The big barra have really turned it on this past month with some good reports from the locals despite the periods of torrential downpours.
Clients and I have found some really good action on metre plus barra in the Missionary Bay region as fishing in the channel is still a bit patchy because of the amount of water the Herbert River has delivered from the monsoon. I know that there is some wild sportfishing happening at the moment because of the nutrient runoff.
At Eva Island and surrounding waters you cannot retrieve a slice or lure without it being eaten by a trevally, tuna or giant queenfish. This action should continue over the next few months particularly on the larger making tides. If you should wander up and find yourself at Eva during a hot bite I would recommend that you use 2-3” slices for tuna and the smaller trevally species and 4-6” for large queenfish and the bigger GT closer to the rocks and pressure points that bounce off them.
Another species to show up recently is the threadfin salmon, which are a very prized sportfish among locals and visitors. They have been mainly encountered on the flats to the north and south of Cardwell. A good place to start looking is where any of the creeks that enter these waters have outer gutters that are normally only visible on a low tide. You will mainly catch them here on the larger tides and then they normally go and find some deep water for the neap tides of the month. If you use larger live baits such as mullet and gar you also have the opportunity to tangle with big GT, queenies and the odd big barra when fishing the flats. You should also fish the tide right down until you have only a metre of water under you.
Offshore reports have been a little thin but the few I have spoken to have all said coral trout have been very active with the seaward faces of the reefs being the best place to start looking.
During March I would expect pretty much the same quality fishing as February, as the estuary fishing will still depend on freshwater influence. When targeting barra and jacks sometimes it’s worth dropping large live baits in the deeper holes when there is freshwater around, this works for me. It can also pay off to drop a few crab pots around, as March is usually one of the best months for crabbing. Try using chicken frames as bait; they may be a little smelly at the end of the day but the results are usually worthwhile.
As anglers every now and then we stumble across some new or strange critter. Recently on a charter when Brisbane anglers Graham and Robyn Box each joined the metre plus barra club I encountered such a critter. After hooking the barra we had an unusual fight from something large. I knew it was not a barra and it was not really fighting like a shovelnose ray, so I was thinking it was possibly a big black jew. Wrong! It turned out to be what is known as a bow mouth guitarfish. It resembled a whitespot shovel nose ray but had the splotches and pectoral fins of a leopard shark. But worst of all its noggin was lined with rows of what appeared to be sharp teeth and my guess is that it would win any headbutt contest, check out the photo.
Another strange occurrence that same day was Robyn’s barra had eaten a stingray the size of a dinner plate and the tail was hanging outside its mouth. The barra must have been hungry to eat our live mullet while choking on a stingray at the same time - the mind boggles.
If you would like to come up and join the metre barra club give me a call on 0418538170 or email --e-mail address hidden--Reads: 3836