Finer fishing on horizon
  |  First Published: September 2012

The fishing recently has improved, thanks to some normal periods of weather and not the pouring rain and freezing wind that we were previously experiencing. We can only hope that finer weather prevails and we can get ready for some great sessions with the water warming up.

I’m keen to try out some new spots that we found in mid winter, so will be keen to see how they perform with the onset of spring.

Inshore fishing of late has been reasonable with some great school-sized threadfin salmon showing up again and a few more numbers of barra being reported in the drains and run-offs. The bigger barra have been a bit unpredictable with the cooler weather but there have been a few still feeding.

If you fish Hinchinbrook you will find it much easier to target the school-sized barra in the drains and flats. It does take considerable time to work out how to consistently catch bigger fish in all parts of the channel and Missionary Bay.

This winter has also brought a plague of Queensland school mackerel. It would have to be the best number I have seen in years. Although they are popular with many recreational fishers they can be a pain in the butt too. With so many herring schools in the channel this year the macks are right up in all the estuaries, and when you are jigging $20-30 lures for salmon and fingermark it doesn’t take long before the mackerel bite offs become a little frustrating. However, they make a tasty little feed for the bread and butter anglers.

There have also been plenty of queenies and GT in amongst the herring schools providing great sport. Just look for the birds diving, especially down the southern end, and toss small slices and plastics into the schools. It doesn’t take long before you are on.

Reef fishing has been great with some good breaks in the weather allowing punters to get outside, especially up Mission Beach way. Dennis from Fishin Mission charters says they have had some great fun on the Spaniards and good quality trout and other reef species. Now is normally the best time of year to fish the reef as well as the next couple of months. The larger tides around the moon should see best results.

Fishing in September should see a few changes in the fishery with the gradual warming of the water. Species such as barra and blue salmon should become more active around the drains and the larger fingermark and oceanic grunter should start to make an appearance in the channel. However, this will depend on whether this long cold winter decides to stay around a bit longer or it may go the other way and collapse early. I know I certainly want it to warm up sooner than later.

September is a great time to be out on the billfish grounds with the small black marlin and sailfish at their peak. Trolling the usual baits and lures around the bait schools wide of Hinchinbrook should account for a few fish as this has been the best season for quite a while.

Be a bit wary of the whales at the moment as they are increasing by around 10% each year. In recent years they are becoming more and more inquisitive with boats. Many people are saying that they are coming over to their anchored vessels and playing around the boat. This is an increasing trend and can probably be put down to the many whale watching operators to the south interacting with the mammals. This is not such a bad thing as it is always a wonderful experience, but one wrong move could see someone in the drink with them so be a little wary as there is a good chance most whales will turn and head in your direction.

Check out our website at www.hookedonhinchinbrook.com if you would like to book a charter. Now taking bookings for next year’s barra season.

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