Warm winter holds numbers
  |  First Published: September 2014

A cooler and slightly longer winter than usual has seen good numbers of the typical winter culprits hanging around in good numbers. There are still plenty of bait in both of the local systems and as a result, there has been some decent fishing for the bread and butter species like pikey bream, grunter, flathead and trevally.

The local guides have been putting anglers onto some great fish in the estuaries and offshore. Live prawns and greenback herring are producing some fantastic river pelagics with everything from diamond, giant and golden trevally, queenfish and even a surprising amount of permit.

Barra in the Endeavour are starting to make a more reliable target as the water temps increase. The rockwall around Marton is a great land-based spot for tourists to try their luck if they don’t have access to a boat. Good grunter, jack, golden snapper and barra hold here all year round and often fishing 30 minutes either side of the tide change will see best results. Live sardines are the best option and can be caught by cast net from the immediate area. For the lure flickers, small 75mm sized lures are the best option as it is a case of matching the local bait.

At the bottom of the tide we get good fish by slowly twitching timber hardbodies and as the run picks up changing over to Threadybusters and Squidgy Fish. Just be mindful of the resident salty that lives on the adjacent sandbar.

The Annan River has been fishing well for queenfish, golden trevally and grunter at the river mouth however it can get a bit windy and sand blown if the weather isn’t playing the game. There are some monster flathead to be found around the mouth and the inside bay and sandbars are a top place to start looking. Further up river towards the old prawn farm, reports of some decent golden snapper are coming in. Some of the better fish are falling victim to 20g Threadybusters and Gulp Prawns that are wafted upstream, casting back towards the northern bank.

The old road bridge is still producing all the usual culprits such as jack, bream, trevally, queenfish and even the occasionally barra. Live bait or fresh mullet fillet are the best baits and both can be cast netted off the bridge. Just be careful of snags as the place has accounted for more lost tourist nets than anywhere else in Cooktown!

Offshore has been hit and miss due to the weather, which is typical for this time of year. On the better days, Mark Privitt from Gone Fishing charters has been putting clients onto some great fish from the South Bedford area. Big bar cheeked trout, large mouth nannygai and Spaniards have been making up a great esky for clients and countless trevally species to keep the catch and release fishos happy.

• Once again, until next month stay safe on the water and be sure to jump onto Facebook and check out the timber Barra Lures I make called Twin River Lures.

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