As is typical for this time of the year, locals start dreaming of calm winter days as they are by now sick of the turbid weather patterns, and are ostensibly caught up in its hot and muggy summer trance.
The brief but relatively heavy rain periods experienced during our sombre wet this year gave the cattle something to chew on, however run-off options were limited. Run was short and furious, and as long as you were Johnny on the spot, some A-Class fishing was on the cards. As with most run-off locations in our region, there is always a spot x where flushed out freshwater coincides with optimal tides, concentrating bait, and as expected, hungry barramundi not far behind.
Reports were steady, with consistent captures coming from the vicinity of Blacks Weir, although further afield some impressive reports came to light where multiple metre-plus fish were plucked from swollen drains and creeks in single sessions.
Along with the rain came those rusty bucks. Some lucky anglers pulling their legal limits in just hours of placing their pots, with the Bohle and Haughton rivers mentioned in passing yarns. The chatter from gloating mates was hard to miss, with the glint of envy in the eyes of those who did.
Winds have again limited anglers’ choices fishing local waterways, with the Hinchinbrook Channel offering the best protected areas from the buffeting breeze. With the water quality far from consistent, due to interactions of creeks both island and landside, some hot spots have emerged with jacks, barramundi and golden snapper pulling drag and placing smiles on dials.
Another crustacean that excites Townsvillians this time of the year is the run of banana prawns. As the last of the freshwater dissipates from most areas, the big tides bring a run of those tasty morsels for those willing to hunt local hot spots such as Ross River and Ross Creek. The trick is to keep a watchful eye on the tides and have a ‘specy’ cast at prime times, you maybe lucky enough to catch yourself a tasty feed.
As with all bountiful offerings, there are those willing to push their luck and taking more than their fair share, please limit your catch to the regulated 10L bucket and share the love.
If a favourable weather window permits a blue water excursion, make sure that current lines and colour changes are targeted for pelagics, such as Spanish mackerel and tuna. Red emperor and large mouth nannygai will still be found in good numbers on deepwater areas. Towards the end of the month, any cooler water will see some of the red fish move to shallower reaches, such as shoals and patches, also be prepared for that early run of the juvenile black marlin.
April will be a great month to be targeting king threadfin salmon. Those keen to tangle with these fish should use their sounders to identify deep ledges in the main areas of the channel and creeks. Thin and long streaks stacked one on top of the other is usually a dead give away of schooled up threadies. A common and successful technique is to throw one of the many soft vibes available on the market today, sink to the bottom and work with light flicks of the rod tip. Threadies have very light takes on most occasions, so at any time in your retrieve, if it feels unusual, wind in quick and take the weight, as more times than none a threadie will be on.Reads: 1167