Townsville Report

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This report is supplied by Tackle World Townsville

Report 6/12/19

Hi everyone we are definitely in a great patch of weather and the opportunities are endless with fish being caught both offshore and inshore. Things are really starting to heat up so if you are out on the water make sure you cover up and put plenty of sunscreen on.   

Freshwater
The weirs seemed to have slowed up a little with the sudden change in temperature with the water temperature getting up over 30 degrees in some places.  This change is likely to be the cause of the Barra going a little quite.  If you are fishing the weirs work the deeper wholes as the temperature is likely to be more to the liking of the fish until they get use to the higher temperatures.  If you are fishing the weirs you need to make sure you have a SIPs permit.

Creeks, Rivers & Beaches
The warmer temperatures will also start to play a role in the fish throughout most of the creeks and rivers around Townsville.  A lot of the better fishing will be confined to the deeper wholes and banks with cooler water the draw card for most of the species this time of year.  The jacks continue to be the good news story with nice fish smashing both baits and lures alike.  Small minnow style lure with a tinge of red can work well as the Jacks get rather aggressive over the next few months.  The Barra are around in good numbers at the moment so make sure if you accidently hook one try to release them as quick as possible.  Although now really a species we talk too much about in summer but I had a recent report from the Burdekin area that there was a bunch of big whiting caught recently in one of the creeks so maybe it is worth a look on the beaches around the top of the tides. It is also worth a mention there has been a few mud crabs around just that most are only ½ full at the moment.  Hopefully this should improve over the next month or so and once we see a bit of rain get ready to catch a good feed for Christmas.

Offshore & Bay
The reef has been fishing well lately with good numbers of Red Throat Emperor being caught along with some nice trout.  Bommies in the deeper zone over 30m seem to be producing the better trout of late and this should continue over the summer months.  It is still worth floating baits or trolling a lure around the reefs with plenty of Spanish mackerel being caught in recent weeks.  Those heading to the outer reefs and fishing the deeper water are starting to encounter some very nice Dogtooth Tuna.  Jigging metals and trolling deep diving lures are the best ways to tangle with one of these guys but be warned it will hurt they do have some unmatched power.  Expect to lose some gear as these fish are dirty fighters and if you can’t stop them they will try to brick you, which is all part of the fun.  Inshore the finger-mark catches are improving with good fish being caught around both Cape Cleveland and to the south Cape Upstart and many of the Islands throughout Halifax Bay.  Both baits and lures are accounting for their fair share of fish.  Once again find bait and you should find some hungry finger-mark.

Dive
Plenty of action over the weekend with the annual North Queensland Bluewater Invitational comp being hosted by the Townsville Skindiving Club. This year plenty of fish were weighed in including Sailfish, Dogtooth Tuna and Wahoo to name a few. Generally spearos dive from 6-7m trailer boats and head out wide in search of 3 pelagic species each. It’s incredible, and were so blessed to live in a place where we are able to target and catch world class fish right here in our own backyard just an hour or 2 offshore. Closer to the mainland the headlands have been producing good trout and fingermark as well. The waters are well and truly warm now and with that the very real threat of marine stingers so be sure to use a wetsuit/stinger suit if you are poking out for a dive.

Report 29/11/19

Freshwater
The weirs are still the place to flick a lure if you need your Barra kick as part of the Stocked Impoundment Program you can still catch and release Barra caught in the freshwater sections of the weirs during the closure.  You just need to make sure you have a SIPs permit. If you love fishing impoundments and travel to places like Tinaroo (Atherton Tablelands) and Peter Faust (Near Proserpine) and would love to have a fishery like that on your doorstep then get involved and show your support go to the website link below and complete the survey or drop into our shop (Tackle World Townsville) and filling in a paper copy of the Ross River Dam Survey.  The more support there is to open the Ross River Dam to recreational use the better – I personally think it would be awesome to have a fishery like this so close to Townsville. https://haveyoursay.townsville.qld.gov.au/ross-river-dam

