Sporadic winter species soars
  |  First Published: August 2012

Our winter so far has been a very cool, and windy one making some species a bit sporadic and others come on the chew.

It’s the first winter like this for some years. Previous winters have seen some rather warm conditions and the barra bit their heads off all the way through, but they have become fairly sporadic of late.

My best results from big barra recently have been on new spots and have not seen much fishing action. A couple of the more heavily fished spots have seen the fish become lure shy, but that happens with all areas that become pressured. I will certainly be keeping my new areas away from a few prying eyes.

If you are not experienced in winter barra fishing then maybe targeting fingermark and other species is what you need to concentrate on until the waters warm and the flats and gutters start to fire again. When the cold snaps have been coming through we have been turning our attention to fingermark.

The channel is experiencing one of the best fingermark seasons I have seen for some time. My Humminbird side scanner has been responsible for finding several new rocks in our waters that have obviously never been fished. Some days have seen as many as 25 fingermark for the day’s jigging plus many other species such as GT and big grunter.

Winter also sends the blue salmon into the deeper holes where they will aggregate most of the winter. They can be a lot of fun for fishers just looking for a bit of entertainment and soft plastics and lures, like Threddybusters and Transams should account for them.

The fingermark have been going well on the Berkley Jerk Shads and an interesting new lure from Townsville called the Gimp. I wont get into the real meaning of the word but lets say that when dropped into the middle of a school of fish it’s on for young and old…

Nothing much to report from outside due to the weather but the few breaks have seen some top class bottom fishing for all the usual suspects, such as trout and lippers. The northern bluefin have also been in early in some good numbers around the back of Gould and east of Eva islands.

The Cardwell Jetty has been popular with land-based anglers producing small Spaniards and some reasonable cobia.

In the past I have spoken about ‘wonky holes’ and many anglers in the north are now trying to find these little isolated underground springs. Unfortunately since Cyclone Yasi they have all covered over and have not flushed themselves clean again, which will most likely take some time. The underwater forces from Yasi turned the wreck of the Yongala on its side and that was in 28m of water, which gives you some kind of idea how much the seabed was disturbed.

A lot of anglers are reporting sightings of big tiger sharks. We saw five in excess of 10ft in one day around Gould island. It’s that time of year when they come in close to start mating. They are no threat to anglers but would be a little wary if you partake in a bit of spearfishing around the inner islands.

In August I would expect things to remain the same as July, but during September we should start to see a few changes.

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