Water temperatures have dropped early this year and while its thrown a spanner in the works for some species, others have been firing earlier. Spaniards have shown up in reasonable numbers along inshore areas but barra have been very sporadic with their bite periods, which has made fishing for them a little frustrating of late.
Steady catches of golden snapper and golden grunter have been keeping a lot of anglers occupied. The fingermark at present are 2-3kg in size, which is common for this time of year in the channel. We had an awesome night session at the Missionary Bay headlands recently and encountered a few fish we could not stop. I have a feeling there might have been a few big black jew in amongst the golden snapper. The golden grunter have been quality fish from 2-3kg. It’s been good to see the bigger grunters again as they have been absent in numbers for some time now.
Very soon northern bluefin tuna will make their appearance into the main channel and will be easily seen breaking the surface amongst the small white terns diving on the herring schools that the tuna are feeding on. They sometimes surprise you while you’re barra fishing. If a school ever pops up in front of you they will take barra lures and vibes if you can cast one quick enough into the feeding school. The most important trick with tuna is to get the lure into the feeding school while they are breaking the surface. Always be ready for the strike as sometimes they will take you by surprise. They are without a doubt one of the most fun fish to catch as their stamina is amazing.
With the winter approaching I’m looking forward to getting offshore to chase a few sailfish and little marlin. I hope there will be plenty of bait schools coming through this year because of the predators that will follow. Catching a sail or marlin on fly is on our to-do list this year and I am looking forward to that too.
The reef fishing has been great recently. I stopped at many offshore locations along the reef while bringing our boat back from Cairns and we found great numbers of demersal species and some sensational spots to revisit one day. Most areas had good populations of large mouth nannygai. They are very popular up here as their flesh is stunning and very similar to that of the golden snapper.
During June I think the pelagic fishing will only get better and this is the month when I start to find some great GT fishing action closer in around the islands. They are a popular sportfish as they provide some great battles and it’s good to see clients worn out early in the day. We catch GTs with poppers, metal slices and vibes when they are deep on the sounder.
Reef fishing this month should be outstanding – we just need the weather on our side to get out there. Those that are towing their own boats up to the area for the first time should know that the closest reef is Kennedy Shoal and is around a 28 mile run. There are good alternatives, such as Eva Island that you can get to in most conditions because of the protected headlands. This isn’t any good for boats that are too small. When the weather is more pleasant there are wonky holes seaward of the islands but they are tricky to find if you know nothing about them. We have an online course about the tricks to find wonky holes over at our site www.fishsmarter.com.au.
• 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. You could also win a free charter drawn twice a year.Reads: 271