People who fish really are a lucky bunch of people. Every day, hour and minute spent with a rod in your hand is time to cherish. Then there is the feeling you get when you hook up to something – words cannot describe it. Yes fishing is seriously addictive!
March up here in Lucinda is always very hard to predict as we are still entirely in the hands of the weather gods. But as I have said before no matter what the weather throws at you there are always fishing options available, that is why Lucinda really is an angler’s paradise. It’s safe to say that it’s possible to get hit with all the elements in one fishing trip, from pouring rain to searing heat and humidity, but that’s fishing in the tropics.
March is a time where there is only one fish on the mind – the mighty barramundi. Their willingness to smash a lure or inhale a bait, the amazing gleam of silver as they tail walk in the afternoon light and of course the wonderful feed the small / medium models dish up make them arguably Australia’s favourite fish.
The best place to be chasing barra at this time of the year are the mud drains. These drains flush all sorts of edible goodies out into the mouths of barra waiting in the dirty coloured water. Drains don’t have to be big to attract fish, as long as there is a section of dirty coloured water meeting the clearer water.
Keep in mind it’s very rare to catch barra in clear water. Keep the boat a long cast away and lob shallow divers such as Bombers and Reidy’s B52s right up into the drain or even land them on the mud bank and drag them in to the water. Small to medium poppers and lightly weighted plastics in a prawn imitation pattern are also dynamite for this type of fishing.
As these areas are normally very shallow it pays to use stealth to optimise your chances. Set up a drift, anchor or use the electric motor to avoid spooking the fish. If you do spook them and you see the tell tale Vs of quickly departing fish it is best to try somewhere else and return in half an hour or so.
The Seymour River is a great place to be chasing barra at this time of the year as it will have a good combination of fresh and salt and it offers countless sand and mud banks with plenty of drains. If we are receiving plenty of flood water then you will be travelling further up the channel in search of better looking water. Fishing the actual banks of Hinchinbrook is a good option as it also has many fish holding areas. Again look for bait and colour change in the water.
If you have the patience and enjoy relaxing whilst waiting for the fish to come to you then secure some live mullet, herring or gar and fish them on a longer trace. Have them swimming away from the bottom and use a fine gauge hook for a natural presentation.
The channel area is massive and offers hundreds of creeks to fish. Every creek big or small will have deeper sections in the form of holes. It is these areas that you want to target. Some holes will fish better on a high tide and others on low so if you find a nice hole and it isn’t producing fish give it another go on the opposite tide or time of day.
Do yourself a favour and head out to the palm islands with the family. Pack a picnic lunch and of course sneak a few spin rods in the boat just in case. Drifting around the edges of the islands throwing poppers and plastics into the clear water is such a treat.
March is a great time for the resident GT and queenies to come out and play. Look for areas where the shallow flats drop down quickly into deeper water.
A great use for any broken-tipped rod is to chuck a spin reel on, attach a squid jig and leave it in the boat. I’ve had several delicious squid chase my plastic and by the time I found my jig they were gone.
Out on the reef there are fish a plenty. As a rule when the water temp is up the fish will go deeper and this is where you need to be targeting them. You will still catch the odd trout in 10-25m but for better numbers you should be looking around the 40m mark and beyond.
There have been plenty of nannygai and red emperor being caught and the last few months have seen some of the best red bites in years. It’s all about finding those lumps and bumps out in 50-80m and hanging on.
Last month we were very surprised at the amount of school sized Spaniards hanging around. We found a small pinnacle in around 25m out at Bramble Reef that was stacked all day with 80-90cm mackerel, which provided some great fun. If things are quiet on the bottom going for a troll whilst you explore some new ground is a great idea.Reads: 1962