Spring Species for September
  |  First Published: September 2008

Even though the trade winds have been playing havoc with the fishing up north, if you’re quick you can still get a day or two in before the next change comes through. And that’s exactly what myself and mates Ben Johnston and Mark Jocelyn did recently.

Initially, we tried targetting a few billfish but the tides weren’t the best so we settled for a fun time on the Spaniards and tuna. A quick stop at some wonky holes late in the afternoon secured a couple of prime scarlet sea perch and topped it off with a spectacular sunset over Rockingham Bay. I ran into another mate at the ramp, Chris Stotter, and he said he had done well on the trout up in the shallows and also picked up some good reds on his way in. We never seem to have a problem with the quality of the fishing up here, it’s just getting out there to do it that can be the hard part.

Let’s hope we can put the abnormally bad weather behind us and look forward to September when the trade winds back off and we usually get three good months in before the monsoon starts.

Winter is now in full swing and the inshore seagrass areas are a great place to get a berley trail going and try for a few cobia. Missionary Bay is the best option, and livebaits or whole pilchards out in the berley trail will really improve your chances. Try this on a morning run-out tide on the lead up to both moons and you should get results.

Another strange character that turns up in winter is the tripletail or jumping cod. They are often found around beacons and any isolated structures, including floating logs. They will readily take a small minnow type lure or even livebaits, but are quite often caught as a bycatch of the Queensland school mackerel when anglers are using whole pillies. They are an extremely ugly fish but their table quality is excellent, and they are well known for their endurance.

During September we should see a steady increase in the water temperature that will make the barra get a lot more active. However, I can’t complain as we have had a pretty good winter on the big barras, so it can only get better!

Other species, such as fingermark and grunter, will also get better as it starts to warm up and, of course, we can’t forget the mangrove jacks as they are a very popular target for recreational fishers.

In September, Port Hinchinbrook holds its annual tournament, the Port Hinchinbrook Classic. There are two divisions – one for billfish and one for a variety of other sportfish. There are substantial cash and prizes up for grabs, so it’s no wonder it’s becoming one of the more popular events in North Queensland. It is a brilliant location and is held at the resort, which boasts some beautiful scenery and top facilities. I can’t wait as I am fishing with a couple of mates this year and looking forward to some serious social fishing.

If you would like more info on the competition or booking a charter drop us a line at 07 40686057 or --e-mail address hidden-- .

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