Creeks, Rivers & Beaches
There have been some good reports lately of prawns in the creeks running into Bowling Green Bay but as usual with prawns often they are gone by the time you get to report any catches.  It might be worth making a mental note and get ready to chase a few prawns on the next moon cycle.  The crabs seem to be improving in terms of quality with more and more full crabs entering pots of late.  The mouths of gutters, mud drains and mud flats are great places to set a few pots.  I have always been a fan of the first few hours of the falling tide as you tend to get the better crabs during this time in the tide.  In terms of fish there are still good reports of big Jacks in most systems with fresh slab baits, small minnow lures and soft plastics working well.  Weedless soft plastics are a great option when chasing jacks has they can be worked through some pretty thick snags where other lures just can’t go and these places are often were you find a good jack or two.

Offshore & Bay
The condition look good for chasing red emperor and nannygai this weekend with options of both tidal flow during the day and neap tides at night making fishing a little easier in some of the deeper areas often known to hold good reds during the early evening.  The shoals between reefs in the 40 metre plus range are the ideal places to catch these fish this time of year as the water tends to start to heat up the reds will start to look for deeper water.  Cuttlefish heads and large squid are ideal baits for these fish.  If you are chasing them during the daylight hours and would love to catch one on a jig then the IKA jig is the best in the business.  The coral trout reports were very good before the closure so I would expect there to be plenty of nice fish hitting the deck this weekend.  Coral Reef Fin Fish Closure ends tonight at 12 midnight so bring on the weekend this is the last of the closures on reef fish so let hope the winds stay light and there is plenty of opportunity to get offshore over the next month or so. The inshore reefs and fringing reefs around the islands have been holding good Bar-cheek trout lately with surface stick baits and shallow diving lures working well in these areas.  The only thing is it can often be hard to hold these fish out of structure in shallow water but one thing for sure it is a plenty of fun trying. Finger-mark numbers are also on the improve with good catches coming in on both baits and lures alike with those fishing the night producing some nice fish on live squid.  Squid lights are a must if you are looking to catch some live squid this time of year – look for a light that gives of a green glow as there is just something about the green light that works exceptionally well. Further offshore the heavy tackle marlin season continues with boats still working the grounds wide in search of the 1000lber when the weather permits. 

Dive
Preparations are well underway for this year’s NQBI, best of luck to all the competitors; we look forward to hearing all glory stories come weigh in 5pm Sunday. Closer to home the local reefs has still been the pick of most with the big tides pushing bait into big school on the pressure points. Plenty of Macks still getting about with a few bigger late season specimens starting to move in, very typical for this time of year. The sharks have fired up with this warmer water, so good diving practices are even more important, always have a dive buddy and an emergency plan. Again good luck to everyone from the Townsville Skindiving club on your comp this year.

Report 21/11/19

Freshwater
Despite the Barra closure the weirs of Ross River are a great option for those of us that love chasing Barra.  As part of the Stocked Impoundment Program you can still catch and release Barra caught in the freshwater sections of the weirs during the closure.  You just need to make sure you have a SIPs permit. If you love fishing impoundments and travel to places like Tinaroo (Atherton Tablelands) and Peter Faust (Near Proserpine) and would love to have a fishery like that on your doorstep then get involved and show your support go to the website link below and complete the survey or drop into our shop (Tackle World Townsville) and filling in a paper copy of the Ross River Dam Survey.  The more support there is to open the Ross River Dam to recreational use the better – I personally think it would be awesome to have a fishery like this so close to Townsville. https://haveyoursay.townsville.qld.gov.au/ross-river-dam

Creeks, Rivers & Beaches
With the new moon next week the tides are on the larger side making some creeks and rivers a little harder to fish.  However places like the Hinchinbrook channel should fish well this weekend.  Many of the creek to the north of Townsville fish well on these sorts of tides with good reports of Jacks in recent days coming from these areas.  It is also worth mentioning the crabs with good numbers on the move however the word is there are a lot of empty crabs so it might take a little work sorting through your catch to get a good feed.

