Bait to Plate

Kev Collins

Well known Restauranter and co-owner of Fish D'vine & The Rum Bar in Airlie Beach. When Kev's not working he's out fishing in the amazing food bowl of the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park or in his tinnie in the estuaries crabbing! His blog imparts wisdom, tales and info on all things fishing and food.

Our amazing "Winter" weather

The “east coast low” which bashed up the Gold Coast, Sydney and Tasmania had the exact opposite effect on the Whitsundays and typically this kind of weather system acts as a blocker for the SE trade winds which impact on the north for much of the winter. While the consistent winds might help our reputation for an amazing place to sail, for fisherman the east coast lows mean just one thing. Calm. In fact, flat calm. 7 days straight of virtually no wind with pleasant warm days and slightly cooler nights, just enough to bring out the blankets. Fishing wise this transition into winter, means the barramundi start to slow down (still a few around), the flathead come into the bays to breed and can be caught in the same places we usually get a Barra, just right up in the shallow water and the Spanish mackerel, arguably the prize target during winter, move in around the islands. It is just a great time of the year when the main choice is what to target. Go to the reef for reds, around the islands for a mackerel or stick to the shallow bays and flick lures for some flathead and still be a chance at a Barra. I managed 2 from 3 last week. Too much work on to get a full day away for a reef trip I managed a nice little bay session and then a 3 hour mackerel trip. The Barra are around but hesitant and I managed 2 landed from 4 half-hearted strikes and just the one flathead as I think the water needs to be just a degree or 2 cooler. Mackerel are likewise a little slow waiting for that slight water temp drop but I managed a couple. It looks like being another great year. The winds have returned this morning and will now blow at 20 knots or more for at least the next week so it is sailing weather again. Fisherman learn to be patient, we will watch and wait for the next weather window. When the next East Coast Low starts to makes its way South, battern down the hatches at home and jump on a plane to Airlie Beach. This is as good as it get during a North Queensland winter.