April saw the South East Trade wins really pick up a notch, as they tend to do this time of year. This resulted in most of our charters being conducted in the creeks around Port Douglas. With barramundi, fingermark, queenfish, just to name a few on offer, luckily that's not a bad thing for us up north.
The star of the show this month, and what a lot of people come up here to catch, was the mangrove jack. These ambushing predators are one of the hardest hitting fish you'll come across, and if your not on your game, you'll be left standing with your mouth open while they smoke your lures and baits back to their snags. At time we were seeing several good fish boated over 40cm from a single snag, and large solitary fish from deep holes and on shallow flats. We could have thrown a tin can at them at times and they probably would have had a crack it. The most successful technique we found by far was casting weedless soft plastics deep into the snags, and slowly working it through. Jacks will usually line up at the front of the snag waiting their turn to smash a plastic, usually on the drop. The lure fish were smashing the most by far was Zerek's Live Cherobin. With its realistic action fish were often hitting it as soon as we began to retieve it through the snags. Especially later in the month when the winds and the cooling air temperatures dropped the water temperature from 30 degrees down to around 27. This can send fish off the bite while the temperature is dropping, but it didn't seem to faze them too much when presented with the Zerek lure.
Barramundi on the other hand became very fickle the last week or so of April. Barra tend to shut down a bit when the water starts to cool, especially of a day, and although plenty were seen following and rolling under lures it was difficult to get a bite out of them, which is often the case in those conditions. With the temperatures continuing to drop they won't get any easier for a while. Luckily we have a few other species to keep us all entertained.