While the weather has not been perfect, there have been several opportunities for the larger boats to travel out wide to fish the main reefs.  Most boats have reported reasonable numbers of Coral Trout and assorted reef fish.  The Spanish Mackerel have been around in huge numbers, with anglers reporting plenty of action by floating both live or dead baits and trolling lures.  The Nannygai remain a little more elusive and while there have been some great catches, other anglers have struggled to find the schools.

The shoals and rubble patches in the shipping channel have also been fishing well with good numbers of school-size Spanish  Mackerel and the occasional Doggie Mackerel being caught.  The majority of boats have also reported some nice Grass Sweet Lip and Coral Trout but, again, a shortage of Nannygai.

As the water has begun to clear up, large bait schools have started to move in close to the islands and along the coast.  This should quickly attract the schools of Tuna, Trevally, and Doggie Mackerel that we start to see at this time of year.  It is often worthwhile jigging under these schools for Fingermark and Grunter, as they forage around picking up the scraps and wounded baitfish.

Spanish Mackerel have also moved in close around the islands and headlands.  These are larger versions in the 10 to 15 kilo size range and are showing a preference for trolled wolf herring and live baits.

Bottom fishing around the coastal islands has been reasonable, with catches mostly consisting of Grass Sweet Lip, and Island Trout.  There have also been some excellent reports of both Grunter and Fingermark.

The fishing for Barra and Mangrove Jacks has definitely slowed but some great fish are still being caught, both in the coastal creeks and the Hinchinbrook region. Generally, it is the soft plastics that give the best results in these cooler conditions, however, my manager had Friday off and mentioned that he hooked half a dozen Barra on the Jackson Joker and that they were not interested in the soft plastic prawn imitations he had earlier offered.

Those bait fishing the estuaries have reported good numbers of big Bream and lots of school-size Grunter.  Apparently, the edges of the creek mouths are full of jelly prawn with lots of big Tarpon, school-sized Trevally, and the occasional Barra feeding on them.  There have also been plenty of Flathead lying in ambush along the edge of the drop-offs and along the flats.

I have heard extraordinarily little from the freshwater and would expect things to be quiet until we get a warm spell.

At this early stage, it looks like we are in for some good weather later in the week. Hopefully, this will carry on until the weekend and allow boats to travel out to catch a Mackerel!  Time will tell!

If the weather conditions take a turn for the worse, the ideal run in the tides on the weekend are perfect to fish for Mangrove Jacks and Barra in the creeks.  I like the afternoon run in tide.  Anglers could also fish this same tide for Bream, Flathead, or Whiting.  Either side of the evening high tide will suit chasing Grunter up on the Hinchinbrook flats and in the coastal creeks.  The Mud Crabs are still around in good numbers so do not forget the crab pots!

The midday low tides will cause problems at some ramps, such as Port Hinchinbrook.

Good Fishing!

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