There were some great reports coming from out wide last month that suggest the Spaniards could be in for a great season.
One angler said his sounder blacked out in the shipping lane above what was a migrating school of Spanish mackerel. The school was 20m deep and 50m long! I can remember seeing them like this in the waters off Townsville years ago when fishing Maggy Shoals.
The next few months should be prime Spaniard fishing inshore and I can’t wait to get out there and amongst them. It’ll be good to give the barra a rest too.
I am also looking to fishing the wonky holes targeting reds, trout and other reefies on plastics. All trips so far have produced some decent fish. The Barrier Reef should see some great catches on the reds and some reports from the recent month have been testament to this.
The reefs off Cardwell and Mission Beach have seen some quality catches of red fish, and it’s usually best to hit the reef on the making tides for the best results.
There have been some good early reports of billfish in the shipping lanes. Some have been raised in amongst the mackerel schools, so let’s hope they are as good as last year, or better. The gamefishers will be keen for another good season. If you’re keen to get into chasing marlin and sailfish, contact your nearest gamefishing club and join up as this is the best place to start learning and make a few new friends.
Inshore the barra can be a little tricky this time of year and if you’re not really switched on with this species then you are better to target other things.
Golden snapper are one such fish that seem to thrive inshore during winter. Around the trenches between inshore islands and rubble pads and pinnacles all hold good numbers of school size specimens in the winter. Most fish are in the 1.5-3kg mark.
Another species that frequent the same areas is the black jewfsh, which is kind of a rare capture in many parts but we do snag the odd few around here. They are an awesome fish and would give my right leg to have them back in numbers once again. They were a very easy target 30-40 years ago but the numbers were punished hard and that’s why they are a rare capture these days, except in parts of northern Australia.
July should also see a run of grunter, as it does most years, particularly either side of the dark moon. Most winter fish don’t get over 2kg in the channel but some of the inner islands can hold schools of larger fish. Live greenback herring is a favourite for the larger fish and squid is an all-round bait for this and other species.
The channel has also had mega schools of small trevs and queenies. For those who enjoy the light tackle there will be plenty of this kind of action all winter. Just simply look for the terns smashing the surface and the pelagics won’t be far away, especially if you throw a small slice in their direction.
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