Offshore & Bay
The reports from those heading offshore have been very good lately with heaps of quality reds being caught with some of the biggest largemouth nannygai I have seen in a while.  The coral trout numbers have also been very promising with fish still being caught in both the shallow and deeper bommies.  There has also been a good run of bar-cheek trout around the Islands lately with shallow diving lures working well on these fish.  It can just be a little hard to stop the larger specimens in such shallow water.  If you are heading out remember there is a Coral Reef Fin Fish Closure that runs from this Sunday to Thursday making all coral reef fin fish protected during this period.  That aside you can still target finger-mark and from all reports there has been some nice fish caught lately.  Guys fishing Cape Cleveland using live squid seem to be producing quality finger-mark while those that prefer fishing daylight hours are catching some nice fish on vibes and soft plastics with the Islands in Halifax Bay the go at the moment.  It is also worth checking out the Shipping Pylons, if they are holding bait there is every chance there will be finger-mark in the area. Halifax Bay is continuing to hold good numbers of grey mackerel with some nice fish caught lately trolling small spoons and minnow lures.  These mackerel are very a tune to the size of the bait they are eating so try to match the hatch with these macks for the best results. Further offshore the heavy tackle season continues with boats from last weekend tagging a few marlin in the 200 to 300lb size range. 

Dive
A little quieter this week as the Northerly winds mixed up the conditions somewhat. The reefs were still firing with plenty of pics of trout and RTE doing the rounds. Mackerel are still making up the bulk of the bluewater species with a few hard luck stories of good sized wahoo doing the rounds. Inshore diving has been rewarding for local divers who put in the effort with some good fingermark and tuskies frequenting the box. Stingers are defiantly here as well, so ensure you have the right level of protection to mitigate getting stung. Remember, if you are heading out be safe and never take more than you need.

Report 17/10/19

Freshwater
The weirs have been fish very well lately and they could be worth a cast or two late arvo if you are looking to get out of the house.  The sooty grunter are get quite aggressive on the strike as the water temperatures starts to rise and there has been some great reports of surface sessions using small poppers and stick baits with the Jackson RA Pop enticing plenty of strikes.

Creeks, Rivers & Beaches
Inshore the barra are on the chew with good fish willing to take both live baits and lures alike.  The tides look ideal for fishing the larger systems that run into Bowling Green Bay like the Haughton, Morrissey’s or the Barratta’s.  With the neap tides this weekend it looks like the ideal time to jig soft vibes around the deep corners and ledges in the systems particularly if you can sound up some bait.
The guys using live baits should also be able to fish areas of the creeks and rivers that often run to fast.  There are some nice deep banks in these creeks loaded with snags which should fish well on these tides.  Live mullet or mud herring are the perfect baits this time of year.  The angler flicking prawn imitation soft plastic like the ecooda prawn and zerek shrimp often like these tides as it allows them to zone right in on fish pushed up against snags, using as light a rig as possible to get the bite.
The mangrove jack action has also been good of late with some nice specimens being caught in recent weeks throughout most of the creeks and rivers around Townsville.
Fingermark numbers are on the improve in the same areas with some nice fish willing to take live greenback herring and soft vibe lures in most of the deeper stretches of the rivers.  The new samaki vibe colours, in particular the salty and lime stripey are real winners and have been smashing the fingers in recent days.

Offshore & Bay
The mackerel have been on the chew with big spotted mackerel around the 6-7kg mark along with Spanish mackerel in the 10 to 15kg range in the same areas with the inshore shoals like the Mack patches off Cape Cleveland really fishing well.
There have also been good reports of mackerel to the north with quality fish starting to show up around the Palm Islands and the Rib reef area.  Trolling big gar seems to be doing the trick on the shoals and reefs.  As usual it is hard to beat a wolf herring when trolling around the rocky headlands and offshore islands.
There have also been a few guys casting popper around Sally with some great results with both mackerel and queenfish playing the game.
The reds continue to be caught on the shoals with the usual report of sharks taking their share of fish, it is hard but if the sharks move in it is best to move on. They just seem to have an endless pit for a stomach and it is just a shame to keep feeding them with top shelf fish.  Cut your losses and try new ground.
The reef fishing was a little hit and miss last weekend with some good reports of trout and others reporting ordinary catches.  Bait schools, water movement and plenty of shifting from bommie to bommie are the key to catching plenty of fish bottom bashing the reef.

