Its still early days yet with the summer Popping and Jigging season starting in December but a couple of anglers from Australia caught a break with the Spring weather and got some great GT Popping in.
Last season the Pacific Ocean experienced a strong La Nina event. This meant that higher than normal sea surface temperatures were experienced in the West Pacific, particularily the Coral Sea. Tropical cyclones derive their energy from the warm oceans so most cyclones developed to the West of Fiji and tracked away from us. For us this meant good weather but frequent large ground swells from the South West as cyclones track south to the West of Fiji. The weather patterns stalled the normal oceanic currents that sweep along the Great Astrolabe Barrier Reef and the water clarity was poor compared to a normal season. We countered this by switching primarily from poppers to stickbaits as the GTs tended to sit out in deeper waters rather than their usual whitewater breakers zone.
The NOAA weather gurus are forecasting another La Nina event this year but it is expected to be much weaker than last year and shorter lived.
The above chart from NOAA shows current sea surface temperature anomolies. You can see the La Nina effects with a big slug of warmer than normal water in the SW Pacific and cooler than normal sea surface temperatures off the Americas.
So, all in all, we are expecting fewer than average cyclones for Fiji this summer and a better GT Popping season than last year.
Not such good news for Queenslanders....Expect above average numbers of cyclones this summer....