It’s a high July
  |  First Published: July 2013

As we have moved into the last half of the year it has been great so far and I am sure there is still some great fishing to come. The cool month of July presents an angler with plenty of options and opportunities and you don’t have to look too hard to raise a few scales.

Inshore Galore

The inshore areas around the popular Cleveland Bay are alive with the colder water temperatures of winter drawing in heaps of bait to areas of structure. The bait has been around throughout the shipping channel, Cape Cleveland and on deeper ledges and shoaly ground scattered around Magnetic Island. This influx of bait, in the form of herring, yellowtail scad, prawns and many others have made the fishing awesome with hoards of other larger predatory fish moving closer inshore to get in on the smorgasbord on offer.

Mackerel of all kinds; spotted, doggie and Spanish, are common catches with the numbers in great form as anglers have not had a drama when they are after a few for the dinner table. Trolling a few diving lures is a simple and effective method to catch a mackerel in the bay and anywhere really when there a few mackerel swimming around.

Another species that is on the chew is the fingermark and they are getting caught in the estuaries with reasonable quality. They favour areas with structure and this can be in the form of rocks, sunken timber and artificial structure such as bridge and jetty pylons. Fishing around this structure will put you in with a much better chance of getting a few wickets and particularly if these bits of structure are in deeper water as the fingermark will often school up and feed actively without hesitation.

I was recently fishing for fingermark with a good mate and we found that changing lures was a great technique to continually catch these fish as you would catch a couple on one style of lure then not got any more bites. A change of lure would then see you getting a few more hits and so on, with different lures getting attention from the same school of fish. Lure styles that are worth having in the tackle box are the Jackall Transam, Strada Senseye, the Koolabung blades and the Gulp soft plastics in many of their models produced.


July is a sweet month to be fishing offshore from Townsville with the reefs producing some excellent coral trout action along with many other shallow water reef species including red throat emperor, cod and spangled emperor. Medium to large fresh slab baits are the way to go with bites coming in the first few minutes when you are in the right area.

The deeper water between the reefs produces some top quality catches in the daylight hours but it is when the darkness of night falls that the action can really start. Radical catches of quality largemouth nannygai also with the king of the reef, the red emperor, will stretch angler’s arms into the early hours of the morning. Using big baits is the way to go as you can get past the pickers and draw the attention of any bigger reds that are kicking around down deep.

Well there shouldn’t be too many excuses for you not to be out there and having a great time fishing during July, as the ocean is your oyster… well something like that anyway. Good luck and keep it reel!

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