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Spirits high in Low Temps
  |  First Published: June 2011



Remember to pack the jumper as June mornings can be quite chilly when you’re skipping across the water before the sun rises. But the thought of drag screaming off your reel will keep your spirits high and heart warm as June should be full of pelagic fun.

Lucinda is in close proximity to plenty of great options to get among our cooler water finned friends such as mackerel and tuna. The reefs will be fishing well for big trout and nannygai and the channel will still have barra and good jacks on offer, so you can count on bringing back a nice mixed bag for the table.

Queenfish

June is my favourite time to chase big queenfish along the many sand banks and along the jetty. Although not great to eat, queenies provide some of the best fun you can have with a rod and reel. Queenies hunt in packs and offer the best visual fishing you can encounter when using poppers. Imagine cranking a popper back as fast as possible and having a dozen big fish smashing and jumping all over it until one hooks up in front of your eyes in clear water. The best thing is you can normally repeat this every cast for hours when you find them in good numbers.

Queenfish are best caught on lighter spin gear (6-10kg braid) to offer the best fun, they jump more and scream off drag. But remember they give everything in the fight and only come to the boat when exhausted. Quick hook removal in the water and swimming them before release is crucial to have them survive. If taking a picture have camera ready and do it quickly, they are too much fun to just fight once.

HINCHINBROOK CHANNEL

Although June will normally mean the barra fishing is much slower they are still there you just need to work much harder to make them eat. It is at this time I use plastics much more in the deeper holes in creeks and slowly just hop them around on the bottom. You will find if you annoy them enough they will eventually have a go at your offering. The hottest most humid day will greatly improve your chances.

The ocean side of the island such as Hillock Point, Sunken Reef Bay and Zoe Bay (watch for the green zones) are all great spots to try and find mackerel. Trolling lures around the rocky outcrops and beaches is a great way to spend a day and is normally rewarding.

If the mackerel are quiet, GT and queenies should keep you busy, and also big fingermark and jacks are always on the cards. Hillock Point is a very fishy piece of water and is a great place to anchor up and float some pilchards for mackerel as it is subject to many current lines and attracts plenty of bait.

THE JETTY

Ah, I love fishing the jetty sand flats when it is cooler. If only I could record some of the things I have seen at times. Trolling the jetty will be popular with locals chasing mackerel as it is a well known hot spot for various mackerel species, especially when the bait schools come in from out wider. For those wanting fun and games it is as simple as throwing slugs, plastics and poppers around until you get monstered, stopping them is another thing but hey it’s all part of the fun.

We have also been getting some lovely blue salmon fishing the flats between the jetty and the main beach. Drifting along throwing lures and plastics into the shallows and bringing them back into the deeper water is paying off with good fish. I have been using the Gulp Shrimps for this fishing and find the salmon can’t resist them. This fishing is also an option for land-based fishers.

REEF AND ISLANDS

The trade winds should be in force now so getting out wider will mean keeping a good eye on the weather. It is so much easier these days with the amount of info at our fingertips.

When you can get out wider the inshore reefs should be full of fish, try fishing in shallower water (especially at night) as fish will look for warmer temps. I know of one local who has fished the area for many years who catches all of his trout at this time in 10-15m, and big ones at that!

Cooler water means the islands will hold better fish, especially the shallower sections. June is my favourite month to chase big red throat emperor around the islands at night. Also it is no secret that the reef and islands will be holding plenty of mackerel for those trolling in amongst the bait schools. So pack the wire trace but only use it if you have to as your bite rate will decrease, good thick mono is your best option.

June is not the time to find out your drags are not silky smooth. Cooler water means fish are going to run harder, faster and longer.

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