Winter Fishing Weather and the Flood Effects for Anglers

Mitchell Rush and his 51cm Flathead from Hervey Bay
Nigel Mitchell and his 69cm Grunter from Mackay
Dylan Kreis and his 54cm Mangrove Jack from Hervey Bay

After months of wind and unseasonal rain we are finally heading into a winter weather pattern.  With next week’s forecast of offshore winds and bright sunny days ahead I’m sure there will be boats galore on the water.  With such a long time between perfect fishing conditions there’s got to be plenty of anglers out there champing at the bit ready to hit the water. 

But the question is what do the weather Gods have in stall for the rest of winter? According to the Bureau of Meteorology we are still under the influence of a combination of the La Nina and a Negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) weather pattern.   Now we’ve heard the term El Nino and La Nina enough to ascertain El Nino brings dry conditions and La Nina brings wet conditions, but what is this Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) thing?  According to my research, the IOD has the same impact through its positive and negative phases, respectively.

Positive IODs are associated with an increased chance for dry weather in Southern and Southeast Australia.

Negative IODs tend to be less frequent and not as strong as positive IOD events, but can still bring severe climate conditions, such as heavy rainfall and flooding, to parts of Australia.

The IOD is determined by the differences in sea surface temperature on either side of the Indian Ocean.  A Western pole in the Arabian Sea (Western Indian Ocean) and an Eastern pole in the Eastern Indian Ocean South of Indonesia

During a negative phase, waters in the Eastern Indian Ocean are warmer than normal, and the Western Indian Ocean are cooler than normal.

So, with a combination of La Nina and a negative IOD, the Bureau of Meteorology predicts a warmer, and wetter than normal winter.

It is also worth noting the Bureau of Meteorology links Australia’s wild temperature and rainfall variability to global warming caused by human activities.

Annette Burns with her 62cm Grunter from Townsville
Blake Cole with his 79cm Flathead from the Sunshine Coast
Tom Meath with his 53cm Mangrove Jack caught off Thursday Island

With all the recent flooding along the Queensland coast, there will be substantial changes to entire eco systems due to the massive amounts of sediment, that are of many compositions being flushed out at a great rate of knots.  In addition to any other materials and objects not strong enough to withstand the force of the current flow.  New habitats will be created, and old habitats will be completely destroyed.  It could result in the favourite snag you’ve fished for years suddenly being nowhere to be found.

With all the organic matter and nutrients available, the start of the food chain proliferates in some areas resulting in an abundance of food for all sorts of aquatic life, whereas other areas will suffer the effects of oxygen deprivation from decomposing vegetation and salinity changes resulting in the death of fish and aquatic life.  It just goes to show how fragile eco systems are.

Having said that you might have to do your homework to locate your target species because they won’t be hanging around in an area that’s toxic or lacking in food.  Expect to cover a large area searching and marking structures that look good but don’t hold fish because the next time you visit conditions may have changed and the fish are there.

I bet there’s plenty of anglers out there eager to run their side scans up their local waterways looking for that newly created habitat no one has found yet. 

So, by the looks we better make the most of the dry, sunny winter days and get out on the water.  I for one will be out at any opportunity. 

Leigh Jones and his 108cm Salmon caught from the Port of Gladstone
Mark Bunting has his 101cm Barramundi caught in Gladstone
Rod Howard holding his 117cm Salmon caught off Cairns

ALLSTARS has months of competition still to occur and stories to share. I have decades of fishing tips and will interview many successful commercial and recreational anglers to share their suggestions too.

As much as I like to write about fishing, I’d also like to hear from you.  So please email me at to share your fishing trips, fishing tips, fishing stories and photos.

A day on the water is better than a day at work.

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