Mixed conditions and opportunities
  |  First Published: June 2015

Variable weather patterns have thrown a spanner in the works during the past month or two. An unusual cold snap back in April saw water temperatures drop to the lowest I have seen during the months of April, and since then we have seen the fishing turn on and off just like a tap.

One week the fishing is going off and the next hardly a bite. In years past if we had a lull in the fishing you could still go out and get a few but recently its either feast or famine and nothing in between. Mother Nature knows how to throw a curve ball that’s for sure, but I suppose that keeps us on our toes and gives us yet another learning experience when it comes to different seasons and how the fish interact with these changes.

Barra Time

Last month saw some great barra captures when they were on the chew. Not big numbers but certainly some good quality fish. Many of my clients had the opportunity to experience the Holy Grail of barra fishing and that is casting shallow hard body lures to monster barra. It certainly is an experience you never forget when a big metre barra slams your lure while your retrieving it. Even I still get a buzz out of it. Hopefully this action will keep going for another month at least.

Threadfin Salmon have had a bit of an absence for a while and the fingermark have yet to head to deep waters just yet. I know a few locals that are catching fingermark off the beach, which is not all that common, but this year seems to be a regular occurrence. As winter approaches they should head deeper and that’s when a boat with a good sounder will come in handy. If you’re not sure where to look for them up here then all you have to do is look for the many pinnacles that litter the channel. Some have good rubble structure, and they are the ones that will have the best results. Don’t forget that fingermark are not just predatory but are also a forager and rubble bottoms are a favourite haunt for them.


We have had some awesome pelagic action this year so far with massive GTs and large northern Bluefin tuna the two standouts. Most deeper headlands around the islands have massive schools of small herring, and that is why the predators are there. Actually for a poor wet season there sure is a lot of baitfish around this year. To target the GTs use big metal slices around the bai tschools and small slices on the tuna. But you must get your slice into the tuna school while they are busting the surface. There is no point in trolling the around the area as that just wont work. Catching tuna is great fun and an exciting way to introduce your kids to sportfishing. In June I would expect that pelagics will go crazy, especially on the making tides up to the moons. Spaniards have made a bit of a show so far but they will really start to improve this month.

Billy Action

June also marks the start of the billfish action. Small black marlin and sailfish will follow the bait schools around and the shipping lane, which is about half way to the reef, is a great place to start looking for diving birds. Look for flocks of gannets (booby birds), as they are the birds that follow the appropriate baitfish for billfish, which are yakkas and pillies. If you follow sooty terns then you will most likely find yourself in amongst hungry tuna schools, as the terns feed on the very small baitfish that tuna like.

June may see the barra slow up a little and should also see demersal species on the reef fire up. There have been some good indicators recently that the trout are about in good numbers, so they can only get better. If you would like to book a 2016 charter or interested in our online barra course head to our website www.ryanmoodyfishing.com for more info.

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