Townsville’s top time
  |  First Published: April 2007

This is one of my favourite months. The change over from summer to winter species starts in April.

While summer species stay on the bite during April some cold water monsters will start to move into our waters.

Large mouth nannygai regularly come into the wrecks in only 60ft of water. It won’t be uncommon to chase fingermark at night and end up with 20lb reds.

Use the freshest baits you can lay your hands on. Live baits can be jigged off bait schools around the structure or cast netted in the creeks. Frozen bait from your local tackle store often fools trophy fish but generally fresh is best. Large numbers of grunter are being caught on the inshore shoals from Taylors down to Alva. Most of the good captures have occurred around the new moon when fishing the run-in tide. Live or fresh baits of greenback herring, squid or prawn are the best but mullet fillets should produce a few catches as well.


As the water clears after the wet and bait schools start to arrive we can expect an early start to the small black marlin season. Along with the billfish will be tuna, cobia and mackerel. We can also expect to see demersal species such as red emperor, large and small mouth nannygai, coral trout and cod following the bait schools.

The creek mouths having been producing good captures of crabs as the water slows from last month’s run-off. I suggest chasing them back up the creeks as they try to return to their favourite haunts. ‘No run, no fun’ also extends to crabs as they use the water to move in the creeks.

Some good barra have also been on the chew near the mouths so target the areas around the snags left over from the wet. I prefer to target green snags or new snags that still have foliage left on them. Look around for where the floodwaters have gouged out the banks or even down near the mouths were rock bars that were once covered by silt will be clean and holding fish.

The Townsville weirs and the lakes are still producing some hot barra action. Plenty of anglers have worked out where the barra hide to ambush their prey. If you have yet to nut out these areas talk to one of the many tackle stores around town about the most popular lure and how to fish it! Then get down there and work the water until things start to fall into place for you. Sitting there soaking a bait may end up producing a fish but working the whole area over using lures is a much more proactive approach and will definitely teach you more.


Michael Beard with a nannygai.


Not all catches at night are good fish. This barracuda ate a live squid meant for a fingermark.


ET with a goldspot cod caught off Townsville fishing with one more cast fishing adventures


Lyle Glenright with a good golden trevally.

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