Salmon and barra red hot
  |  First Published: May 2012

Talk about instant replay. We’ve had another awesome wet that will set up some glamour fishing in the Gulf – just like last year.

North of Karumba towards the Staaten River has seen over 40 inches of rain fall in March and these systems will take some time to flush and return to good fishing. The systems near Karumba have fared much better and the fishing has been red hot for king salmon and barramundi over the last month.

May is the time to hit the systems and hunt the big barramundi with lures and live bait. You can also look out the front for the return of our good sized grunter. The weather has been kind and if the gods are nice then we will be in for some great sessions on fingermark out on the rubble patches as well.

Trolling lures out on the northwest side of the Sand Island will produce queenfish and mackerel as the water starts to cool. Please be polite and troll well away from people anchored up bait fishing so everyone can enjoy their time on the water.

Bait balls should be a giveaway as to where the fish will be. Do not send too many lures out the back at once as a school can make a big mess of lines in about 15 seconds. Don' t say you have not been warned.

Grunter will be about out the front near the Sand Island and the Grunter Hole in front of the wind sock. A running sinker rig with about 30cm of mono trace to a 4/0 hook is my favourite rig and don't forget some good prawns and squid for the hook. Waiting until after 9am to head out is the easy way to see where they are biting as the armada of boats will not be hard to find.

The roads will be fine but check with the Normanton police on (07) 4745 1133 just to check for any damage being worked on. Make sure you check out Normanton on the way up as the fishing there has been first class this year.

Sweers Island

The season on Sweers is off to a great start with regular guests, the Zahle family group and the Wellings group from Whitecliffes and surrounds all enjoying a great time.

The fishing has been great. The kids in the Zahle family group have caught some great fish including good fingermark, tuskfish, trout and sweetlip. Add into the mix some barra off the beach up to 90cm and what more could you ask for?

The Wellings group, who boasts last year’s winner of the biggest mackerel award at 21.4kg, are experiencing good fishing with fingermark and trout along with all the other reef fish around Sweers.

The preferred baits at the moment are strip fish fillets and pilchards. These baits are working well for bottom fishing and working the structure of rock and reef.

Poppers are stirring up the queenfish up to a metre in length. The mackerel and tuna will start to come on later in May. A few smaller mackerel are being caught at the moment on trolled lures around the headlands and channels surrounding the island.

Exaggerated fishing tales around the bar while enjoying a cold drink or two and some nibbles with your friends, other guests and your hosts – what a great end to a day’s fishing on Sweers.

All the signs are pointing to a bumper fishing season in the Gulf, so if you’re looking for the fishing experience of a lifetime, Sweers is the place to be. It’s looking like another busy year so book early to avoid disappointment.

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