual at this time of the year. But he says that it's not stopping the big lizards from being on the chew.
We have such nice spots to fish along our coastline from Agnes Water and Rules Beach area right through to the top end of Curtis Island and all of these places have big flathead, good numbers of whiting (especially now with the yellow fin, or "summeries" fattening up), bream, and a few dart in the shore breaks.
Using light gear, being 4-6lb line and a nice light rod, these species can really put up a fight but the rewards are in the kids' excitement, and good family fun, if you can get a beach permit for the likes of the Lillies Beach.
This beach has a number of "gutters" running parallel to the beach on an outgoing tide and over the years we have taken the boys up there to catch a feed of whiting and flathead for dinner or stopped off for a game of cricket while the sausages are being cooked.
The likes of Agnes Water beach has been yielding some great flathead, whiting and bream of late yet we tend to think that this beach only has surf and sand. How wrong can we be?
Colleen Trevor, bride of the famous-in-Gladstone Chris Trevor (CT to all his friends) loves to go fishing on the beach out front of their home at Agnes Water and quite often comes home with dinner.
Gladstone IT legend Adam Salmon also loves to take the kids fishing on the beach down from their unit, and I remember the first time he took them with some very cheap rods, and reels for the kids, but was forever taking fish off the kids' lines and rebaiting them, not even wetting his own.
Richie Wade, nephew of the VMR radio voice Gregory "Von" Klease, was out christening his new second-hand tinnie and landed this beaut spanish mackerel at Ethel Rocks recently.
He was only using a light barra outfit though and it almost spooled him on a couple of the runs.
Christmas is rapidly approaching and time to watch those tackle shop catalogues, which come in the mail each week.
There are plenty of ideas for Christmas gifts and now is the time to start planning.
Dads, you need to start putting marker pen circles around certain things you'd like… quite a subtle hint I reckon.