Report 10/10/19

Freshwater
The weirs have been fishing well lately and I would expect there to be plenty of barra on the chew over the next few days around the new moon. The full moon is a great time to work surface lure like stick baits and fizzers as the moon allow the barra to hone in on the silhouette of the lure and often the lure that do this best are dark colours and don’t underestimate a black surface lure in these circumstances. 

Creeks, Rivers & Beaches
The fishing has been great lately with plenty of mangrove jacks on the snags in many of the northern creeks.  Cattle, Ollera and Taylors have all been producing plenty of jacks on both baits and lures.  Grunters have also been caught right throughout the area with Hinchinbrook channel producing some nice fish of late.  The systems throughout the Bowling Green Bay region should also produce some nice grunter this weekend with perfect tides, moon phase and time of year. 
The finger-mark reports have continued with some nice fish being caught on live green back herring.  The anglers using soft vibes have also been finding some nice fish in the deeper holes and ledges around the mouths of the creeks. 
As mentioned last week there are still some nice barra working along the northern beaches and the next few weeks should see this continue.  October is a great month for chasing barra and the reports from the recent 4lb club Barra comp in the Hinchinbrook suggests the barra sizes and numbers are on the increase in the area. 
The beaches are also starting to produce a few Barra particularly around the northern beaches area with Toomula a hot spot in recent weeks.

Offshore & Bay
With such great weather there have been plenty of boats heading offshore and the reds seem to be playing the game with good reports of Large Mouth Nannygai to the north on the shoals off the Palms.  The slasher group of reefs have really being on fire lately with plenty of quality coral trout in the area. 
There has been good report of Spanish mackerel on most of the reefs in the area and the fish around the 10kg mark are starting to school up in good numbers on the shoals off the Burdekin and Townsville with the 12mile off the Alva Beach a regular hotspot and the Mack patches and areas around the Bomber and out to shark shoal all holding good numbers of mackerel.
There have also been plenty of tuna schools around the Arab reef with both Mack-tuna and long tail tuna schooling up in these areas. 
The grey mackerel schools are still working throughout Halifax bay with some nice patches in the area in the last couple of weeks. Just to remind you if you are chasing these guys you will have to match the hatch and smaller metal slices and spoons are often the best way to catch greys.

Report 3/10/19

Freshwater
As things start to heat up the weir barra should start to become more and more active with good report in recent days of fish smashing surface lures like, stick baits, poppers and fizzers worked around the edges of the banks and weed patches during the early hours of the night.  Remember your SIPs permit if you are fishing the freshwater sections of the Ross River. 

Creeks, Rivers & Beaches
The tides either side of the day time high look quite good for chasing barra and jacks in most of the systems around Townsville.  The temperature increases as the head into the warmer months will really get the barra fired up.  They will also start to feed on larger baits with mullet and mud herring making the perfect baits this time of year.  It is also worth up-sizing your lures and plastics as we head toward the latter part of the year. 
There have also been plenty of reports of finger-mark in the creeks in recent weeks with live green back herring a go to bait for these guys.  The guys jigging the deeper wholes and ledges are also producing some nice fish on soft vibes.
The beaches are also starting to produce a few barra particularly around the northern beaches area with Toomula a hot spot in recent weeks.

Offshore & Bay
Before the change came through Thursday there were a few boats that managed to get out offshore and the reports were all similar – sharks, sharks and more sharks but apparently they are in decline.  If they are they are getting bigger and smarter.
Those that managed to dodge the sharks reported good catches of trout and lippers on the reefs while the shoals continue to fish well for reds. 
The guys using jigs don’t seem to have the same problems with sharks as they are usually not anchoring on an area and there isn’t the bait smell in the water.  Change in depth can also sometimes work with many guys reporting less shark activity in deeper areas away from the reefs.  It is just a matter of chopping and changing until you work out what is happening on the day.
In terms of pelagic there are heaps of tuna schools around at the moment and small metals cast into the schools can turn into a ton of fun on light gear.
Spanish mackerel have been a little hit and miss but there seems to be some nice fish around the 12 mile off the Burdekin and there seems to be some nice fish starting to show up on in the usual spots to the north of Townsville.  Trolling garfish on the shoals is the preferred method while those using wolf herring around the rocky headlands seems to get the job done.

