As per usual the monsoon rains reached us early in January and have plagued anglers’ offshore expectations.
Nobody likes to fish in squalls and pelting rain so there are not too many reports from out wide. But in closer has been a bit different with the big golden grunter and fingermark firing up.
All the usual areas have been producing well with reports of good sessions around the Family group of islands, which lie between Cardwell and Mission Beach. This area is better known for being where Channel Nine’s Sea Patrol is filmed, but it also has some excellent reef drop-offs and isolated shoals that provide top class fingermark fishing and house some really big Spaniards in the cooler months.
Northern bluefin tuna have been really thick this year with some real studs among them. Throw small metal slices into the schools while they are feeding to get some action.
One of the best areas to target these fish is off Lucinda at the southern end of Hinchinbrook. The waters between Lucinda and the Palm Islands are often prolific for all sorts of pelagics at this time of year. On a recent trip back in from Lucinda we stopped off at the sugar jetty and we were amazed at the size and numbers of GTs and queenfish. This place is a real sportfisher’s playground.
There have been many accidental captures of barra recently, which is promising for the start of the season, which reopens Feb 1. Depending on what the rain does in January will govern what sort of a start to the season we will have.
If we get substantial rains then I would start by fishing the flats and headlands and leave the estuaries until the main run-off is well and truly over, which sometimes can take three weeks.
But whatever happens you can be assured there will be anglers everywhere trying for their first barra of the season.
The Cardwell Sportfishing Club is holding its annual barra bonanza comp this month with the briefing on Feb 4 and fishing on 5-6.
There are some top prizes up for grabs including the largest barra, which is a catch and release prize where fish are photographed on a competition measuring board. There are also prizes for mangrove jack, grunter and salmon. If you are interested in fishing the comp contact the club or Inspirations Resort at Port Hinchinbrook for more info.
So far 2010 seems to be shaping up as a good year. We reached a milestone at the end of season in October last year when we recorded our 1500th saltwater barra over 1m for hundreds of happy clients over the last 20 years. If you want to come up to catch your first big barra better give me a call on 0418 538 170.Reads: 1219