One thing’s for sure, I don’t mind this warm winter. With nice, moderate water temps the barra have been fishing well, and our clients have been catching many over 90cm while hand casting lures in the shallows. This is some of the best lurecasting I have seen in a very long while, and having big fish smash a lure at your feet is really something else. This action should continue right through the winter if my predictions are right.
The Spanish mackerel and northern bluefin tuna have been thick inside the top end of the channel, and it’s no wonder with the amount of baitfish. Herring and small gar are in plague proportions and it’s the most amazing sight watching monster Spaniards getting airborne right next to your boat. Spaniards have been in big numbers out wide, particularly on the making tides. These fish all around the 6-8kg mark but they should be as big as 15kg by the time their October spawning run arrives. Hinchinbrook offers so much for the small boat angler to go rub shoulders with big Spannies.
Golden trevally have been seen on the flats around Gould Island, so that’s not a bad option for flyfishers. There have also been some milkfish up around the 3-4kg mark on the sand spits in the same vicinity. Giant herring, queenfish, GTs and permit are also seen off the sand spits at different times.
There have been some outstanding offshore captures of late, with many good reports coming from the reefs. Anglers have been getting good trout and sweetlip in the day and plenty of red emperor reports from the deeper reefs at night. It’s actually been the best reef fishing I have heard about in a long time.
The waters a little closer in have been doing well at night too, with reports from the headlands of black jew around the 90cm and big grunter. Big live greenbacks and squid are the best baits. An hour either side of the tides is usually the best bite period so make sure you are fishing by these times.
You can also run into some stud golden snapper (fingermark) during the night hours. All of the inner islands around the Family group to the north have good golden snapper and even black jew in certain areas. Look for the deeper drop-offs that run out from the islands. These areas are also well known for big Spaniards and GTs. You can access the Family group from either Cardwell or at Hull heads to the east of Tully.
I expect July to be a cracker month because when we have warm winter we have good fishing, and so far it’s been great. We’ve been getting nice barra, and we have also seen a return of the king threadfin salmon so it’s shaping up for a good fish or two. If you have never caught a big threadfin, check out our charter site at www.ryanmoodyfishing.com and we will get you hooked up. At this stage there are still some dates available in August.
Apart from some more hot action on the threadies I think you will also find plenty of their smaller cousins, the blue salmon, coming on the chew. Blues become plentiful during the cooler months and are easily taken jigging vibes and plastics in the deeper holes. You can find clouds of them on your sounder out in the main channel as well as up some of the larger creeks on the sharper bends, but mainly on the smaller tides. The larger tides send them foraging on the flats and they can be taken live baiting or lure casting in the shallow, dirty water stains. Blue salmon don’t freeze too well, but when they’re fresh they taste as good as king threadfin.
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