Here come the fish
  |  First Published: November 2004

The weather is warming up nicely and subsequently the fish are on the chew – with the exception of the Big Fish Tournament, when the Channel went a bit on the quiet side.

The Best Mackerel was a 20.5kg Spanish boated by Andrew Pearson. The Guys from Moranbah did well, with Morgan Lindley winning the Best Barra with a 77cm specimen while his mate and mine Wayne ‘Holywood’ Keene picked up Best Mangrove Jack with a 1.6kg fish. Our local Coast Guard Commander Neville Goggi also picked up some cash and a trophy for Best Coral Trout. Plenty of other good fish where caught but not in large quantities.

Out wide it was a different story, with 43 billfish tagged and released and Tom Hatrick’s Utopia being the winning team. It might be a good idea to make the estuary section a ‘catch and release’ section, as you gotta fish for the future Ben!

Local News

Missionary Bay has been on fire with good fish coming from all the creeks. The crew from Moranbah were back for the school holidays, catching plenty of keeper-size barra and jacks. The waters around Gould Island have been producing some good mackerel, mostly spotties with a few good Spanish mackerel amongst them. Most of the barra have been caught at the top of the tide and the jacks and cod either side of the lows.

Elsewhere in the Channel, the mouth of Mary Creek has been producing some keeper barra for Graham Brake, still at the top of the run-out tide.

Those who fished the rockbars still found some nice fish, with my crew boating a 77cm barra, plenty around 55-57cm and yours truly getting busted off on the rocks by a real horse of a barra. For those interested in catching other fish besides barra (commonly called ‘by-catch’ in my boat), I spotted some tripletail cruising amongst the rocks along with some nice threadfin salmon.

The best lures for us were a silver B52, with the reliable Pinkish Leads coming second. ‘Hollywood Keen’ report that they were having great success with some of Lucinda Lou’s lures, particularly the green model.

October is traditionally the best month to fish the channel and bay, with warm weather cool nights and good fishing. The female barra are getting a bit more aggressive as we come to the breeding season and the males are just looking to score. The tides aren’t as big as last month, with only some 3m-plus tides towards the end of the month. If you are coming up, try to avoid the neaps, but even they will be working as it gets hotter. I will definitely be trying to fish some drains, especially when the low is around 70cm from the 11th through to the 14th.

In closing, I would like to thank Clive and Beth for their hospitality at the Gunna-Go Caravan Park at Proserpine – good people, good food and good accommodation. We were down fishing the dam for a couple of days, and there were some BIG fish there, let me tell you!

Safe boating and I’ll see you on the water, and remember: ‘Fish for the future, practice catch and release’!


1) Grunter are a tasty treat that are coming onto the chew as the water warms.

2) Barra have been firing in the smaller creeks and around drains and mudflats on lures and bait. Remember the closed season starts on November 1.

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