Report 26/9/19

Freshwater
The new moon should get the Barra in the impoundments interested so this weekend the weirs caught fire with peak bites times likely to be late afternoon early morning. Stick baits and paddle tail soft plastics worked very slowly have been producing the goods in recent days. Make sure you have a SIP’s Permit if you are fishing the weirs in Ross River.
Creeks, Rivers & Beaches
The tides are quite big this weekend so there is likely to be a lot of run. An hour or so either side of the changes on big tides can be very productive particularly on the bends where they tend to become unfishable once the tide starts to crank up. The reports have been good lately with some very nice grunter into the 60s being caught up most of the creeks and rivers around Townsville. The Jacks have also continued to terrorise lures and soft plastics with the Hinchinbrook Channel really firing in recent weeks. There have been reports of plenty of quality jacks working mud banks on the falling tides feeding on jelly prawns. The shallow diving Jackson snubby has been a real jack catcher in these areas and well work having one in your tackle box if you don’t already have one. The barra reports are on the improve and it looks like they will only get better as we head into October. There has also been some good report of fingermark being caught in many of the deeper creeks and rivers running into Bowling Green bay with fish around the 50cm mark showing up in recent weeks. These guys love greenback herring, so if you can find a patch for bait you have a good chance of landing a few fingermark around the mouths of these systems.

Offshore & Bay

The tides look ideal for fishing the flats and rocky bays throughout Cleveland Bay with good reports of Barra being caught in these areas on the larger tides. The new moon also should produce some nice fingermark, if you can catch some live squid there are sure to be some nice fingermark to be found around Cape Cleveland. The tides on the lead up to the new moon is also a great time to chase grunter with areas like Red Rock Bay inside Cape Cleveland, Horseshoe Bay on Maggie and Cape Bowling Green all great options this time of year.

There was heaps of grey mackerel around last week so would expect them to still be around most of the usual spots throughout Halifax Bay this weekend. Remember to match the hatch with these guys and your day will be a very productive one.

The Spanish mackerel should be around in good numbers on these tides with the rocky headlands of Cape Cleveland, Cape Upstart and the Palm Islands idea spots to chase these fish. Wolf herring are a must in these areas with the bigger Mack’s often coming unstuck by a slowly swam wolf herring.

The shoals and reef itself should also fish well this weekend with big tides and the old saying “No Run No Fun” being very true this weekend with heaps of run there should be plenty of fun.

Report 13/9/19

Freshwater
The weirs should fish alright on the lead up to the full moon with fish likely to take surface lures during the night. Although it might sound strange to think fish in the freshwater can be influenced by tides as obviously there are none but so often the bite times mirror the same as those you would expect in the salt. Many a good session in the freshwater often comes around the changes in the tides in the salt. Yes weird but it just seems to happen like that.

Creeks, Rivers & Beaches
The tides suggest the fishing should be quite good in inshore this weekend with the Hinchinbrook Channel one of the hot spots at the moment with good fish being caught over the flats in recent weeks. Once again find the banks holding good schools of bait and there is likely to be barra and jacks not far away.
Shallow diving lures like the Jackson Snubby have been dynamite worked slowly over the flats and snake drains that are found throughout the Hinchinbrook area.
The bream continue to play the game in most of the creeks and rivers that run into Bowling Green Bay with fish around the 40cm mark being caught on fresh bait like prawns and mullet.
The Northern Beaches have been fishing ok in recent times with good flathead to be found on most of the beaches however Toomulla in particular has been fishing particularly well with good barra and jacks starting to show up in the area.

