Jack up the fishing
  |  First Published: November 2013

The rivers are firing at the moment with plenty of quality table fish coming over the side of local boats, charter operators and even the tourists have been scoring a feed. All of the local rivers from the Bloomfield right up to the Starkey are producing plenty of small barra and hordes of jacks.

While live baits such as small winter whiting, silver biddies, mud herring and sards have been the most reliable, some of the bigger barra have been falling to big soft plastics fished around the headlands.

There have been a great run of big headland barra right up the coast from Tully this season and big, lightly rigged softies are the weapon of choice. There can be the odd bit of rough choppy water, which can make fishing lightly weighted lures a bit harder, but persist if you can and fish the calmer water around individual rocks, bommies and weed beds.

November 1, the barra closure will be in place other than stocked impoundments. So remember the rules and try and only target jacks, threadfin and big golden snapper during the next few months.

There are still plenty of big girls in the rivers that have not made it out to sea yet and Mark Privett from Gone Fishing charters recently guided his clients onto a massive 1250mm barra that was a genuine 50lb wild fish. After a few happy snaps he was quickly returned to the water and his clients left knowing that they had just caught a true fish of a lifetime.

The local wharf to river mouth stretch of the Endeavour has been firing for a variety of line burning pelagics, like golden trevally, queenfish, and some fantastic giant herring. These big herring go like the clappers when hooked on light gear.

Tom Nevins from Cooktown Barra Charters has been targeting the 1m+ herring with clients over the last month. Even the more experienced clients that had not caught the species before couldn't believe how fast they were and were stoked with their sport fishing abilities when chased on 4lb.

The month ahead will see some better weather come in to allow smaller local boats to get a bit more serious in chasing reds and big summer golden snapper around the headlands at night.

Until next month, stay safe on the water and be sure to check out the range of hand-made timber barra lures that I make. You can find them by searching Twin River Lures on Facebook

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