The run of less-than-ideal boating conditions continued over last weekend, confining most boats to the estuaries. Surprisingly, despite the recent rain and the large run in the tide, it was not difficult to find good water quality. This resulted in some very good Mangrove Jacks and Barra being caught in the local creeks. I had a quick afternoon fish in the Hull River and managed several nice Jacks, with the majority being legal fish. All we managed was a few taps during the last of the run-out tide, however, once the tide turned and started pushing in, we had a flurry of bites and hook ups. This action only lasted about an hour and a half before the run in the tide was too much, so we headed home early.

I have mentioned that during the afternoon the water temperatures have been rising quite markedly (during our 4-hour session, it rose from 23C to just over 25C). We found the fish under overhanging mangroves, so we used weedless rigged soft plastic prawn copies to ensure that we did not snag too often.

I have also heard of good numbers of both Jacks and Barra being caught in the sheltered waters of the Hinchinbrook channel. Generally, when there is a large run in the tide, anglers fish the drains and gutters that empty out on the edge of the mud flats. The trick is to pick a drain with good flow and has enough water to hold Barra. Too much water and the fish stay right back up the drain where you cannot reach, so there is an art to it.

Reports have also been coming through of some great Grunter fishing, both in the coastal creeks and in the Hinchinbrook area. The bread-and-butter species such as Bream and Flathead have also been plentiful.

The recent rain has flushed out some quality Mud Crabs. Boats are not getting huge numbers, two or three crabs for an overnighter, but they have been full.

Earlier this week, the wind is forecast to drop down and allow opportunities to get out around the islands and, hopefully, the reef. I am writing this report on Monday and will hopefully manage to travel out and fish for Nannygai and Coral Trout around the closer reefs tomorrow. Reports that have come in from before the wind came up, advised that the Coral Trout were on the chew and that there were plenty of Nannygai schooling. The Spanish Mackerel were also around in numbers, so things are looking good for this week and into the weekend.

Unfortunately, the large schools of Spotted Mackerel have probably moved on by now, however the shoals in the shipping channel will still produce a mixture of Spanish, Spotted, and School Mackerel.

The islands will have had a good break over the bad weather, so should fish well for Trout, Grass Sweet Lip, and the various Mackerel species.

At this very early stage of the week, the forecast for this weekend is for light winds for both Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully, this will allow boats a much overdue opportunity to travel out to the reef and islands. The very small run in the tides will allow anglers to fish the deep holes around the island headlands. Why not take the time to get some live baits and try for a Fingermark?

The small run in the tides will cause some problems in the estuaries. However, I like the Sunday afternoon run-in tide for Barra and, in particular, Mangrove Jacks. It will also allow anglers to fish the deeper holes and deep bends in the river, which are often unfishable due to too much current flow.

Hopefully, the weather forecast is right, and we all manage to get out this weekend and have a great day on the water. A real treat considering that  a lot of the country is in lock down.

Good Fishing

Roly Newton

Tackle World Tully

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