Gone Fishing Report


The breezy conditions forced anglers to fish the estuaries last weekend, with most anglers reporting mixed results.  The cooler conditions also had an effect, with most anglers reporting slow, but not impossible, fishing for Jacks and Barra.  The sheltered waters of the Hinchinbrook channel were the most productive area, with some good Barra, Mangrove Jacks, and Cod caught. 

As previously mentioned, the Barra, in particular, were timid, looking for warmer patches of water (in the shallows and drains), and downsizing was the answer. Small soft plastics certainly received the majority of the bites.  However, I have often found that although small hard bodies receive less bites, they often get better hook up rates. It pays to fish both, until a successful pattern is found.  Small paddle tail or prawn imitation soft plastics or small non-rattling hard bodies (wooden) will often give the best results.  Soft Vibes are another alternative, with practise you can even work them through the shallows.  Another option is to use live baits, especially live prawn, if you can catch them.  When conditions are really bad, fresh dead baits such as strips of mullet can often out fish all other options.

Several of the coastal creeks and the Hinchinbrook region are also producing some excellent Grunter.  Generally, I have not heard of large numbers, with normally just 2 or 3 quality fish per session.

Whiting, Bream and Flathead numbers are also on the rise.  This weekend’s larger run in the tide will be ideal for this style of fishing.  The midday low tide will allow anglers to pump yabbies or cast net prawns and then fish the incoming tide.

The mud crabs have also been plentiful.  However, it has been tougher in the rivers and creeks, which have been severely affected by recent rain.  The freshwater reaches of the local creeks have been impacted by the cooler conditions.  Try checking the shallows well before approaching the water.  Sooty Grunter will often sit in the shallows warming themselves and a well-presented lure or fly will normally get an immediate response.

At this time of year, the winter species, such as Mackerel, start to arrive in numbers. As mentioned in earlier reports, I have had no problem hooking a Spaniard from the islands on my last two trips out.  I still prefer to fish with either live baits or ribbon fish in close, although lures are an easier option for most.

The shale patches in the shipping channel should now be fishing well and lures such as the Zerek Speed Donkey, Halco Laser Pro, or the Jackson G-Control are ideal for these smaller fish.  The Spanish and School Mackerel normally turn up in numbers through June, while the Spotted Mackerel become more common through July.

I am writing this report on Tuesday and the weather bureau is predicting light winds for Thursday and Friday.  Like a lot of anglers, I am going to try to get in a trip to the reef, and, hopefully, put some fish into the freezer.  By all indications, there should be good numbers of Coral Trout, Nannygai, and Spanish Mackerel around, and a couple of each would be lovely!

Unfortunately, the wind is predicted to strengthen to 15 to 20 knots through Saturday, and then drop off again briefly on Monday.  Hopefully, there is an opportunity for a fish closer in on Saturday morning.  You can only try!

For those who are going to fish the estuaries, I believe either side of the early morning high tide will be perfect to fish for Grunter.  Either side of the midday low tide will suit those who wish to chase a Barra or a Jack.  The other option is to fish for Bream and Whiting during the afternoon incoming tide.

Do not forget the crab pots!

Good Fishing!

Roly Newton

Tackle World Tully

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