Hanging by a threadfin…
  |  First Published: May 2009

Just as I predicted last month, the threadfin salmon have gone crazy. It is one of the best seasons I have seen for a while and some clients have been getting five each on some of the better trips, although many were released.

The fingermark have also gone berserk with many being caught in amongst the threadfin schools. Barry Michael, boxing legend and commentator, found this out on a recent trip to Hinchinbrook with mates Bryan Hetrelezis and John Downward. The lads had four of the best days fishing you could ask for. They averaged 30 fish a day including barra to a metre, giant threadfin and fingermark and are eager to come back for some more fun soon.

There wouldn’t be too many holes in the Hinchinbrook Channel that would not have schools of these prized fish in them at the moment and I expect it to continue over the next few months at least.

Last month also saw an early run of Spaniards, and some top fish were taken around the back of Gould Island, Otter Reef and waters in the shipping channel wide of Dunk Island. They seem to be on the move early and in good numbers so we might be in for one of the better seasons we have seen for a while. I would expect to see the majority of them inshore as we approach the colder period before they move offshore in October to spawn.

If you want to catch a Spaniard during winter simply fish on the upper end of the making tides and troll baits, such as gar behind a woghead or deep diving lures, and if you are super keen learn to rig up some wolf herring as swim baits to target the larger fish. Look for any headland that has deepwater off it, especially the ones that have pressure points running off them.

During the coming month I expect the Spaniards and other pelagics to start firing. On the neap tides the estuaries should continue to fish well for our most prized species. I would also expect to see the odd juvenile marlin cruising around the bait schools and waters close to Eva Island where they are sometimes hooked by fishers chasing mackerel.

The approaching winter also brings on some good inshore bottom fishing as the bar-cheek trout get more active around the islands, and the red emperor and scarlet sea perch fire up on the inshore wonky holes and shoals. Cobia are another species that should be encountered inshore during the month of June.

Fishing Licence

I would also like to take this opportunity to give my support to the proposed rec fishing licences. Those who knock this idea need to understand that this small yearly investment in the fishery will help you catch more fish than a $30,000 boat or thousands in equipment ever will.

When managed by rec fishers for rec fishers, these funds will improve our fishery with better facilities, commercial licence buybacks and many other benefits and spin-offs, not to mention give us a proper voice for a change.

Charter operators like myself have been paying a licence fee for years, which is around 10 times the price a rec licence would be, and we are governed by a state government department that only mismanages us and wont even give us the time of day to most of our letters of complaints. That is why this must be set up completely away from any government intervention and must remain that way, then the money will be spent correctly and not just disappear in a ball of political dust and backfires that would leave us still high and dry.

To put it clearer – if the government can’t manage a fishery then we should take matters into our own hands! It is time to get the full support from all rec fishers.

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