Barra bound for bounty
  |  First Published: August 2013

The river fishing has slowed down, which is expected at the end of winter. Nevertheless, the coming months will see a dramatic spike in barra numbers being caught around the local systems as they start feeding hard in breeding preparation.

With the water temps still at the cold end of the scale for tropical species, big live baits fished around the main Endeavour Wreck just down from the boat ramp is a good place to start fishing for them. I have seen some absolute monster barra well over 120cm long be hooked on big live pike here, but stopping them from taking you through the wreck is a different story!

I was fishing with Cooktown Barra Charters at the wreck on a warm September afternoon once and we hooked about half a dozen metre-plus barra on live pike only to go home with our tails between our legs. I recall one XOS barra boofing a 45cm mangrove jack boat side and drenching us in water!

As the water starts to warm, there are some fantastic sized flathead on offer to anglers that can be bothered chasing them. Fish to 80cm long are not uncommon and are a great sportfish when hooked on 8lb braid and a 15lb leader. The Endeavour and Annan systems offer excellent flats and sandbanks that are covered in flatties.

Everyone seems to head to FNQ to chase barra and jacks, however these big breeder flathead are worthy opponents. You only have to look at the interest and serious competition that the Gold Coast Flatty Classic offers to appreciate the value of flathead as a sports fish.

The sandbanks adjacent to the mouths of Four Mile Creek and also the gutters on the North Shore opposite the public wharf are great spots to target flathead. Small Squidgies are a winner and the 50mm Bug in killer tomato was my go-to plastic.

The offshore scene has been a bit quiet due to the weather, however the keener boats that braved the southeast winds have still managed a good feed of trout and Spaniards on the wider reefs.

The Spaniard action has been red hot over the last few months, which is expected. Minnows around 150mm in blue and yellow or the reliable Qantas colour are yielding the best results.

The lure shop

There is some very exciting news for tourists and locals alike this month with building works commencing on the new site of The Lure Shop. The shop should be open by Jan 2014 and will be the biggest independent outdoors shop north of Townsville.

Due to increased demand, Russell has decided to go all out and the new shop will offer a massive range of fishing, boating, free diving, marine electronics, camping, hunting, guns and ammo and even four wheel drive accessories. Not only will it be a great boost for the local economy, tourists and local customers will be able to buy every possible item that is needed for any outdoor activity in Far North Queensland with all of the brands and competitive pricing of a Brisbane store but with the good old fashioned country service and true local knowledge.

Until next month stay safe on the water and be sure to check out the range of hand made timber lures I make. Check us out and hit the like button on Facebook by searching Twin River Lures.

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