Reports from the reefs off Cardwell suggest that there has been a great run of red emperor and large mouth nannygai.
The weather has been a little ordinary, only allowing the larger reef boats to get out. It seems as though the twilight hours are the best, which has been traditionally the case. This good run of fish could be because of the extra cold water temperatures this year and may be dragging in more fish from the shelf than previous years.
Some of the better baits to try are fresh squid, cuttlefish, octopus and mullet fillet. Another old favourite is a pilchard stuffed up the bottom of a larger squid. This rig allows you to see the eye socket of the pilchard through the transparent squid, which allows you to pass the hook through the squid and eye of the pillie to hold it in place. Then simply put the hook back through the body of the squid down further to finish off the rig.
Coral trout are still going off as well and should do so for the next few months. For those who are not accustomed to fishing in North Queensland it is best to target trout during daylight hours and it’s widely known up here that pillies are the number one bait by far. Trolling deep diving lures around the bombies and jiggin soft plastics in the deeper waters are other methods that also work well. The Bozo mullet patterns are ideal for this and are extremely hardy.
When targeting trout you will sometimes run into some of the protected species such as barramundi cod, Chinaman, and Maori wrasse so make sure you familiarise yourselves with the marine park and fishery rules. Nothing is worth the hefty fines involved and ignorance is not really accepted by the authorities.
Spaniards are also going off at the inshore pressure points and headlands, as you would expect for this time of year. But they will be hard to find if you decide to go out on the waning moon or neap tides.
As usual I have to mention the great winter barra fishing… I really don’t know why anglers bother going to the territory this time of year when we have some spectacular fishing to offer for a third of the price.
As the seasons change September will be an awesome month on the water. The water will be starting to warm and the barra will be getting more and more aggressive. I’m predicting one of the best seasons on record, especially if the winter is anything to go by.
I would also expect mangrove jacks to start becoming more aggressive as well as the threadfin salmon, which have been a little patchy through the winter.
Big golden grunter should also be a welcome arrival later in the month so come on up and have some fun in our wonderful playground that is Hinchinbrook.
If you have visited Hinchinbrook recently and want your photo of one your local catches, whatever the species, please email it to me with a short story, as I always only have barra photos to put in this column.
It’s very hard to get disappointed with this place with an excellent fishery and views to die for. You can contact me at --e-mail address hidden-- or 0418538170.Reads: 823