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Barra on the bite
  |  First Published: May 2012



The past month has been fairly wet as a late wet season has hung around for longer than expected. Although there was no spectacular rain, the freak tornado certainly gave some Townsville residents a big fright.

Hinchinbrook is looking absolutely fantastic compared to this time last year and the fishing is going off as usual. Many anglers are enjoying some great captures of school-sized barra around most of the land based areas.

The freshwater run-off around the smaller creeks in Rockingham Bay has brought on some really hot barra and threadfin salmon sessions out on the flats where the fresh and salt collide. Anglers using small poppers have been rewarded with some really exciting surface strikes.

Further up the main channel has been a little patchy with the Herbert River spewing out red swirling water which will take a little time to settle down, but should bring on some awesome fishing after it does.

There has also been a number of croc sightings with these oversized geckos wandering throughout the channel and beaches. It’s very common for them to do this during flood run-off so be a little wary when gathering bait particularly north of Cardwell where the prawning is very popular at this time of year.

Offshore fishing has been fairly quiet compared to the previous few months. The local reef fishing fanatics have said the deep water reds have been very slow although they are still there on the sounder, but also they have mentioned that there has been a lot of sharks to the extent where it’s not even worth fishing. This sort of thing always happens at certain periods throughout the summer and things should go back to normal during the autumn months.

During May we should see some big changes to the fishing scene with the arrival of the inshore Spanish mackerel run and many other pelagics such as the trevally and tuna species wandering inshore as well.

All these species love metal slices and all you have to do is match the hatch. Tuna prefer small slices as they feed predominately on little baitfish where GT and Spaniards like the bigger models as they feed on mostly herring and gar.

There are also many other popular methods for different fish such as poppers and trolled gar and that’s why it’s worth checking with the local tackle shops for what works best in the area and the species you are chasing.

I would also expect to see the reef species move a little shallower as the water cools and the juvenile marlin and sailfish start to show in and around the bait schools in the shipping lane and reef openings.

Now that we are at the end of the wet we can only hope that the wonky holes have been able to flush themselves open again after cyclone Yasi disrupted the seabed last year. Wonky holes are underground springs that rise to the seabed and just look like huge bellybuttons in the sea floor. They hold some really impressive fish when they are running although they are not that easy to find.

The best part about May for me is that it produces some sensational big barra fishing for my clients and if you wish to be part of that contact me via our website at www.hookedonhinchinbrook.com where you can also link to our Facebook page and keep up with our fishing antics.

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