Cleaned up for Cardwell
  |  First Published: April 2009

I think it’s pretty safe to say we are finally past the wet season with the last month only producing a few coastal showers, allowing our rivers and creeks to finally clean up nicely.

Once again the main topic at this time of year is still barramundi and the Cardwell Barra Bonanza tournament was a great success. This year one of the visiting anglers Annette Burns took out many of the top awards including the largest released barra of the tournament, a nice fish at 107cm.

Champion angler for overall released length was local angler Dave Hoare who fished with his dad Keith, who also took out largest mangrove jack and threadfin salmon. As a contributor to the tournament, I took out one of the sponsors fishing, Mazzer for Zinc FM. And had Mazzer been a registered angler he would have taken out most of the major prizes.

All the visiting anglers commented on how beautiful this area is and I expect this tournament will be a major event in the not too distant future.

During April I heard of some good reports coming from the reef with the coral trout starting to move into the shallower reef areas. Local charter operator Mick Radloff has had some good success in the waters wide off Kennedy shoals with some top red emperor and scarlet sea perch, which should only get better as we approach the cooler time of year.

I have also been targeting some monster reds on the wonky holes out of my barra boat. I have been using the Bozo’s range of soft plastics and they are working a treat. The best thing about them is that they have been designed to endure tropical saltwater fish so you don’t go through one everytime you catch a fish.

Closer inshore around the islands there have been reports of golden trevally and some smaller Spaniards, and the larger varieties will not be too far away with the onset of May. Also during May the flats around Gould and Garden islands are a great place for the flyfishing fanatics as it has extensive flats and mangrove shorelines. On its other side, it has deeper rocky headlands that hold some good queenfish and surface feeding trevally.

Just be a little wary if you decide to go ashore as there are some taipans on the island as we found out a couple of months ago. I had heard rumours of them in the past but now I have witnessed it.

Threadfin salmon should also start holding up in the deeper holes of Missionary Bay and also the rivers that enter the Hinchinbrook Channel. Some of their favourite baits are greenback and mud herring as well as small live mullet and, if your keen to collect them, mangrove crabs (not mud crabs) are also a popular bait.

A running rig on rubble bottom in the deeper holes should see some success. You should also attach your live herring through the very front of the eye socket rather than hook them through the back and be ready as sometimes you may see only a small touch on your rod tip but in actual fact they have already picked up the bait and are swimming at you, so try cranking hard when you see those small couple of bites.

If you would like to come up for a charter look us up at --e-mail address hidden-- or call on 0418 538170. See you at Hinchinbrook.

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