No end to the wet
  |  First Published: December 2006

It seems like the wet season in the north just doesn’t want to leave with its constant downpours of rain and howling southerly winds.

With the weather conditions probably the worst I have ever seen, the water temperature, which plays a big role in estuary fishing, hasn’t had the opportunity to rise to optimum temperature and for this time of year as it is still down to around 25 when it should be up to around 29C. Despite the lower than average water temperature and poor weather conditions the fishing in the Hinchinbrook Channel has been fishing very well with nearly all species starting to become more active as we head into the warmer summer months.

Mangrove jack have been in the thick of the Hinchinbrook Channel and as far north as Missionary Bay. They have been taking a wide range of baits and lures. Herring has been the best bait when fished right in close to deep snags and rock bars on the outgoing tide. I still find the powerhouse reds very hard to stop even with the drag locked and most of my tackle continues to fall prey to the deep structure.

Large fingermark have been surprising clients who are trolling deep diving lures around the deeper sections of the creeks and rivers towards the top of the tide. Live squid have been working well at night and trolling deep diving lures around the 6m mark is also producing some great results.

Barra have been firing well on both live bait and lures, but anglers fishing with big baits like garfish and mullet have taken the majority of the larger fish. Some big barra have been caught in the Missionary Bay creeks and, only being half an hour drive from Ingham, it’s well worth it when you’re catching 90cm fish. Plenty of mangrove jack have been mixed in with these catches. This part of Hinchinbrook is such a large area and it’s always hard to catch bait, but fishing the outgoing tide in the creek junctions can produce quality fish.

I have fished the Hinchinbrook Channel my whole life and for the first time I was almost speechless while I witnessed Keith Schmidt from Brisbane land a 65cm albino barra. The barra was completely white in colour and caught on live garfish bait. It was a beautiful looking fish and acted every bit like normal barra. The district’s Fisheries inspectors had also never seen one before.

With the closure of the barra season now upon us and the prized sportfish off limits until next February a lot of time will be put in chasing mangrove jacks, fingermark, cod and grunter as well as all the pelagic species that haunt the channel. The Sugar Terminal will fish very well for all species – especially grunter. Trolling along the pylons of the jetty can be either fun or very expensive with some big fish holding in close to structure and returning when hooked. If visiting the region the long sugar jetty will be well worth a go.

If you’re interested in fishing the Hinchinbrook Channel and looking for a great fishing holiday don’t hesitate to contact me on (07) 4776 6596 or go to www.fullonfishn.com.au .

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