Window for great fishing
  |  First Published: February 2010

The remnants of lingering tropical lows have generated plenty of charter cancellations and limited recreational fishing opportunities. And this is all while another 30 knot gust from the north comes crashing through the rainforest.

I guess we have to put up with the bad times because sometimes we get too much of the good.

As a result of the monsoonal weather I have received just one report from when my good mate, Ben Johnston, came up for his fix of offshore fishing early in the month just before the monsoon arrived.

Ben and his brother Peter were astounded at the amount of activity at one of Ben’s secret seamounts wide of Hinchinbrook’s continental shelf. The lads tangled with bucket loads of yellowfin tuna to 15kg as well as a dozen decent dogtooth tuna to about the same weight. They were smoked by several monsters as well.

The guys tangled with schools of mega mahi mahi and Spaniards to 22kg too. After a good rest they tried some bottom fishing overnight in about 80m of water and instantly came up with a big red emperor.

But after pulling in five more emperor heads and a reef jack that would have gone 8kg had the sharks not intervened, the lads give it away to be ready for some more crazy gamefishing the next morning.

They had another entertaining session the next day catching all the aforementioned species.

The next morning they went out trolling lures in the shipping lane wide of Hinchinbrook. After a short troll they managed to hook up a nice sailfish from a pod of three that cruised through the trolled lures.

The decky for the day ‘Sharky’ managed the fish aboard for Ben’s sister, Libby, who after a quick photo said her first ever sail was something she will never forget.

I have said this a thousand times in the past, but the offshore waters from Mission beach down to Lucinda have some truly outstanding gamefishing on offer. I have no idea why people go to extraordinary lengths and expense to travel to far off destinations when some of the best gamefishing is right here.

These waters also house giant black marlin at the right time of year, but all the gamefishing fleet still work the traditional grounds from Cairns north. It would be interesting to see what a dozen boats working this area with big baits may turn up.

We can only hope March will see some more friendly weather and get the barra fired right up. If there is more rain then it would be advisable to fish the flats and headlands away from the main channel.

If the weather remains clear and the waters clean up then fish the drains and ledges that are peppered through the Hinchinbrook channel.

Most live baits should work, particularly on the run-out tide. Look for dirty water lines near backwaters or gutters to throw shallow divers and soft plastics at too.

It would certainly be worth trying out the new acrylic jig heads from the Bozo range of plastics. They allow many plastics to be used more effectively in the shallows rather than traditional lead jigs.

If you want to come up for a charter call me on 0418 538170 and spend your fishing holiday in north Queensland instead.

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