Everything’s on the chew!
  |  First Published: December 2005

Well we are right into ‘Mango Madness’ season with good storms most nights. At one stage we had seven good wet storms in a row. Maybe it’s working up to a real wet… let’s hope so!

By the time you read this we will be into the closed season for barra. If you happen to catch one accidentally, please handle it carefully before release, especially if it’s one of the bigger girls.

Speaking of big barra, they tell me Tinaroo Dam is now out-fishing Peter Faust Dam. It doesn’t matter much to me though, as they are both still ‘lakes of a thousand casts’ for me!

In the Hinchinbrook area everything has been on the chew, and I even heard a report of a billfish hooked off Garden Island! The grunter are still thick, as are the anglers lined up on the drop-off from Hecate Point almost to the floating channel marker. The fish are of good size too, with plenty of 50-60cm whoppers amongst the keepers.

Plenty of keeper barra and one or two big fish are being boated at night on a variety of livies and dead baits. The fish have been taking the dead baits more readily on the cooler nights.

In Missionary Bay at the top of the tide, barra have been taking lures readily out of the mangrove roots, more so than on the snags. The smaller creeks have been fishing well on the incoming tides, with most of the catch being made up of small barra and big jacks.

The channel has been fishing exceptionally well with good barra (the best for us recently was 72cm) and nice jacks to 48cm taking lures at half tides. Lately the fish haven’t cared about whether the tide was the run-in or run-out, just so long as there was movement.

The Flats have been fun in about 3ft of water with barra, jacks and some nice bream attacking lures with a vengeance. The best lures for us have been the silver B52, green and pink Flatz Ratz, the ever reliable gold Bomber and for me the Fluoro Green Leads.

So what can we expect next month? Well, the weather will be hot, the water will be hot and the fishing will be even hotter! The Channel is fishing well at the moment and there are plenty of productive and sheltered locations within easy reach. Most fishermen have been fishing the Dugong Channel until the northeasterlies come up, then shooting around the corner to the Channel and continuing to fish out of the wind.

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


1) Now that the barra closed season has started, many anglers are heading to the dams to get their barra fix.

2) David Banwell with his first Hinchinbrook jack, caught on a trip with the author.

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