Fishing over the last month has been a little up and down here, just like the ocean. Normally the summer months yields good weather patterns, but this year they have been the worst.
I have heard of a few reef reports from the past month and most have been successful with some reasonable catches coming from Brittomart and Otter reefs. Trout and red throat have been the most aggressive fish and some decent large-mouth nannygai and long-nose emperor were pulled from one of the many wrecks.
Long-nose are mainly caught at night during the summer months and are a welcome catch this time of year as their eating quality is exceptional.
Another welcomed species mainly taken at night in summer is the reef jack, which are just the adult versions of our coastal mangrove jack. These fish sure are impressive when they are around the 10kg mark.
A few nice sailfish have been tagged around the reef openings as well.
Before I injured my knee we got out a few times to target some big oceanic grunter on the rubble beds wide of Gould Island and found them in quite reasonable numbers.
The previous months usually see the best part of their run, but this year they were a little late to start and are only coming good now. If you are catching giant catties and blue-spot trevally, it’s a sure sign there are grunter in the vicinity too.
January as usual is going to be a difficult month to predict as we enter the monsoon and cyclone season.
It’s still a great time of year to fish for yellowfin and dogtooth tuna off the shelf, which can be easily accessed by smaller vessels on a day trip in good weather.
I also expect a few of our bigger black marlin to still be loitering around. The best access points would be from Port Hinchinbrook or Clump Point boat ramp, which is at north Mission Beach.
As the pre-wet season storms clean out our freshwater streams and gorges, it would be a good opportunity for the freshwater fishers to get out before the floods.
Jungle perch and sooties should be abundant, with sooties making up the majority of catches. They are easily caught and just about any small lure will work. Sooties are not a good table fish and are best left for the freshwater enthusiast who loves to catch and release.
Roly Newton from Tackleworld in Tully is the man to point you in the right direction of the sooties and jungle perch.
We are now taking bookings for next years barra season so if you plan to pop up for a charter get your dates in early to secure the better tides. Contact me at Hooked on Hinchinbrook on (07) 4068 6057, 0418 538 170 or --e-mail address hidden--
There should still be some big threadfin in the main channel in January.
Shane Roughsedge with a barramundi cod prior to release on the reef off Mission Beach.
Decent sailfish have been showing up in the reef openings.Reads: 644