Report 6/9/19

Freshwater
The weirs are fishing ok with some nice barra being caught in recent times on large swimbaits worked slowly over the returning weed patches. The sooty grunter have fired up in recent weeks with good sessions reported from Keel Bottom to the freshwater reaches of the Herbert.

Creeks, Rivers & Beaches
The local creeks and rivers have been fishing well lately with good numbers of bream in most of the systems with the odd quality grunter being caught also in the same areas. Blue salmon seem to be around in good numbers also with fish schooling up in the deeper holes on the bends of the creeks and rivers. Soft Vibes are working well jigged in these areas.
The barra have been good this year and it looks like we should be in for a good few months as things start to warm up. At the moment most of the better catches are coming from those guys fishing the shallows with heaps of fish working the shallows over the flats and around the mouths of mud drains. There has been quite a lot of jelly prawn in the gutters lately and these areas are prime locations to chase barra.
The Hinchinbrook Channel and the Haughton seem to the be pick of the systems at the moment and many of the lure guys are reporting good sessions in skinny water, once again find the bait on a bank and work the area as there will be fish somewhere in the area.
The beaches have been producing a few whiting and the best time is the size of the fish has been very good. Beaches to the north of Townsville have been producing some nice flathead in recent weeks with soft plastics and strip mullet baits accounting for some nice flathead on the falling tide. The anglers following the tide out are finding good fish.

Offshore & Bay

Over the last few days there have been good reports of red emperor and nannygai on the shoals, while the coral trout in the deeper water around the 30m mark are also playing the game which is great to hear. There also has been some good report of solid spotted mackerels mixed in with the Spanish mackerel on the shoals.

Finally the mackerel numbers seem to be on the improve around the Palms and my favourite when it comes to the dinner table there has been some very nice grunter being caught in recent days with fish up around the 70cm mark being caught lately which is a cracker of a grunter in anyone’s books.

Report 22/8/19

Freshwater
The weirs have been producing a few monster Barra in recent days with a couple of fish over the metre mark caught last night on hard bodies. Just remember you need a SIPs permit if you are fishing the freshwater sections of the Ross River.
Creeks, Rivers & Beaches
The afternoon incoming tide look the best with good reports of bream and grunter in the deeper creeks while the shallower sand based systems have been producing good whiting and flathead.
The beaches to the north and south of Townsville should also fish well late afternoon around the top of the tide. There has also been a few Barra willing to play the game in recent weeks with live prawn producing the best results for those willing to put the time. If you prefer to flick a lure or two prawn imitation soft plastics are likely to produce the best results.

Offshore & Bay

The Townsville Game Fishing Club’s Billfish Challenge runs over the next few days with over 20 boats fishing over the next few days. In recent weeks there has been a few Marlin and Sailfish caught and released on the Northern Grounds so hopefully there is plenty of fish to entertain the anglers. Good luck to all the competitors it is usually a cracker of an event.

Cape Cleveland has been producing a few nice Spanish mackerel in recent weeks with trolled wolf herring accounting for most of the quality fish. The changes in the tides are the ideal times to fish this area.

The Bay continues to produce school mackerel on metal slices, small minnow lures and floating pilchards. With the weed beds inside Cape Cleveland and the Shipping Pylons the pick of the spots.

Report 2/8/19

Freshwater
With the winds up this weekend the freshwater reaches around Townsville could be a great option. Ross River Weirs seem to be starting to fish well again around the moon.

Creeks, Rivers & Beaches
The morning tides look good for chasing a few bream, whiting and flathead with both tides either side of the high looking quite fishable compared to the late afternoon tides which will be pushing in quite fast. Fishing the gutters and sand drains as the tide drops off the flats should produce some nice whiting and flathead. While the deeper banks holding shell and rock are likely to be great places to look for a good feed of bream.
In terms of the barra the Haughton seems to be fishing quite well lately with prawn style soft plastics working well lately. The Hinchinbrook Channel should fish well this weekend with good tides for the area, with some nice fish likely to be feeding up over the flats. Shallow diving lures like the Jackson Snubby have been working well in these areas of late.

