Barra waking up
  |  First Published: August 2005

The weather in the Gulf this year has been strange to say the least, with plenty of northerly winds through the winter months with the odd morning glory cloud thrown in, heavy dew and even the odd thick fog. The water is still warm; just the other day it got up to 35C. The weather pattern has really changed considerably and things are looking very dry on the landscape of the Gulf.

What’s been happening

At this time last year the water temperature stayed below 20C in the Karumba area and the fishing was terrible apart from the odd day when schools of grunter or salmon moved in. This year is a complete contrast. There has been no winter to speak of and the water temperature is still over 20C by some distance.

As a result, the pelagics haven’t been as predictable as usual. The big queenfish that have been patrolling the outside edge of the Sand Island have been quite thin in numbers. Plenty of Spanish mackerel arrived at the beginning of the month but they have thinned out as well.

Even the tuna have been acting strangely. One day they were out wide of Karumba in plague proportions, schooled up and on the boil, and a day or two later they were split up and hunting on their own or in packs of two or three. They’re virtually uncatchable in this scenario.

What to expect in August

Pelagics such as trevally and queenies will be all but gone for the year, but Spanish and spotty mackerel should still be around in numbers enough to make them worth targeting.

The good news is that the barra will start to make a move, and on the warmer days they should be a real proposition on lures and livebaits. It all depends on the effects of the poor wet seasons we’ve had over the past couple of years. The razor gang have attempted to clean up all the big barra at the Sand Island again this year.

Blue salmon should come in numbers as they gather to breed at the mouths of the rivers and creeks on the shallow flats. This will please the smaller boat owners who have done it tough on the grunter this year. Blue salmon are great sportfish, and they willingly take a variety of baits such as live and dead mullet, prawns, squid and pilchards. When the blues are in the mood they certainly bite well, and at such times it’s good to fish responsibly and only take enough for a feed.

August also marks the start of the northwesterly sea breezes which can certainly hamper the afternoon’s fishing for the smaller boats.

Gulf Sportfishing Adventures – Anyone interested?

After a great five years I have decided to hang up the boots and rods and finish up with the guided fishing. With the increased cost of insurance and fuel, running this kind of guiding business part-time is no longer viable. We have always tried to give people the best opportunity to catch that fish of a lifetime by not being afraid to travel the extra miles with top quality equipment, and for most part I reckon we have done alright. The photos of our clients that have appeared in this publication speak for themselves.

If there is anyone out there who wishes to discuss taking on the Gulf Sportfishing Adventures name full time, please don’t hesitate to call. It is a great business opportunity to be the one and only sportfishing outfit at Karumba. My phone number is (07) 4745 9434 or you can email me at --e-mail address hidden--

Fear not though. I will still be fighting the good fight through these pages!

Until next month.


1) The barra should start to make a move this month, and on the warmer days they should be a real proposition on lures and livebaits

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