The winds dropped off last Friday and Saturday allowing most boats to travel out to the islands and the larger boats to travel out wide. I did not venture any further out than the islands, however I was told there was a reasonable south-easterly swell which made travel to the reef uncomfortable.
As usual, there were reasonable numbers of Coral Trout and Sweet Lip caught and the Spanish Mackerel were plentiful along the reef drop offs and pressure points.
Those that preferred to spearfish managed to catch some nice Coral Trout, Blue Tuskers, and Crayfish.
The shipping channel shoals have been a hive of activity, with most boats targeting Spanish and School Mackerel. The odd, good catch has been reported, however, most boats are leaving happy with two or three fish per angler.
The Mackerel shoals wide of Kurrimine, such as Silver Sands, are not firing yet, with most boats managing a few school Mackerel. I was told the doggies were not feeding well and that, for every fish caught, several were dropped.
I had a quick troll for a Spanish Mackerel around the Family Group of Islands, without a strike. There seems to be plenty of bait around, however the water was quite dirty, and I am sure once the water clears, the Mackerel will move in close.
There are plenty of Grass Sweet Lip around the islands and inshore reefs, and I noticed the schools of Pike are starting to show up. These are a great baitfish and seem to attract Mackerel and Fingermark whenever present.
It always amazes me the quality of Coral Trout that keep getting caught from our inshore reefs. There were several Trout in the 60cm. size range reported. The secret is to use live or fresh baits where possible, those Pike mentioned above would be perfect.
The coastal creeks were still feeling the effects of all the rain we had during last week. I spoke to several boats around the boat ramps and most had been managing some nice Mud crabs and the snags and rubble bars around the mouth of the rivers have been producing good numbers of Pikey Bream and the odd Mangrove Jack. This is great bread and butter fishing and is an excellent way to spend a few hours over the school holidays with the kids. You can also spend a bit of time showing them how to throw a cast net. Believe me, they will really enjoy themselves!
The sheltered waters of the Hinchinbrook area are a great location to fish in windy and wet conditions, as you can always find suitable water quality and shelter somewhere.
At this early stage of the week, the various weather sites are predicting light winds for Friday. They are forecasting winds to rise during Saturday, so it will need to be an early start on Saturday morning.
The good news is that there will be great tides for the estuaries, and we should see some nice Mangrove Jacks and Barra caught. Try either side of the mid-afternoon low tide.
The other alternative is to pump some Yabbies and fish for bread-and-butter species, such as Bream and Whiting, during the late afternoon incoming tide.
The afternoon low tide will cause some problems at the mouth of the coastal creeks and several boat ramps.
Tackle World Tully
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