Fishing finally reaps rewards
  |  First Published: December 2012

Anglers have been reaping the rewards of the warming conditions with an increase in the number of species and fish in general. We are finally seeing some warmer weather that has provided some triggers in our fisheries habits.

We are now starting to experience things that should have started in early October.

The giant threadfin salmon have finally shown up in numbers and that is a big plus for us now that the barra season is closed. The threadfin are becoming more popular on the charter fishing scene as I am getting more interest than ever from anglers wanting to have a crack at a good threddy.

Another species that anglers turn their attention to is fingermark and up here in the channel there is so much country to find some of these colourful brutes. Deep water jigging and soft plastics account for most fingermark, however many people still prefer the old live greenback when live baiting. Mud herring are also a reasonable bait when chasing them too as they are much more hardy than greenbacks.

The last month or two has been delivering a few surprises in the shape of a black spot disease on some of our barra. About one in ten, both large and small, have had it as seen on our Facebook site. Dr Mike Cappo from AIMS saw our posts and is currently trying to chase up a researcher who is experienced in this type of condition. Townsville has also seen this condition, so if you accidentally catch one in the closure period displaying symptoms, before you release it take a close up photo, then record location and get its approx size without causing too much stress on the fish and send to myself or Mike Cappo at AIMS. When something is found we will report it via our Hooked On Hinchinbrook Facebook page.

December will start to see those oily calm, sweltery days creap in and that can mean a boring day’s fishing on the reef. This has pretty much always been the case, best fishing usually occurs at night. Shallow rubble bottoms on the edge of the lagoon can become big foraging pads for an abundance of species, such as long-nose emperor, red emperor and red throat.

Summer nights on the reef can also mean bumping into a few of the big reef jacks and they are one impressive looking fish. They have been known to grow in excess of 10kg and at that size are quite a foe for you and your tackle. So as Macca says “Buckle up!”

Gamefishing in these waters during December is also at its peak for anglers wanting to hit the Shelf for big pelagics, such as black marlin, big dog-tooth tuna, yellowfin tuna, wahoo and mahi mahi. Places such as Armistice Reef off Mission Beach right down to Mymidon Reef off Townsville will see some diehard fishos venturing out to make the most of it.

Inshore, you will most likely see grunter, fingermark and the salmon species. These are the most targeted fish while the barra season is closed. Remember barra are very aggressive this time of year and will often take baits and lures meant for other fish; they must be carefully handled, hooks removed and back in the drink ASAP. Any large fish should have the hooks removed while in the water if possible as they can be easily damaged by anyone not experienced in handling large fish.

If you have any black spot barra pics email them to me at --e-mail address hidden-- with the details or if you would like a charter for next year’s barra season contact us at www.hookedonhinchinbrook.com .


There are some decent threadfin salmon are going off on plastics lately.


Some times you don’t know what you will run into while jigging in the channel, like this great Spaniard.


Tanya with her first threadfin taken on a Gimp.

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