Golden fishing this spring
  |  First Published: October 2013

Golden grunter have showed up a little earlier this year, with bigger models around the outer islands during winter. We have been catching them on plastics while jigging for other species. They become a very welcome catch among recreational fishers.

With the waters warming on queue we have also tangled with some good-sized king threadfin salmon. Once again jigging has been the preferred technique but I have also picked up a few trolling lures. The next few months are a good time to tangle with threadfin in most of the tropical coast estuaries, including the Townsville region. Berley jerk shads are a favourite of mine when chasing threadies, with light jigheads on the changing tide.

Golden snapper have also been firing with some great captures from the deeper waters and they will become even better in the next month or two as many larger fish wander in off the headlands. Warmer waters will mean there should be some good squid showing up for those who like to fish the evening. Neap tides around Haycock Island at night should be good for squid, as well as golden snapper and the odd black jewfish.

It’s also possible to tangle with GT, big queenies and cobia when fishing the evening hours with live squid.

There has been some reasonable billish action continuing with many boats getting amongst little blacks and some good sailfish around the inner reef entrance. It’s likely for mackerel fishers to encounter a few billfish during this time of year.

Many of the gamefishers will be also lining up along the shelf from Cairns to Lizard Island as well as waters off Townsville near Myrmidon Reef for the annual run of giant black marlin, which has made these very waters famous.

October is when most Spanish mackerel head offshore away from the inner islands. They will start their spawning aggregations around the reefs off the Palm Islands. They can also start a spawn on just about any reef in the region. It is very impressive when they start a continuous shower out of the water as part of their spawning rituals. They are easily caught this time of year and trolled gar is one of the most common methods. Also remember that they have a bag limit of three per angler and steer clear of the real big specimens as some can be riddled with ciguatera and that is one thing I wouldn’t wish upon anyone, well maybe with the exception of some of our pathetic politicians.

October is also the favoured month for many barra fishos and I would expect to see most gutter and drain banks being sprayed by hundreds of lures over the coming month. The barra will need a well- earned break by the end of month. Try using shallow minnows and soft plastics around dirty water lines too as that can be rather rewarding as sometimes it is possible to hand cast bigger fish.

Most barra fishing is done in shallow water when the waters are warm. Deep water jigging is more of a winter practise as is deep trolling. You can still troll this time of year but look to get your lures a lot higher in the water column as that is where the fish are. Also be aware of bag limits and be sure to release the bigger fish as they are what keep the wheels turning. Fingers-crossed for a better wet season this year.

If you would like to come up for a fishing charter contact us at www.hookedonhinchinbrook.com. We are now taking bookings for next year’s season and king threadfin salmon on plastics in November and December.

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