Cracker creek catches
  |  First Published: July 2004

THE BARRA have been on the chew at the northern end of the channel, with good catches coming from the snags and mangrove roots at the top of the tide and during the run-out. Our recent best was 69cm with plenty of fish 55cm+. The rocks around ‘Wagon Wheel’ have also been fishing well with fish to 67cm and some bigger fish lost.

‘Nugget’ Hodgetts (Ingham Tackle Shack) reports that the channel at the northern end is fishing slow with only 122 barra caught in the recent Hinchinbrook Catch and Release Tournament. This is the worst result in the competition’s history, and Nugget – who won Champion Angler – puts this down to fishing pressure. I agree with him.

For those chasing grunter, Missionary Bay and its creeks are producing nice fish but not in large quantities. Kevin Ihle informed me he got onto a hot bite there but unfortunately they were all catfish! But he did make up for it when he fished Eva Rock, boating a nice mackerel which weighed in at 16kg (cleaned). Eva has also been producing some nice trout and sweetlip for those keen anglers who’ve been getting there early, as well as some huge mackerel for those trolling anything silver. The bay is also producing some nice fingermark on deep diving lures for those in the know (secret spot 29!); we caught six nice fish using a silver HotLips. The best lures for us this month have been gold Bombers, silver Terminator, and any coloured Spearheads and of course the ever-reliable Flatz Ratz.

So that’s it for last month – no big fish reported but plenty of nice barra in the 60-70cm range. So what’s the go for next month?

Well, the tides are pretty good with the exception of the 21st though to the 25th, when the tides are neaping. Due to the colder weather the barra have slowed down, so make more casts per snag and keep the retrieve really slow, almost stopped. Fish the creeks for barra, jacks and cod as the creek fishing has improved, particularly Damper Creek, and remember that the southeast trade winds usually pop up at around noon.

The guys at the Boating and Fisheries patrol have informed me that they and the owners are the only ones allowed to pull crab pots, including any old and forgotten ones that litter the Channel and Creeks. I just wish they’d get on with it! The old pots are starting to destroy the visual aspect of the beautiful wilderness that is the Hinchinbrook Channel. Also, 99% of them are not tagged, so who’s to say who owns them? Might be a job when we next have a ‘clean up a beach’ day.

Lastly, let me apologize to Mark Joscelyne for misspelling his name and forgetting to mention that his nice barra was hooked on 10kg line!

That’s all for this month. Safe boating, have fun and remember: ‘Fish for the future, practice catch and release’. I’ll see you on the water.

1) Lin Lee with a 70cm barra. If you want to catch a barra this month, slow your retrieve right down.

2) Rob Paton with a quality fingermark from the bay.

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