Prime times ahead
  |  First Published: August 2009

Fishing has been a little erratic in recent weeks, with some foul weather slowing things down for several days at a time. But we can’t complain too much – 2009 has been one of the best years of fishing we have had in a long time, with the southeasterly trade winds keeping away for the most part.

This may be why we have had such a good season of winter barra, with some 90cm+ fish being caught. Some of the larger barra have been ignoring large live baits lately, preferring 4” mud herring.

One of the winter barra we caught measured 98cm and was almost full of roe. Experts tell us this should not happen in winter, but this isn’t the first time I’ve seen winter barra with roe sacks. Even barra as small as 65cm have been found with roe in winter. It makes you have to wonder when seasonal spawning periods for barra actually do begin.

Threadfin have been steady with a few caught here and there, but they are not as aggressive as they were in previous months.

The Spaniards have been chewing at most hotspots. There has also been several juvenile Spaniards around the beacons and in the creeks of Hinchinbrook Channel. Be sure you don’t mistake an undersize Spaniard for a school mackerel as they have different size limits. In the past I’ve noticed anglers keeping what they think are school macks, but are in fact baby Spaniards.

There are a number of offences that visiting anglers can run into on an innocent basis. For this reason I conduct area familiarisation and consultation charters, because quite a few people are fined or into find themselves in trouble simply for being inexperienced and unaware of the laws.

By mid September we may see some big oceanic grunter showing up around Gould islands and the northern end of Hinchinbrook. Many visitors come primarily for this period as waters start to warm and by October both grunter and barra should be really firing – I can’t wait!

Hinchinbrook’s annual tournament starts on 17 September. Some good Spaniards will hopefully be weighed in, as it’s the prime time to target them before they head out to the reef to spawn in October.

Juvenile marlin and sailfish should also be caught in good numbers during the tournament. Both species have been a little late showing up this year but should arrive soon.

There are also prizes in the tournament for many of our demersal species and this time of year won’t disappoint the reef fishers, with trout and reds in their prime. We are certainly now approaching the better time of year for most species up here in the north.

If you are thinking of coming to Hinchinbrook for a fish from now until December really is the best time, with the monsoon season looming in early January. Our fishing and accommodation packages will be available until the end of the year, so make the most of these specials before they run out.

No Marine review 2011

On my usual political note, we were recently informed GBRMPA will NOT be reviewing the marine park in 2011. Maybe they have decided not to make more areas green zones because the Beattie/Bligh Government have sent us broke and can’t afford to pay out another billion dollars in compensation? I think they’re just trying to get us off their back.

The announcement also stated only the minister can implement a review at the last minute if deemed necessary. This is when the government can exercise their ‘Precautionary Principle’ that was introduced into the ‘GBRMP Act 1975’ earlier this year without 95% of recreational anglers even knowing about it. Trust me, the words ‘Precautionary Principle’ will ring in the ears of all Australian anglers in the years to come.

Enjoy September and call me on 0418 538170 if you want to know more about Hinchinbrook or charters in the area.

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