Well, that’s another year of fishing the fabulous Hinchinbrook Channel gone by the boards. It’s been a good year for us with most trips catching barra – our targeted fish – with plenty of other species thrown in.
Naturally we’ve had a few poor trips, but those have been at a minimum and the weather has also been a bit better this year. The lowest point of 2004 was catching some guys netting in Missionary Bay and finding a pulley system (obviously designed to pull and retrieve a net) in the beautiful Russell River!
Last month saw the grunter still on the chew, with Mick Lennen boating a couple of beauties off Hecate Point. One fish was 60cm and the other was over 80cm!
Early in the month there were large schools of bait in both Missionary Bay and the channel. They were being chopped up by small pelagics too tiny to hook up. There were some nice school mackerel chopping up with them but they also were hard to hook up on lures. There were some nice grey and spotted mackerel in the Dugong Lanes out to the Bay being hooked on floating pillies. The snags and mangroves on the island side of the Bay delivered good barra and some stud bream on the run-out tide.
The rubble in front of No 3 has been fishing well at night, with grunter, barra and bream boated on prawn baits.
The channel creeks are infested with small grunter which are decimating prawn baits but are leaving fish strips alone.
We have had some decent rains already and during February it should get even wetter, so now’s the time to fish those small creeks and feeder creeks that have dirty water running out of them. They will be bringing all sorts of goodies down with the flush, and the fish will be waiting just out of the current for a feed. The best way to attack them is to anchor up and work them hard. It might take some time but they will eventually come on the chew.
The bigger tides after the first week will accentuate the flush, just fish the dirty water line or even further down the bank as the barra sometimes hang just off a bend waiting for lunch to arrive.
The best lures for us lately have been a Rainbow Trout coloured B52, a red and white FlatzRat, and a gold and black Leads. They’ve all been working a treat in the channel.
Safe boating and I’ll see you on the water, and remember: ‘Fish for the future, practice catch and release’.
1) At last – now that February is here we can chase barra again!
2) This trevally took a Rainbow Trout coloured B52.Reads: 436