Unfortunately, the weather conditions were not suitable for offshore boating over the weekend, however boats that managed to travel out wide on Thursday and Friday reported reasonable catches of Coral Trout and Red Throat Emperor from the reef shallows. Successful anglers mentioned that they had to work hard for their fish and that sea conditions were not fantastic.

Good numbers of Spanish Mackerel continue to be caught on both floaters and trolling lures along the drop offs and pressure points. The few spearfishermen with whom I have talked confirmed that some nice Coral Trout and Crayfish can be found but that they are having to put in a fair effort for their catch.

The wrecks and rubble patches in the deeper water fished well, with some nice large and small mouth Nannygai being caught.

Anglers fishing the shoals in the shipping channel have managed reasonable numbers of both Spanish and School Mackerel. Most of these fish have been around 6 to 7 kg. and have been readily taking lures such as the Halco Laser Pro or Rapala X Rap. 

Another successful new lure is the Jackson G Control, which has been specially designed to troll at a fast pace and, as it swims at a shallower depth, is ideal to place right out the back and between two deep divers. Another successful method has been to float out pilchards while bottom fishing for Nannygai.

I have found the bottom fishing around the islands a little difficult over the last week. Those dedicated anglers, who are willing to get up in the predawn darkness, have been getting some nice fish mostly Fingermark, Grass Sweet Lip, and the occasional Trout, however the fishing has been dropping off during the day.

Although not in huge numbers, I have had no problem hooking some nice Spanish Mackerel by trolling ribbonfish. Most of these fish have been quality Macks in the 10 to 14kg weight range. Reports have also been coming through of Doggy (school) Mackerel being caught around the inshore grounds wide of the Hull, Clump Point, and Kurrimine. These are not the massive schools we expect to arrive later in July. Most catches consist of 2 to 4 fish and have responded to a drifted pilchard.

Surprisingly there has been some nice Barra caught land-based from around the coastal headlands and jetties. As the water clears,  we should also see the Mackerel move in around the jetties as well. Although not traditionally the best time of year to fish for Barra and Mangrove Jacks, there have been some excellent numbers caught over the last week. The Barra have been mostly small in the 55 to 60cm mark and the Jacks have also been more school-sized rather than the monsters we were seeing caught a few weeks ago.

Bottom fishing has been all about Grunter and Bream in the coastal creeks and Hinchinbrook area. Reports were good during the week, but catches dropped off during last weekend.

The mud crab numbers have also dropped off, hopefully the wet weather we have had this week has flushed them out and got them moving again.

I have had no reports from the freshwater this week, however I am sure there are still fish to be caught, if you can put up with and compensate for these cooler conditions.

At this early stage of the week, the various weather sites are predicting light winds during this Friday and Saturday, with winds increasing through Sunday. This will hopefully allow anglers to venture out to the islands and, with a little luck, wider to the shipping channel and close reefs.

The tides are ideal to fish for Barra and Mangrove Jacks in the coastal creeks and Hinchinbrook region. They are also great to fish for Grunter and Bream around the mouths of the creeks or along the drop offs along the Hinchinbrook flats.

Good Fishing

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