From fizzer to fantastic
  |  First Published: June 2014

It has been an interesting wet season this year as many of you would know. We were supposed to get rain in January and February but we didn’t. We thought we were in for a fizzer, which would have been bad for the fishing, but then we got some late downpours in March and April. This saw our rainfall creep up to just above average, which was great. Now we have a good year to look forward to and hopefully our big threadfin salmon will show up again now that salinity levels have decreased from last year.

Fishing over past month has been good overall with some healthy barra fishing starting to come back. The Spaniards and tuna are thick as well, which is great to see. The three main wrecks on the outside of Hinchinbrook Island have been the best place for the Spaniards lately as they are right in the macks’ migratory path.

The mackerel are starting to take over the inshore headlands now and there will be a whole heap of baitfish that aren’t going to like that. Floating pilchards in the current while it’s running onto a pressure point is a good way to start chasing Spaniards, but when the run-in the tide stops look for the schools on your sounder and drop some metal slices on their nose. These fish usually can’t resist the temptation to eat slices pulled vertically past their face. Just remember that Spaniards have a bag limit of three per angler and their minimum size is 75cm.

Fingermark have been slower to come on this year but I think that’s mainly because of the deluge we experienced from cyclone Ita. We don’t usually see that much rainfall so late in the season and the fingermark won’t come back on properly until all the waters clean up and are back to normal. I’m thinking June will be a big month for them and they will be a popular target among our jigging clients this winter.

With all the late rain this year we have seen a burst in the mangrove jack numbers. I don’t normally target them but we are catching quite a few while fishing for other species. Many other recreational anglers are also saying they haven’t seen jacks like this for many years. Whatever it is that has spurred them on, is a big welcome to the fishery.

With a better wet season under our belt there has been a huge increase in the mud crab numbers already and many anglers have reaped the rewards, recently catching their bag limits. This trend should keep up for most of the remaining year. They may go a bit slow when the neaper tides are against them, and during winter they may go slow in the shallow gutters, but they can generally be caught in the deep holes when this occurs.

In June we will see a huge improvement in the pelagics and the light tackle marlin fishing should start getting underway. The reports from the bait grounds have been good and there is no shortage of baitfish so it’s only a matter of time before it’s game on for the billfish.

We should also see golden trevally back on the scene and they can be found in the holes around headlands and deep water gutters around islands. They are also a shallow water fish at times and can be seen up on the reef flats foraging for crabs and suchlike. When they do this they are easily spotted with their tails flapping out of the water, and this is a good time to go and present a fly or cast a shallow diving minnow on their nose. They pull hard in the shallows and you need to have your tackle up to scratch.

If you’re coming up and want to do a charter please contact us in advance to get onto a good tide. You can contact us through the website at www.ryanmoodyfishing.com where you can join our free fishing community and go in the draw to win a charter for two.

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