Spaniards and barra
  |  First Published: July 2009

July was awesome! There was some great Spanish mackerel taken on floated pillies and tuna on the drop-off out the front, averaging about 25kg each. Some big barramundi were also caught up to 1.06m at the Power Lines.

The hype from the 1m+ barra capture had over 60 boats trolling for them. The entertainment value was worth admission at one stage, especially when someone went the wrong way. Just imagine 60 boats doing a clockwise circle and one fellow deciding to attempt trolling anti-clockwise.

August is blue salmon month, with these fish coming in to breed out the front of the Windsock Channel. Any bait will do, but mullet strips are my favourite. Grunter have also been around up the river near the Power Lines. Targeting grunter in the river is a good option when the winds prevent offshore ventures.

The mackerel will still be on the chew at the drop-off for those with boats able to handle the sea conditions. Please remember the northwesterlies in the afternoon can sometimes start early and it can become rough very quickly.


As predicted, it’s been a record-breaking year over on Sweers Island. The resort is celebrating its 21st birthday and what better time to break a record? Ron Tate did just that, braking the record for the heaviest Spanish mackerel that has stood since 1993, with a fine fish of 27kg.

Last month, husband and wife team Gary and Debbie Collier from Canberra, landed another 27kg Spaniard. The fish took Deb’s line and hubby Gary helped her haul it onboard – that’s teamwork for you! Deb later went on to hook and land a 13kg Spaniard, just to prove it was no fluke for the girls.

The unusually calm start to the month of July meant fishos could get right out to the reefs, where many got stuck into the reds. There was also fingermark, coral trout, cod, queenies and more caught.

August will see the water start to warm up again, bringing the barra back on the chew. A new spot to try for barra is just past the Red Cliffs. Poppers are still a favourite lure, although soft plastics are becoming popular. Try drifting past the cliffs, and casting in towards the shore.

Another option is to just walk down to the rocks at Barra Beach and flick some lures off the shore. With the high tides usually coming before breakfast at this time of year it’s the perfect start to the day.


I have been critical of the local DPI & Fisheries for inaction on more that one occasion and not without cause. However I would like to congratulate Paul Hertle from DPI&F Karumba for his efforts in explaining to tourists the rules and regulations.

While Paul is not the officer in charge he has given his own time to go to each of the three caravan parks and present a talk to an appreciative crowd of what is right and what is wrong. He then answered questions on a multitude of topics that helped people clarify issues that they were not sure of. This proactive behavior is to be commended and I can only hope that everyone listened.

New Charter boat

We have a new charter operator in Karumba. Dale Richardson operates the charter boat Pentana and I was able to catch up with him and his clients on a trip he did to Mornington Island. He supplies good meals, the accommodation is air-conditioned and the fishing was red hot. You can contact Dale on 0429 011 675.

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