Surprise sighting at Hinchinbrook
  |  First Published: May 2008

Fishing has been quite reasonable considering the continued freshwater run off recently. Good sized barra have been taken by locals and visitors, but the bites seem to come more when we have the better weather periods.

Fingermark have become active during daylight hours again, with some fish nudging 4-5kg, and there have been quality threadfin salmon amongst them as well. The best baits have been large green back herring fished on the rubble patches that can be found in the deeper holes in Missionary Bay River. If you know how to read a depth sounder you should not have any trouble catching quality fish in this area.

Offshore reports have been a little quiet as we still had our fair share of southeasters, but a few brave souls said they had some reasonable sessions on quality trout and scarlet sea perch.

In the past few weeks I have been trying out the Bozo range of soft plastics and I must say so far I’m impressed. A mate from Townsville, Anthony Tipping, came up recently for a fish and had never caught a barra on a plastic. His first cast with a 150mm Lumo grub produced his first ever barra on a plastic, and at around 75cm he was stoked!

I have only had a chance to use the grubs on estuary fish so far and the results have been great. Barra have a particular liking to them, must be the garlic scent. The only thing I don’t like about them is that you are always craving Italian food by the time you get home as the garlic scent really hangs on. I can’t wait to try the rest of the range in the coming months, especially for fingermark and offshore. I will keep you up-to-date with how they perform on some of our other tropical species.

Out of the deep blue

From time to time you hear about some unusual events out on the deep blue with one happening just recently off Eva Island, wide of Hinchinbrook.

Cairns angler Henry Napiorkowski was fishing with his eldest son Conor on a holiday in Cardwell. After weeks of miserable weather, the lads were eventually rewarded with some decent conditions and managed to get out to their favourite spot near Eva Island.

They started catching a few good largemouth nannygai, but were continually being cut off by something that was eating their fish. Henry said it was a strange sensation as everything would just go slack unlike the usual short run or bump that occurs when a reef shark or bronzie takes your fish.

All of a sudden they managed to get a fish to the surface and what popped up behind it will stay in their minds forever. A great white shark surfaced and hung around their 22ft boat for about half an hour. Henry, an experienced gamefisher, said he had seen some monsters down south over the years and this white was between 15-17ft long with 4ft pecks and nearly a meter high dorsal.

This is the third sighting of a great white shark in the last four years in the Townsville to Cardwell area. I can remember one about 8ft long that was caught off Townsville about 18 years ago. So far, the tracking research has showed that they come as far as the central Queensland coast, around the Mackay area, and the north west coast of Western Australia. Some stragglers venture further north, particularly when we have had a lot of windy overcast conditions cooling the surface temperatures.

Unfortunately, Henry didn’t have his camera with him, as a shot of a big white in our waters would be priceless. In my earlier years working the deck on gameboats, we would sometimes catch mako sharks while live baiting for giant marlin at Lizard Island and the Ribbon reefs. And makos are still being caught up there every year outside the shelf. Hopefully the efforts of the researchers will one day track a white right up to our northern waters to prove that some may wander up this far.

I hope that May will see you all tied up to some good fish.

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