Barra hide but the mackerel play
  |  First Published: May 2013

What a difference a year makes. Last year was the late big wet that had the fish firing and many people went home with big smiles and awesome stories of their trip to Normanton and Karumba.

We have hardly had a wet this year and the effect is amazing. The barramundi have been hiding and not many people have caught them so far.

Most of the commercial barra fishers have not been seeing many in their nets, either. There is not much bait showing up and this may also affect the result.

I can say that if you put in some effort then you can still get a reward, because our new barramundi charter guide Groover showed this. His crew caught 5 barramundi over a metre and plenty up to 1m as well.

The lack of fresh water mean that we should look forward to a glamour mackerel season. The water out the front will go full salt a lot sooner than normal and this should bring in the Spanish mackerel and all their mates.

The northern side of the sand island is a good place to start trolling lures but remember not to hassle the people berleying up the fish and waiting for them. Look for bait balls and you will be a big chance to land one.

We all like to have a good time on the water and it starts with having your safety gear.

Many people come up here and bring their inflatable vests as life jackets. You will be fined if you can not show it is less than 12 months since has been the cylinder gassed. Buying a new inflatable lifejacket still means you have to show receipt of purchase .

Please check with Queensland Fisheries to get clarification. The basic lifejackets cost only around $20 and do the job.

The Karumba Community Anglers Classic is on May 4 and 5 and with over $20,000 in prizes available, it is worth the effort to come.

There are huge numbers of prizes and a draw for everyone, even if you do not catch a fish. Call Yvonne Tunney at Ashes for more details on 07 4745 9132.


Early mackerel have arrived at Sweers, along with good-sized golden snapper and nannygai. Throw in above-average parrotfish on prawns, some really decent sweetlip and coral trout trolled over shallow reefs and it’s a great start to the 2013 season.

The weather has been good and guest numbers are building up at the resort. The Wellings group, regular visitors, were the first guests for the year and had a very event-filled few days, followed by the Pope group from Mt Isa and the Zahle family. All caught a variety of fish in good numbers and sizes.

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