What a stinker! The summer that is… With these above average temperatures, lets hope it’s building for a reasonable wet season, but I’m not holding my breath too much.
Offshore reports have been a little sparse, with some good captures of red emperor and red-throat at night but only slow reports of trout during the day. It can be a funny time of year to fish the reef, as any northerly influence can slow the fishing substantially. Night time is by far the best time to fish summer out wide, but beware the storms and strong north westers coming out of nowhere.
Inshore reports suggest that grunter and threadfin have been around in reasonable numbers and golden snapper (fingermark) have been a little slow so far. The channel has had some very patchy golden snapper captures in the past couple of months, which suggests most fish have moved out to deeper headland waters and are best targeted at night. Live squid and herring are number no. 1 baits for this species and can be easily caught at your fishing spots with the aid of a squid light.
An influx of baby sharks have also been harassing local fishers but this can be quite common this time of year, but I must say the numbers have boomed on previous years. The adult whaler species have boomed too, with many northern fishers both inshore and out wide complaining about them taking fish and I must agree as we have lost several big salmon to them in recent months.
It might be time Queensland fisheries looks into why the sudden boom in shark numbers over recent years has occurred and what sort of affects it could have on the fishery if the rising trend continues.
During February the main species on anglers lips will obviously be the barra, with the season re-opening on 1 February. Anglers will no doubt start descending on the local area again smashing the water to froth, but what sort of season we are going to have is a little too early to predict at the moment. If we get some good rains, then things will slow up in the short term but will be good for the following months.
During periods of fresh run-off, baitfishing can become difficult with baitfish becoming a little hard to catch. Only the very switched on will know where to find the bait when it gets like this. The best alternative is to target them with lures and Hinchinbrook has plenty of run-off areas and drain country that should work a treat. The run-off and drains will also suit the fly fishers too.
If the region is fresh affected then it also sometimes pays to look for backwaters that hold thousands of juvenile sards and mullet that are only 2cm long. The barra can quite often be seen engulfing mouthfuls of them as these tiny baitfish can get thick in these areas. Another tip is to look to the shallows during this time as well.
If you are struggling to catch a barra and just can’t put it all together then you can join the long list of anglers who are starting to fish smarter not harder by enrolling in our e-course Barra Basics. Enrolments for the next intake are available in early Feb so head over to www.barrabasics.com for more info.
If you would like to come up for a charter, unfortunately February to May is fully booked but I still a few gaps in September and October. Some good days are still available in the winter too, especially for golden snapper trips.
• If you would like to book a charter or join our fishing community for some great fishing competitions etc. head on over to www.ryanmoodyfishing.com. And you could also win a free charter drawn twice a year.Reads: 1103