Well, the wet and windy conditions kept most anglers at home tinkering with their boat or fishing tackle over the weekend. Most of the anglers who did manage to get out for a fish, travelled to Cardwell and fished the sheltered waters of the Hinchinbrook Channel, where conditions were not as bad.

The conditions were far from glamourous, however anglers still managed to catch some nice Barra and Jacks, both in the mainland creeks and the creeks running off the island. Most of these fish came from the afternoon run out tide, the trick was to find sheltered water around the shallow edges of the mouths of the rivers.

I also received some reports of Grunter being caught both in the coastal creeks and the Hinchinbrook area. One good result of the wet conditions has been an increase in the amount of Mud Crabs being caught in the coastal creeks.

There has also been some nice Barra caught from the lower and mid freshwater sections of the Maria, Tully, and Murray Rivers. The recent rain has flushed out baitfish and prawn from drains and feeder creeks and the Barra have been congregating around the entrances to the main river and feeding heavily. In these cooler conditions, the afternoons fish better than the morning as the water temperatures are warmer.

I have not heard of anyone fishing the upper freshwater sections of the coastal creeks and the fishing here will improve as we move into September.

At this early stage of the week, the weather forecast for this weekend is for 15 to 20 knots of wind on Saturday, dropping to 10 to 15 knots on Sunday. This may allow the larger boats to travel out and have a last fish for the Spotty Mackerel before they start their migration back down south. Of course, the Spanish Mackerel will stay around through most of September before heading out to the breeding grounds around the reefs wide of Hinchinbrook. There will always be a few resident fish, with September and October being the prime time to catch a really big Spaniard.

This weekend, I like the morning run out tide to fish for Barra and the first of the afternoon run in tide for Mangrove Jacks. If I was fishing for Grunter, I would like either side of the early morning high tide. If you do not mind fishing at night, either side of the larger evening high tide should be even better.

With all the recent rain around on the Cassowary Coast, the mud crabs should all be on the move, so do not forget the crab pots. If anyone has any secrets about catching Blue Swimmer Crabs, I would love to know them. I can manage to catch a few by setting my pots out wider on the flats, however much of their behaviour is still a mystery to me.

Let’s hope for some better weather.

Good Fishing

Roly Newton

Tackle World Tully

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