Keep Your Word
As mentioned in last week's column: 'In a small town, word of mou
Most boats that were able to, travelled out wide to the reef last weekend. As normal, there were mixed reports, with some doing exceptionally well and others struggling. The fishing really has been hot and cold, with the fish often not biting during a particular part of the day and then coming on the bite as a result of a tide or wind change.
The majority of boats have had excellent catches of Coral Trout and mixed reef fish such as Red Throat Emperor, Tusk Fish and Stripeys.
The spearos have also managed some great Tusk Fish and Crayfish and there are still a few Spanish Mackerel around the reef drop offs.
The reports coming in from those fishing the wide deep water rubble patches, have also been good with plenty of big Nannygai and some nice Red Emperor and Rosy Job fish.
Inside the reef, the various rubble patches, wonky holes, and wrecks are all covered in fish. However, the sharks have often been a problem, forcing boats to move to other locations once the grey suit brigade move in. There have been plenty of both small and large mouth Nannygai, along with Spangled Emperor, Tea Leaf Trevally, and Cobia.
Fishing the islands and coastal reefs has been extremely popular with anglers wishing to get out early to catch a feed and get home before the northerly wind sets in. There have been plenty of Grass Sweet Lip, Gold Spot Cod, and the odd Trout. The specialists have also been catching some very good Fingermark, but you need to be on the water before sunrise or of an evening.
Those into floating pilchards or high-speed spinning have found plenty of action, with the various types of Tuna, Golden Trevally, and Queen Fish and there are even still a few School Mackerel around. In close, the Spanish have been scarce with anglers being frustrated with large Barracuda taking lures and baits.
I have found the estuary fishing tough, with the Barra and Jacks fairly quiet through the heat of the day. Over the last week, I have found that if I could get the start of the run-in tide coinciding with early morning, or late in the afternoon, I would get a bite window. I have found the fishing difficult during the run-out tide. My efforts have been focused on lure fishing the river and creeks and not along the Hinchinbrook flats. The bait fishermen have been doing better, with some great fish reported on live or strip baits. No doubt the afternoon northerly will have restricted fishing areas in the Hinchinbrook region.
At this stage, despite the tides being almost perfect over last weekend, I have heard very little about Grunter captures in either the coastal creeks or Hinchinbrook region. Hopefully, I just have not been in the loop, as they should have been biting their heads off.
The Queen Fish and large G.T. Trevally have started to enter the creeks and have been taking poppers and vibe style lures well.
There are still some good Whiting, Bream, and Flathead being caught, so try taking the children down for a fish at one of the river mouths.
The upper freshwater reaches of the Liverpool and Tully are fishing well for both Sooty Grunter and Jungle Perch. There have also been a few Barra and even Mangrove Jacks being caught in the lower and middle freshwater sections of the rivers.
Tinaroo dam has been firing with metre plus Barra being caught daily. These big fish are not easy but are well worth the effort.
At this early stage of the week, the forecast for this weekend is for light winds in the morning, with a northerly wind coming up through the afternoon. So, hopefully, another chance to head out to the island and reefs for a fish. Just get an up-to-date forecast before leaving and check for storms. I would be out early and back early to avoid the heat and wind.
If you are fishing in close, I like the early morning incoming tide for Jacks and Barra. The evening run in tide suits those who wish to chase Fingermark around the islands or along the Hinchinbrook drop offs.
Tackle World Tully
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