Gone Fishing Report


Last weekend, we saw beautiful calm conditions in the morning, followed by a howling northerly wind in the afternoons. Many boats, including mine, had a very bumpy, wet, trip home.


Those who wished to fish for coral reef fin fish species only had Friday and Saturday, with the breeding closure starting at midnight on Saturday night. Reports coming in were hot and cold, with some boats doing exceptionally well and others struggling. It seemed those fishing the deeper water, out wide, caught good numbers of Coral Trout, Nannygai, Rosy Job fish and the occasional Red Emperor. It seemed that the morning fished the best, with many anglers, including myself, struggling through the afternoon. We stayed to after dark and got onto a good bite after the tide change but headed home early due to the uncomfortable conditions. There were lots of reports of good catches of Coral Trout in the days leading up to last weekend.


With the reef closure on most boats, fishing in close targeted Spanish Mackerel or bottom fish such as Grass Sweet Lip. Good numbers of Spanish were caught by fishing the rubble patches in the shipping Channel. Closer in, around the islands, there was the occasional very big Spaniard caught and good numbers of both Golden and Brassy Trevally. The Queen Fish have also started to move in along the beaches, headlands, and river mouths.


Definitely the better fishing in the estuaries was for Grunter, with good numbers reported both in the coastal creeks and the Hinchinbrook area. Some great Grunter were caught from along the Cardwell Esplanade. The fishing for Whiting, Bream, and Flathead was also excellent, with some great catches made during the afternoon incoming tide. The extremely low midday tide exposed the sandbars, allowing anglers to pump yabbies or cast net some prawns at the mouth of the gutters.


The Barra and Mangrove Jack fishing has not been predictable, with the Barra, in particular, biting their heads off one day and completely shut down the next. It left anglers with a decision to try to get home early before they were trapped by the extremely low tide or stay and hope the Barra and Jacks came on the bite during the incoming tide. In most cases, anglers managed a short bite window during the first of the incoming, before the tidal flow became excessive.


The freshwater reaches of the Tully, Liverpool, and Johnstone have been fishing very well for both Sooty Grunter and Jungle Perch. The deeper pools and weedy backwaters have also been holding some freshwater Barra. For the best, try slowly working a weedless soft plastic such as a Zerek prawn along the edges of the snags or weed beds. If they refuse to bite, try to wake them up by violently working a hard bodied lure.


Reports that have come back from those fishing Tinaroo Dam have been good, with consistent action and several big Barra over the metre mark being caught. Most regulars agree that you should try to plan your trip for either side of the full or new moon for the best results. Don`t forget your impoundment permit.


This weekend, the forecast is for light south easterly winds and hopefully this eventuates. I am a little worried that the afternoon strong northerly winds might kick back in again, so I will be planning my trip so that I am back by lunch time.


Either side of the morning high tide will suit chasing Grunter in the creeks or on the Hinchinbrook flats. Those keen on chasing Barra and Jacks could fish the early morning run in tide or, alternatively, fish around the evening low. We should also see some good Fingermark caught on either side of that evening low tide.


Good Fishing!

Roly Newton

Tackle World Tully

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