Hope you all had a great Xmas and New Year break. I’m sure you are all looking forward to what the following year brings to your fishing calendar. Hopefully a good wet up north will see the fishery prosper and we can enjoy some top class barra fishing throughout the year.
A good wet will also ensure the king threadfin salmon give us plenty of visits during the year too as they are not that fond of very high salinity levels.
The past month has been patchy in the estuaries with golden snapper and threadies being a little sluggish. However, we have had our fair share of northwesterly winds, which are a bit of a nuisance in the north as it tends to stop fish from getting too excited about nailing your bait or lure. We are not sure why this happens but any wind that blows off the land affects inshore fishing up here.
The main reports I hear have all been golden grunter with the odd golden snapper report. Most fish have been coming from deep waters around the islands to the north of Cardwell.
Mangrove jack have also been on a number of people’s lips with some mention of fish around the 50cm. The upper reaches of the smaller creeks in Rockingham Bay is where some really good sized ones have been caught. Jacks are a fan of the bigger making tides up to both moons, and at night they have been known to wander the sand flats at creek mouths where whole pillies or mullet fillet should do the trick.
The reef has been a little quiet as it quite often is during hot northerly weather, but I have been treating some clients to some big scarlets on the wonky holes. Big soft plastics and live mullet have been the choice of worms. If you want to learn about wonky holes and how to find them you will have to wait for our new website, which will have e-courses available on many topics.
In January the fishing scene does slow down a bit with hot westerly winds affecting the fishing and also the anglers. Many prefer to stay indoors and watch the cricket with a coldie rather than sit in a hot tinny all day with blisters on your bottom. So the best choice of fishing this month can be at night. The evening hours have always been the best time for fishing during summer. The fish are more aggressive and many will leave their daytime cover and forage for food.
If you do have to fish in the day have an early start so you can get off the water around lunchtime and avoid the worst part of the day. I would also target species such as grunter and jacks as they will respond to berley and they don’t seem to get the summer sulks like other species do. Nothing like a fresh mullet strip and a whole pilchard rig when it comes to jacks. Another popular way to target them is with small live mullet and mash up some pilchard berley and throw it just up current and let it drift through your baits. The jacks will wander in from everywhere, especially if you fish right on a junction.
If you are going to fish the reef try it at night also but make sure you are an experienced navigator or have someone on board who is. If you are not experienced at night fishing you should always go with someone who is on your first few trips. Also, it’s not a good idea if they are forecasting a thunderstorm front to move through, so be on your toes when it comes to the weather.
Another form of fishing that is popular this time of year is chasing jungle perch and sooties in our local rainforest streams. While it can be a bit humid it’s very relaxing being able to take a swim in safety.
If you would like to book a charter for next year’s barra season better look into it soon as dates are disappearing Check us out at www.hookedonhinchinbrook.com and at Hooked on Hinchinbrook on Facebook.Reads: 898