Bill O’Reilly with his 96cm-long barra from Port Alma.
Bill O’Reilly with his 96cm-long barra from Port Alma.

Show you care with an esky full of freshly caught fish

WELCOME to all you lovers, heart-throbs, and eternal friends who just love this romantic day, where you do silly things like spend money on flowers, personal items, and dinners out all, of which I regard as investing in the future!

The future being one helluva weekend in front of you with the weather, starting this morning, coming right at last.

Get that boat filled up, check the safety gear, fill the esky with ice and bait, throw the gear in and head off to your favourite spot!

The forecast is for rather warm northerlies tomorrow and through the weekend but the sea should be as flat as a bikkie.

The wind should swing around from the east to the north throughout this afternoon and evening.

The sun will be shining as will the full moon, lighting up the sea so get into it.

Jayd McKenzie caught this 55cm-long mangrove jack at Toolooa Bends.
Jayd McKenzie caught this 55cm-long mangrove jack at Toolooa Bends.

Bill O'Reilly, a long-time Gladstonite, ventured up to the Port Alma region with the world-famous Johnny Mitchell last week and nabbed this beaut salty barra, which was 96cm long.

This one happened to have a tag in it and it showed that it'd been initially tagged about 95km up the Fitzroy River and it'd grown from 85cm to 96cm in about 479 days.

Certainly a big journey.

Kate Appleton is lucky enough to live on the banks of the Boyne River, just up from the Benaraby Bridge, and lately since the barra season has opened up her dad, brother and she have been down there catching keep-able barra and the odd mangrove jack, and as you can see she's not fond of picking them up so her brother Scott holds it up for the camera.

There are many stories like that from folks who are lucky enough to have river frontage as I remember back in the '80s when I was working at Boyne Smelter in Carbon we lived in Blackwell St, Tannum Sands.

My good mate Paul Jacklin and myself went shares in a little dingy.

It was yellow and we called it Zero but we always slipped out to catch some dinner be it some fresh bream, or moses perch, and this lifestyle still exists today with the target species barra and jack.

Pretty cool place to live.

FIRST CATCH: Will Barker with his very first fish, a sickle fish, caught at the Lillies.
FIRST CATCH: Will Barker with his very first fish, a sickle fish, caught at the Lillies. Contributed

Young Will Barker caught his very first fish recently up the Lillies Beach at the South Trees mouth.

These sickle fish are quite often the first fish the kids catch or a butter bream.

To get up to the Lillies you must purchase a beach permit to be able to drive on the beach and I wouldn't be attempting to drive on the beach with a two-wheel drive vehicle, you do need a four-wheel drive.

It's a lot of fun for all the kids and families being able to slip along there and be miles away from everyone.

Plenty of whiting, flathead and dart and maybe even try catching a beach worm.

This weekend though the menu should include coral trout, sweetlip, red emperor and mackerel.

They have all forgotten what a lure and bait look like so don't be afraid to use a bigger hook and put plenty of juicy fresh bait on it.

Ensure you call up VMR Gladstone or Roundhill and let them know where you are going. Enjoy what this region has to offer! Hooroo Dags



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