Small fish better than none!
  |  First Published: September 2005

With very ordinary weather around the area, boat maintenance has been the order of the month! When we did manage to get onto the water, there was no sun and only very small fish. Some little barra, jacks and cod were about early in the month, mostly from snags in the creeks. We did find some big barra on the rock bars but they didn’t hang on, probably because their hearts weren’t really in it.

Some nice golden trevally and a few fingermark have been boated in the ‘Dugong Channel’. Some of these were caught on prawns, but most were trolled up on soft plastics.

While we’re on the topic of soft plastics, some nice bream are still being caught with them, mostly close to home. Some of these silvers are absolute monsters! We had fun downsizing our gear and fishing with soft plastics, targeting these great little fish. Fishing for bream is great fun and they will probably stay on the chew for another month or so. Simply work a small jighead in close to a snag or rocks and you should soon be hooked up!

I had a reliable report of a 1.2m gold spot cod being hooked on a floating pilchard over in Missionary Bay. Another catch was reported by local angler Eileen, who landed a good barra off the Cardwell Jetty on dead bait.

The bottom bouncers have faired better than the estuary anglers (the only time it was flat calm for a week was on the neaping tides). Otter Reef went off, with most guys returning home with their bag limit of coral trout and nannygai. Anglers fishing overnight seemed to do particularly well, while those choosing to fish in the day missed out. The shipping channel fished quite well too, with plenty of smaller nannygai being boated.

Meunga Creek has been the preferred option for the table fish clan. It’s a useful creek, and despite the fishing pressure it has received recently, it’s still producing quality whiting and bream.

There are a few mack tuna to be had off the Family Islands and some smaller schools of other pelagics.

All in all the past month has been very quiet, but rest assured because the fishing is set to improve. This month should see some warmer weather and most importantly warmer water. The tides are not brilliant but the warmer conditions should offset that.

The best time to go fishing tide-wise will probably be later in the month, with good early morning highs and plenty of run-off. The saying ‘no run, no fun’ remains true. I like to work the mangrove roots on a high tide; regardless of whether you are fishing from the island or mainland, the important thing is getting your lure right into the roots of the mangrove.

The best lure for us has been the Gold Bomber in the shallow water and the Flatratz or lead in the deep. Soft plastics have been fun on the bream but catch too many cod in the creeks. Small green and silver jigheads seem to work best.

Until next month safe boating and, if weather permits, I’ll see you on the water! Remember to fish for the future by practising catch and release.

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