Offshore firing
  |  First Published: June 2011

Thanks to all the boaties and tourists who have helped Cardwell’s economy over the Easter period. I have not seen that many people here for a long time and they were all fairly well rewarded with some great reef reports as well as grunter and fingermark further inshore.

There were also reports of grey mackerel in the Gould Island area as well as Eva Island. Good Spaniards were being caught at the reefs wide of Mission Beach, which is also open for business after cyclone Yasi despite some tatty rainforest and ruffled looking cassowaries.

Mission Beach is a great access point to the reef; it is only 20 miles to some great offshore fishing and the Shelf is only 38 mile for the marlin, yellowfin tuna and all the rest of those Shelf dwelling speedsters. However, some of the closer reefs can provide some great sessions on the sailfish, especially on the southern current lines off each reef.

I just hope all the tour operators in the Mission Beach and Hinchinbrook region can keep their heads above water while the tourism recovery slowly trickles back as we have been the only industry neglected by government assistance, so fingers crossed if you visit we will still have all the experienced operators around or at least some of us.

The barra fishing lately has been a little unpredictable with some good sessions followed by days of inconsistency. Nevertheless, that should all change as the June cooler period takes over and the fish will then settle into their winter mode of aggregation. Most other estuary species will do the same, apart from bream and grunter as they are more foragers. So fishing structure should be high on the agenda for winter fishing.

Offshore is also a great place to be in June, especially on the making tides as the reef species start to turn it on. Red throat emperor will start to reappear in good numbers as will the trout on the seaward ledges. Pilchards and squid will be the better baits for bottom bouncing these species. You should also try fresh mullet too as they are a very good bait.

When fishing from Port Hinchinbrook go and see Mick and Linda at Port O Call near the boat ramp for fresh mullet bait plus all other boating and fishing requirements.

July is also a good time for Spaniards as they start their yearly aggregations, and remember that their bag limit is only three per angler in possession. Drifting pillies or gar in the current lines particularly near obstructions or pressure points on making tides should get you pointed in the right direction.

I have also recently started trips in the Townsville area again, as well as Hinchinbrook while we wait for our region to come back online properly. Will be great to fish some old haunts again and I welcome all my old customers back for a fish while I’m there, and I will also be conducting our boating and fishing consultation down there as well.

Clients can get me on 0418 538 170 or at --e-mail address hidden-- . I will also keep readers posted on the recovery of our region over the coming months and remember we are all open for business.

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