Tony Mitchell and son Matthew holding an 90cm barra.
Tony Mitchell and son Matthew holding an 90cm barra. Contributed

Time to keep one eye on weather and the other on tides

WELCOME to 2014 folks, I wish you all the happiness and success for the year ahead. This is the year of the lifestyle, where you get out and explore this region on your boat.

It's also the time of year we all have to keep one eye on the weather, and one eye on the tides.

With the hot northerlies we have been getting of recent weeks, the likes of North Entrance on an ebbing tide has become a channel to be very wary of, and now the south-easterlies have the bottom end of Gatcombe and the mouth of the Boyne River very rough.

Incoming tides or slack water are always the best time to exit and enter these areas as it reduces the risk.

The storms we have been getting these past few days have produced pressures well over 30 knots and if you are not accustomed to these sorts of conditions it might pay to attend one of the free Local Boating Knowledge sessions, which Jim Purcell from VMR Gladstone conducts.

It starts at 2pm this Sunday at the VMR rooms at the northern end of the marina.

Jim has a vast knowledge of these waterways and also of the southern barrier reef.

Locally known as the Capricorn Bunker Group, they take a couple of hours and they cost you nothing, not a brass razoo.

This past week wasn't all that flash until Tuesday and once that storm passed through at 4am, the wind and sea dropped right out for six or so hours.

Our sales meeting got cancelled, as our employer decided to go for a fish.

Now Mark "Patto" Patton is no slouch when it comes to fishing, as he loves the process of collecting live, fresh bait.

Usually his day starts about 2.30-3am, which is probably the reason why I haven't been out with him, but on this occasion his mate Brad Hitchcock and lad Matty were keen.

Patto is not one for numbers of fish, but the big fish!

Coming home with only 10 fish does seem a bit strange, but when four of them are around the 8-9kg mark, who cares?

Young Matty even landed this 5.5kg small-mouth nannygai.

Some might know them as any number of other names such as crimson snapper.

It's a great fish, and when this 12-year-old eventually brought it on board, a gob full of lemons wouldn't take away that grin.

Locally there are still plenty of fish about with good numbers of whiting and flathead being caught at Colosseum and Turkey Beach.

The world-famous Johnny Mitchell has released his latest video called Wild Adventures Curtis Island, which is currently for sale online, from Pat's Tackleworld, or, if you are in Rocky, buy it at Barra Jacks.

I have seen it and can thoroughly recommend it.

He has also been playing the world famous Uncle as well, taking his brother Tony and two nephews, Ben, and Matthew, for a fish.

The fish all got released, but one barra was caught twice in 10 minutes, once on a prawn then released and 10 minutes later, the other nephew caught the very same fish on a herring.

They brought home a nice fingermark too.

Those chasing crabs or prawns will be pleased to know there are heaps about up Targinnie way, and most likely right through the Narrows and Port Curtis area, so get into them.

Ben Mitchell holds up his fingermark. Brother Matthew is not impressed.
Ben Mitchell holds up his fingermark. Brother Matthew is not impressed. Contributed


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