Bay fires up
  |  First Published: December 2004

The barra season closure is upon us, so it’s catch and release now. They can still turn up while you’re targeting jacks, and I’ve tried shouting at the barra, telling them to stop and go away, but it doesn’t work. So if you should accidentally hook one, just bring it alongside and gently release it to minimise stress on the fish.

So what’s been happening in the fabulous Hinchinbrook Channel?

Well, the Bay has been firing up, with golden trevally, doggy mackerel and some spotted mackerel being boated on the channel markers. Most have been caught on pillies drifted down but some have been hooked on the troll.

Some nice barra and jacks have been boated off the beach at Macushla and on the flats adjacent on the run-out tide. The Dugong Channel (for want of a better name) has been giving up some nice grunter, with the best being 60cm. Some good barra have come from the Bay Creeks, and the best for us was an 80cm fish from No 3. No 7 and 8 have been producing some nice grunter on prawns. The mangrove roots on the island have been firing up on the top of the tide with some legal barra being hooked amongst the Rats.

Peter Kemp, our local tiller, reports that he boated some nice fingermark and grunter from Gayundah Creek. Also on things south, Tony Aldrick boated a nice 70cm barra from the Small Boat Passage at the top of a big tide and was unlucky not to get another bigger fish, looked to be around 90cm. Wreck Creek has also been fishing OK, and on the run-out (after it’s slowed down a bit) it has been producing nice barra and jacks, one of which was a tagged fish. It will be interesting to see where that fish has been.

Damper Creek has been a bit slow, with only small barra, jacks and bream being caught.

The best lure for us has been the good old Flat Ratz, a deep diving Gold Bomber and a silver Terminator. Most of our fish went for the smaller lures, with the exception of the 80cm fish which was hooked on a Leads.


What’s happening this month, well Barra are off the menu and jacks are on, but be aware that the barra are a bit more feisty now and will attack most lures. The tides look the best in the middle two weeks but the water is warming up so I think you’ll find fish most days. Stay with the snags at the top of the tide, especially in the morning, and if it gets too hot after the water has run off the flats, get out of the sun! It can get really hot up those creeks after lunch.

Safe Boating and I’ll see you on the water! And remember: fish for the future, practice catch and release!


1) Mark Shirwell fishing with Tony Aldrick with Jimbo.

2) Tony Aldrick with a barra taken on a deep diving gold Bomber.

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