Unlimited opportunities
  |  First Published: June 2011

May has seen the grunter return with some great catches of quality fish and big 1m+ barramundi caught off the beach. The Spanish mackerel have also started to turn up, so with calm winds the sky will be the limit.

I managed to tag along on a charter with Dale Richardson on the Pentana and we caught plenty of fish including some big red emperor and Spanish mackerel up to 15kg. One hot bite on large-mouth nannies was amazing with everybody hooked up at once. Some giant trevally got in the mix to test out the anglers and gear and there were some major bust-offs due to inexperience and cunning fish. You can contact Dale on 0429 011 675 to organise that trip of a lifetime to the top of Mornington Island departing Karumba regularly.

June weather is usually calm and cool making for friendly fishing weather, provided the southeasterlies don't blow too hard. The easiest way to target Spanish mackerel is to sit out the front on the drop-off on the northeast side of the sand island. Just drift out a pillie on ganged hooks and wait. Put out another rod with some squid or prawn to catch some grunter and blue salmon.

My way is to troll poppers and lures along the drop-off outside the stationery boats. Please be at least 100m away to not interfere with them. You can catch some great fish including spotties and queenies as well as Spanish mackerel.

It is an offense to travel within 30m of anchored boats, so please refrain from this practice as it is not polite and can sometimes be dangerous to other small boats. I have mentioned this on many occasions but I still see people do the wrong thing. Our local DPI Officers have started to police this infringement, so be warned.


Well, we predicted the early temperature drop after all that rain could produce some interesting catches over on Sweers Island and sure enough, young Joel Gleeson from Springsure hooked a 17.5kg Spanish mackerel – dad helped him land it! Joel caught his monster on a live stripey and did well to work it to the boat. Remember to use heavy gear for these gamefish of the Gulf so you don’t lose your prize moments before getting it onboard for the all important photo.

The big wet may or may not have contributed to the variety and size of fish being caught this year, but regardless there are lots of big queenies, jewies, reds and trout.

The Wellings group from travel north to the Gulf for the start of the fishing season each year and were not disappointed with the fishing this year, catching good sized trevally and jewfish on day one.

The Doust group battled flooded creeks to drive to the Gulf and were rewarded with find catches of coral trout, nannygai, fingermark, queenfish, cod and the humble sweetlip.

As the water temperatures continue to drop, the Spaniards will become more plentiful with June generally being the peak month for this pelagic.

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