Still catching barra
  |  First Published: July 2005

Cool mornings and sunny windy afternoons have been the go here, so lurefishing has been a tad slow again (roll on summer!). Baitfishing has been productive though, with fingermark taking baits in Number 3 Creek and soft plastics in the bay proper.

The occasional grunter has been showing up at Mona but not in the usual numbers. Table fishermen have been faring a little better this month with whiting, bream and jacks taking prawn and fish strips.

There are still doggie (school) mackerel being caught on the troll in the Bay, with some small pelagics schooling off Mulley’s Rock. Mackerel tuna have been chopping up bait around the Family group of islands and also off Mona. Small silver slugs cranked in as fast as you can, have been successful.

The flats in the Bay have been slow with plenty of fish seen but not taking lures. Mangrove jack in the creeks have been off and on, with small pink lures being the most successful on the run-out tide, just as the bank can be seen under the canopy.

On recent trips we have caught good barra at the top of the tide on the mainland; once again, small lures got the job done. The rock bars fished well on the run-out tide with some nice fish boated and lost in about 90cm of water, using slowly worked Bombers.

Meunga Creek fishermen have been getting some keeper barra on the run-out tide on live bait, but if you were anchored off the gutter you went home without a fish. Be careful in this creek as they are still trying to catch the croc that hangs around the boat ramp. It seems it’s taking a fancy to the easy feed it gets there, so please do not clean your fish at the ramp.

Damper Creek has also been off and on with only the occasional good jack and keeper barra taken on lures. A local crabber reports that he has seen some nice barra feeding in the drains near the bottom of the tide.

The channel proper has been fishing reasonably well, with most barra being hooked on live bait. I’m going to give it a bit of a fish early next month so I’ll let you know how it goes for the lure fisho!

The best lures for us this month have been the small gold Bomber, a Yozuri Shad, pink Flatz Ratz and I have had some success with my larger Leads in blue and pink.

Not much I can tell you for next month except to wear a beanie, take plenty of coffee and flog the water to foam! Downsize your lures, slow the retrieve down and more casts per snag. I’ve found if the fish are not feeding on a bank, I move on until I find a bank that is working, we know they slow down in the cooler months but they have to feed sooner or later!

That’s it from me this month; Safe boating and I’ll see you on the water and remember: ‘Fish for the future, practice catch and release’!


1) Alistair ‘Grub’ McIntyre with his first Bay barra.

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