It was great to see some early rainfall for North Queensland with the tropical low that came from NT just after Christmas. Even if it was a one-off event for this season it would have allowed the barra to spawn in many areas. Some areas like Hinchinbrook had to suffer watching the rain fall either side of the region, but I guess you can’t please everyone when it comes to the unpredictability of the weather. Hopefully another couple of monsoonal events might show up, giving us the best wet we have seen for some time. The seasons are due to change soon with the warm water currents heading back towards us from the northern Pacific, so fingers crossed the holiday rains were a precursor for that to occur.
Fishing in the past month has gone a little scratchy with a slight inundation of horrible water coming from the Herbert River. It wasn’t enough rain to flush our rivers but just enough to spew out lots of rubbish and stagnant water from upstream areas. This has forced fish like threadfin and golden snapper to bolt out to deeper waters so reports from estuaries have been limited to jacks only. Jacks are the one fish that don’t mind the fresh coming out, no matter how dirty. The best captures have come from the creeks on the island side of the channel. I also imagine the barra have been active, although it’s hard to know for sure during the closed season.
Speaking of the barra season, it opens on 1 February so dust off your gear and stock up on lures and other tackle. The only thing that could spoil the opening of the season would be floodwaters, and that could see them go quiet for a number of weeks. Only time will tell.
Our online Barra Basics master class will be ready for enrolment from 1-14 February, so if you’re keen to take your barra knowledge to the top level, now is the time to do it. The next enrolment will be 1 September. For further information head over to www.barrabasics.com.
As far as offshore goes, we have seen some unusual late Spaniard captures around the islands with one fish nudging 25kg caught near Cape Sandwich. Others have been around 15-18kg so there is a good consistent size in these resident fish.
Northern bluefin and queenfish have been very plentiful on the northern side of the island as well. Both these species respond well to metal slices so really that’s the only method worth using. The grey mackerel have not really showed up at all this year which is a little strange. It could be due to weather events or heavy netting to the north, but who knows? They could be just a little late.
Demersal fishing on the reef has been reasonable, and the best results come from deeper waters. Anglers who go out wider have had the best results. Nannygai, red emperor and big green jobfish have been the most common species out there. I haven’t heard too many reports of coral trout but that’s to be expected; it’s not the best time of year for them.
Fishing in February will most likely see barra as the most targeted species, as the threadfin and golden snapperwill probably still be slow. The channel will no doubt see all the gutters getting a good work over but there are other areas you can turn your attention to such as dirty water patches on the flats during the run-out tide as well as backwaters that are holding bait.
I hope you all have a safe start to the barra season, and please remember to only take what you need.
• 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: 503