WARNING: Reef fin fish closures, danger of ooshie lures
UNTIL midnight on Sunday, it is illegal to catch all species of coral reef fin fish during the first of two annual closures.
Inshore Fishing Mackay's Jason Kidd explained the closure coincided with the full moon and the fin fish spawning season.
"Fishers caught doing the wrong thing … risk on-the-spot fines of $533 for recreational fishers or $1067 for commercial fishers, with a maximum penalty in excess of $130,000," Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol District Manager Tony Loader said.
"Coral reef fin fish include cods and groupers, emperors, parrotfishes, sweetlips, wrasses, coral trout, fusiliers, surgeonfishes, tropical snappers and sea perches."
Then from November 1 through to January 31, it will be prohibited to catch barramundi on Queensland's east coast, including for catch and release, as they undergo their spawning season.
Anglers can use the Qld Fishing 2.0 app to help with species identification.
In the interests of protecting our fish for the future, Mr Kidd also said the recent viral craze of using ooshies as lures was potentially dangerous.
"If we have bits of ooshies pulled off the hook or eaten, they could go and damage the fish whereas all of our soft plastic lures and all of the lure designers have had to make their materials safe for the fish to eat," he said.
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Mr Kidd said safe-to-use bioluminescent or glow in the dark lures had already been on the market for more than a decade.
With features like speckles that imitated real-life squid, he said the lures were effective for attracting "red fish" in waters deeper than 10m or for fishing at night.
"Any of those glow lures work really well in the deeper waters where the natural light doesn't penetrate.
"For people who go out to the reef, when you get down into that 20 to 30m, it's complete darkness."
"(If) I'm going to use the (lures) at night - just before I throw them out, we throw a torch at them; it charges them up and they'll glow hard."
Mr Kidd recommended lures from any of the more reputable brands.
So there you have it, ditch the ooshies and get back to basics.
But before you head out, check out this weekend's weather forecasts for Mackay.
Friday: Mostly sunny. Light winds becoming south-easterly 20 to 25 km/h in the morning then becoming light in the evening. Minimum of 28C, maximum of 28C. UV index predicted to reach 11 (extreme).
Saturday: Partly cloudy. Light winds becoming easterly 15 to 20 km/h in the middle of the day then becoming light in the evening. Minimum of 19C, maximum of 28C. UV index predicted to reach 11 (extreme).
Sunday: Sunny. Light winds becoming north-easterly 15 to 20 km/h during the day then becoming light during the evening. Minimum of 19C, maximum of 29C. UV index predicted to reach 11 (extreme).
And your BOM coastal waters forecasts for Mackay from Bowen to St Lawrence:
Winds: East to south-easterly 15 to 20 knots, turning east to north-easterly inshore south of Sarina in the afternoon and early evening.
Swell: East to south-easterly below 1m inshore, increasing to 1-1.5m offshore.
Winds: East to south-easterly 15 to 20 knots.
Seas: 1-1.5m, decreasing to 1m during the morning.
Swell: East to south-easterly below 1 metre inshore, increasing to about 1m offshore.
Winds: East to north-easterly 10 to 15 knots becoming north to north-easterly about 10 knots during the evening.
Seas: Below 1m.
Swell: East to south-easterly about 1m offshore.
Finally, the all-important tide times:
Friday: Low of 0.06m at 4.17am, high of 5.67m at 10.14am, low of 0.25m at 4.35pm and high of 5.95m at 10.29pm.
Saturday: Low of -0.01m at 4.57am, high of 5.84m at 10.57am, low of 0.3m at 5.21pm and high of 5.71m at 11.13pm.
Sunday: Low of 0.07m at 5.36am, high of 5.86m at 11.41pm, low of 0.5m at 6.08pm and high of 5.29m at 11.58pm.
Happy fishing! And if you manage to reel in an awesome catch, we'd love to see some pictures. Email photos to email@example.com