Prey at Missionary Bay
  |  First Published: March 2009

This year’s floods have put a bit of a dampener on some areas but hopefully we will soon see the rain and monsoon disappear. It’s been a little too much for many people, especially for the catchment area of the Herbert River that feeds the Hinchinbrook channel.

Barra reports over the last month have been a little erratic due to the on and off periods of the monsoon, but I have still been managing some big girls over Missionary Bay. This area cleans up a lot quicker than most as the rivers over there don’t have a large catchment area and are directly fed into the ocean. But the channel should see some improvements during April.

The main reports coming in the past month have been mostly about fingermark. They have been caught in Missionary Bay and also some reports coming from Eva Island and the Family Group.

Deep trolling the rivers is a popular way of targeting these tasty sportfish. Try trolling the same sort of areas as you would normally do for barra, except drop back in your lure size a little. The 4-7m rocky ledges are the best places to find them, and if you spend time driving around you can have a good portfolio of trolling areas to try.

I expect the Hinchinbrook channel will be suitable for trolling again towards the end of this month, as it houses many areas suitable for trolling up a fingermark.

One little bonus at this time of year is the influx of prawns along the beaches north of Cardwell. It doesn’t take long to nab a few kilos for a meal or two. Try the higher tides in the mornings for the best results; so don’t forget your cast net. Also remember that live prawns make good bait for most estuary species.

During April I would expect to see all forms of fishing fire up. The estuaries should be cleaned out and have good quality saltwater flowing again and that will see barra, jacks, salmon and fingermark come on the chew. This is one of my favourite periods of the year especially for barra and fingermark.

We also have the possibility of seeing a few early Spaniards show up inshore, and not to mention a good period for big GT and queenfish around the bommies of Gould and Eva islands.

For the freshwater fishers many of the mountain streams should be flowing at a safe level and should see jungle perch and sooty grunter eager to feed before the cooler months start to show up. Also the upper reaches of the Tully River offer great lure fishing on small barra and mangrove jacks.

If you need any advice on freshwater fishery call in and see Roley Newton and crew at Tackleworld in Tully.

Hope you all spend your stimulus package on a fishing trip up north this year, if you do give us a call on 0418 538 170 or --e-mail address hidden--

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