There has been some pretty good fishing all round for many anglers up here in the past month.
Estuaries have been fishing well for barra, although most seem more interested in eating live baits and not so hungry on the lures and jigs. Some are saying that the smaller size fish are not as prevalent as last year. This could be simply a seasonal thing or they may show up in big numbers this month. Nevertheless, there’s nothing wrong with the numbers of large barra, as many of my clients will confirm with a big smile.
Golden snapper have been rather aggressive last month too, with all the usual haunts like wrecks, headlands and rubble and rock bottoms all producing fish. Soft vibes are a very effective way of targeting these fish and are being used by more and more anglers every week. We must remember to fish sustainably as this species could one day become over-fished if everyone starts taking more than their share.
Grunter and salmon have also been regular catches with the blue or Cooktown salmon being in plague proportions at times. Bigger tides on the flats around the shallow drop-offs are where you will find plenty of these fish. Small mullet and herring on a running or dropper rig seems to do the trick.
Grunter have been fishing well on live greenback and squid with many fish nudging 2kg and better. The traditional grounds near Gould Island have been producing a few fish but best results have come from Missionary Bay.
Offshore has seen some real mixed reports. I have spoken to some people who have done really well on coral trout and other reef species and others have said they have done it tough. I guess it all comes back to barometer and tides; if you are a good fisher you will recognise that you can’t catch a bucket-load every time. Keep on trying and sooner or later you will hit your little purple patches.
April is one of my most favourite months for fishing. It marks the end of the freshwater run-off and things go back to normal. The smaller barra that infest the gutters and drains should resurrect their numbers and of course the big girls will be on fire too.
April will also see an improvement in the reef fishing as we start to get away from the hot days and the northerly influence. Trout will start to move shallower as the temperature starts to drop and should be aggressive on the making tides before the moons. Pillies would have to be one of the best baits for these tasty critters.
Spaniards may also start to show up inshore towards the end of April. Eva Island and the family group would be a good place to start looking, particularly where the current touches the headlands or isol ated rocks. Just remember Spaniards have a bag limit of three per person and in possession at home. Steer clear of the bigger specimens as your chances of shaking hands with Ciguatera poisoning is rather high.
If you would like to book a charter we still have a few dates left later in the year so if it’s on your bucket list to catch a big barra get in soon. We are also taking bookings for 2014, I’ve never seen it so busy! Contact us at www.hookedonhinchinbrook.com .Reads: 715