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Nasty weather won’t foil fish
  |  First Published: December 2011



The recent month has seen some incredible captures coming from Hinchinbrook. Although the weather has been a little nasty at times the fish have been pretty eager to bite.

We have seen some ripper threadfin taking lures and live baits but they are the most fun when they smash a trolled lure and rip off 80m of line on their first run. Some of these big salmon have nudged the 1300 long mark and you have to make sure you service your drags well before trying to do battle with one of these drag racers, or rather drag destroyers.

Fingermark have shown up in reasonable numbers but are still a bit of a hit and miss species for some anglers. Now that the water is warm you should have some success on the neap tides if you drop live greenback herring onto some of the channels’ rubble bottom areas.

The key to success is to search a little and watch your sounder. Most importantly put the time in on that one spot and let the fish come to you, as they are foragers. Don’t give up the ghost after 10 minutes and move on.

Another benefit of using live greenbacks on running rigs in these areas is that you can sometimes find yourself attached to big grunter and sometimes both blue and threadfin salmon.

Fishing at night is another popular method to target many species during our summer months. All the usual suspects seem a bit easier to get to bite, which brings out other species that traditionally bite better at night, like black jewfish.

The jew seem to like the deeper waters of holes and headlands from 10-15m and will take a variety of baits including big live mullet, whole fresh and live squid and have even been known to take a well presented strip bait. I haven’t really tried it but I’m sure that soft plastics may work as well.

The black jew is not really a fish that you will catch in any numbers but when you do succeed they are a real treat in the frypan.

This month try fishing a little deeper out on the reef for trout and sweetlip and most fish will bite better when you haven’t got northwesterly winds.

When you do have northwesters try fishing at night if you must go out, but watch the thunderstorms that are sometimes associated with those winds. Many a small boat angler has given themselves a good dose of skidmarks over the years by not using common sense when thunderstorm fronts approach the coasts at night.

December also marks the last month that gamefishers have to get a crack at a decent marlin on the shelf. Mission Beach just to the north of Hinchinbrook is a great access point with some good grounds wide of Armistice Reef being a 38 mile run. Dogtooth and yellowfin tuna should also be still achievable for the sashimi lovers.

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