Some good late rains this wet season have really put a spark into the fishery, with some really nice barra being caught at the moment. I don’t think I have seen so many logs pouring out the northern end of the channel. The Herbert river has had three good flushes this year, which should put us well in front of last year’s poor rainfall. So overall a reasonable wet season, and hopefully our good year’s fishing will continue.
I’m hoping that we will see a return of the big threadfin salmon soon as they have had an unusual absence since August last year. Threadies don’t really like periods of high salinity and will move away to find more suitable waters elsewhere until our waters thin out again. When the threadfin are in you should look in deep holes when the tidal run slows towards the bottom of the tide. When the tide is running another method is to live bait shallow dirty water lines with big greenback herring as preferred bait. The threadfin salmon are an amazing fish and are above barra when it comes to many recreational anglers’ bucket lists.
I have noticed a huge influx of Queensland school mackerel this year and they are very early. Actually, their presence has worn a little thin with me because they tend to bite off quite a lot of lures while jigging inshore spots for fingermark. They are a popular bread-and-butter species for northern anglers but I find them very dry to eat. I have been told by those in the know that they are perfect for smoking though, so I will have to try that one day.
In amongst the schoolies there have been a lot of small Spaniards around 60cm which is under the limit of 75cm, so make sure you can tell the difference between the two species.
Further offshore around the reefs there are many reports of giant schools of Spaniards, all around the 80cm mark, so it looks like an early and good season ahead. They are migratory, however, so the schools off here at present could end up anywhere up north. They will then make their way south again towards the end of winter as much larger fish getting ready to spawn in October.
During May we should see some good Spaniard fishing and this will only get better as the winter approaches. We can expect some good sessions on the fingermark (golden snapper) as well. Fingermark were once thought to bite mostly in the warmer periods of the year, but in the last decade or so we have been catching far more during winter through a vast change in techniques and tackle. We still have a few vacancies for fingermark trips in July and August if you want to learn more about them.
Northern bluefin or longtail tuna should be in plague proportions during May. At the time of writing I have just heard of some lads having a successful day’s flyfishing and there were heaps of fish around apparently. Northern blue on fly is great fun and the northern end of Hinchinbrook is the place to be.
With what’s shaping up to be a good year pelagic-wise I would not be surprised to see early black marlin. With early bait schools at Cape Bowling Green, prospects are looking good.
I have a very busy month ahead with the barra charters so I’m looking forward to one of our best months of the year. Speaking of barra, you should check out our new website and join the fishing community for tips, e-courses, competitions, videos and more to come. Visit www.ryanmoodyfishing.com to find out more.
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.Reads: 732