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Gone Fishing Report

28/May/2021

There is not much that is particularly nice that could be said about the weather conditions we experienced here on the Cassowary Coast last weekend. Unfortunately, it is the time of year when we experience strong south easterlies and rain.  

Needing to get out of the house, we launched the boat and had a couple of hours fishing the Hull River before the rain drove us home. We managed to lose one reasonable Barra that did us on a snag and raised a few Mangrove Jacks that did not commit properly to the lures we were using. However, I did feel a lot better for the effort and, really, that is what putting in time on the river is all about (as it clears the head).

The reports coming in are all similar, with some nice Barra and Jacks being caught by those willing to brave the conditions. I am sure the temperature drop is also affecting the fishing. It is time to drop down our lure size and think about what we are doing.  At this time of year, I like looking for shallow stretches of water and then to fish the warmer water as it moves up the river on the incoming tide. The first 100 metres after the flat are normally the best.

We are now starting to see the winter species entering the estuaries, with reports of Flathead, Whiting, and Bream being caught.  Try fishing with fresh yabbies, or even garden worms, during the first of the run-in tide.  Whiting is also an aggressive fish, and can be caught by fishing small poppers, such as the Jackson Panic, by working them across the water in a manner similar to a fleeing prawn.

Reports have been received of some good Grunter being caught in the coastal creeks, both from the rubble bottom and along the edge of the sand bars.  The best baits here have been prawns, herring, or quality squid.

Whilst reports have slowed, there are still good numbers of Barra being caught up in the freshwater reaches of the coastal rivers, both from the mouth of the feeder creeks and from the backwaters.  Locally, the Maria, Tully, and Murray Rivers are all still fishing well, so I would assume that the Johnstone, Liverpool, and Herbert should all be firing.

The freshwater creeks are also producing some nice Sooty Grunter and Jungle Perch.  The trick is to find a creek that is running relatively clear and then put in the hard yards.  Local freshwater enthusiast, Ryan Sanger, managed to catch a 50cm. Sooty Grunter last week, when he was fishing a soft plastic in a small creek.  Now that is going to take some beating!

The daytime tides this weekend have only moderate movement and are ideal tides for chasing Jacks, both in the coastal creeks and in the sheltered waters of Hinchinbrook Island. The first of the early morning run-in tide will be perfect to chase Mangrove Jacks in the creeks and the midday high tide will suit chasing Barra on the Hinchinbrook flats.

The mud crabs have been plentiful so do not forget the crab pots.

At this early stage of the week, there are signs that the wind will drop a little, both around the weekend and early next week.  There is a chance that we may be able to get out around the islands in the larger boats and, hopefully, it will not be too long before we can out to the reef.  So, watch that weather and be ready to go!

Good Fishing

Roly Newton

Tackle World Tully

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