It has certainly been a mixed bag with the weather recently. One minute it’s been sunny and fine, and the next windy and wet – but I suppose that can still be expected this time of year. At least we’ve had better wet season than last year, it’s and interesting to note that most of our rain came from small cyclones or lows and not really anything associated with the usual NW monsoonal flow. Hopefully we have had enough rain to see a good stimulus in the fishery.
As for the fishing in the past month, it has been a fairly good start to the barra season. Now that the waters have settled a bit since the rains we are certainly seeing some much better results. Some nice fish over the 1m mark have kept clients happy, and we’ve seen a big improvement on the month before. This action should continue for another couple of months yet. While most fish were in the shallows during the rains we are now finding them a bit deeper as they start to become settled in their habits again.
One of the most outstanding changes in our fishery of late is the resurgence of the mangrove jack. Many anglers, both lure and bait fishers, have spoken of good numbers of jacks this year. I have caught quite a few as bycatch while fishing for barra, too. It’s good to see many people releasing them or only taking one home instead of plundering like the old days (although a bit of that still goes on). If you’re going to target a jack you cant go past mullet fillet or pilchard for bait. If you’re tossing lures try using smaller deep divers in tight to the mangroves and around drains.
Recent weeks have also given up a bunch of really big grunter. Some anglers have been saying they have caught numbers of fish over 70cm. I don’t think I have ever seen the grunter back so early after the rains and it just goes to show how things sometimes happen that are a bit out of the ordinary. Most of the best fish have come from the channel itself while Missionary Bay has been slower.
Threadfin salmon are yet to make their presence felt, with only a few isolated captures, but they can’t be too far away from showing in numbers. The normally voracious blue salmon are yet to fire in numbers also. Only a few smaller models have been caught of late while jigging vibes and plastics in deep holes.
April is traditionally a great month for barra, and it’s also one of the best months for all species of inshore fish. We can expect to get larger fingermark in the estuaries as well, and if they are on cue we will see some entertaining jigging around the tide changes soon. Fingermark would also have to be one of the best lure takers I have seen as they love all sorts of plastics and vibes.
April should see a small trickle of Spanish mackerel showing up around the inshore areas. Most will be smaller fish around 5-7kg to start with, and by August they will all be around the 10-12kg mark. The reef usually starts to improve as well during April as we get away from those scorching hot days and northerly air flow.
I have been hearing about some good saltwater barra fishing not that far north of Brisbane. I am keen to come down for a look next visit to the in-laws, but South East fishers could take advantage of our new e-course ‘Barra Basics’ and put some of our proven methods in place down there. You just never know what you might have available to you without having to drive a thousand km north. The course will be available in a few months but if you register your interest at www.ryanmoodyfishing.com and join our fishing community you’ll be in the draw to win a charter for 2 and many other giveaways on our competitions page.
If you would like to come up for a fish call us on 0418 538 170 or at www.hookedonhinchinbrook.com. Charters are booking out so get in early to get the best tides. You can also check out our new website: www ryanmoodyfishing.com.
Cheers mate.Reads: 1009