Offshore & Bay
There has continued to be good reports of black jew being caught on vibes jigged around the pylons in the bay. The reports of mackerel continued while the winds played the game however it looks like the winds will be up this weekend with the big high in the bite. It looks like a weekend for the creeks and rivers or one to go over your gear and gets things sorted for when the winds drop out.

Report 27/6/19

Freshwater
The upper reaches of the Burdekin have been fishing ok lately with those looking to have some fun chasing the drag screaming sooty grunter – probably one of the hardest hitting fish pound for pound.
Closer to home if you are chasing Barra in the Ross River weirs make sure you have a SIP permit.

Creeks, Rivers & Beaches
There are still good reports of blue salmon numbers in most of the creeks and rivers around Townsville with prawn and strip baits working well. There has also been the odd thready getting caught from those jigging vibes in the deeper holes throughout the systems.
The crabs have been full as a boot and it is well worth setting a few pots if you are heading down the creek to wet a line. The bream numbers are also on the increase in most of the local creeks and rivers and should only improve over the next few months. Bream respond very well to burley so make sure you set down a good trail under your boat when chasing these guys as your catches will dramatically increase once you do. Prawns and chicken breast strips are great baits for bream.

Offshore & Bay
Cleveland Bay has been fishing very well lately with heaps of bait starting to concentrate throughout the area. There have been a number of reports in recent weeks of nice black Jew being caught around the shipping pylons and various locations in the Bay by those fishing the night tides. Live baits seem to be the best option and live squid in particular are producing the best results. There is still plenty of finger-mark throughout the bay so don’t be surprised if you encounter one of these great fish also.
The school mackerel numbers are very good with plenty of fish taking lures, metal slices and baits alike. Once again the better catches seem to be coming from fishers that put the time into setting up a good burley trail and floating pilchards on gang hooks without wire.
The Spanish mackerel reports have slowed mainly due to the weather but I am sure once the winds settle and boats can get back out on the grounds there will be plenty of macks to be had.

Report 21/6/19

Freshwater
The weirs in Ross River continue to produce the odd barra with those willing to put the casts in. Slow retrieves and those using lures and plastics that are a little different in action and look as the run of the mill seem to be getting the bite.
Once again if you are fishing the freshwater sections of Ross River you will need a SIPs permit.

Creeks, Rivers & Beaches
With all the herring in the creeks there has been plenty of Blue Salmon in most of the creeks feeding into both Cleveland and Bowling Green Bays. Try to match the hatch and if possible get your hands on some herring and you should be half way to catching a good feed of salmon.
There continues to be good numbers of Pikey Bream in most of the creeks and rivers around Townsville and the Burdekin. Whiting catches have gone a little quite but with the temperature drop it might bring them back into the creeks. Phillips landing and Alva Beach to the South are known hot spots and the Northern Beaches also great locations to chase these fish. Whiting are the perfect fish to catch with the whole family.

Offshore & Bay
The bay continues to produce plenty of school mackerel with those setting up a good burley trail and floating pilchards having a great day on the water. Cape Cleveland has been producing some nice Spanish mackerel in recent weeks with those slow trolling baits having good success along the rocky headlands of the Cape and out around Salamander Reef.
The shoals continue to produce Spanish mackerel but the sharks have been playing havoc in these areas off late with good fish regularly being shared with the taxman.
The reef fishing has been red hot with heaps of report of coral trout and red throat emperor being caught from just about every reef system in our area. The shoal fishing has also been on with good numbers of both large mouth nannygai and red emperor being caught using baits like squid and cuttlefish to being caught on jigs and soft plastics. It really has been a fish frenzy over the last week with reasonable conditions to get offshore.

Report 7/6/19

Freshwater
For those willing to put the casts in there are still good barra to catch in the weirs. They just seem to be responding to smaller paddle tail plastics worked extra slow.

Creeks, Rivers & Beaches
The barra seem to have adjusted to the temperature drop and are starting get hungry again with some good reports of fish willing to take lures and live baits. This time of year the barra really start to stack up on particular snags along a bank. Shallow banks are often the place to start searching first as the water temperature is often slightly warmer. It is also a good move to reduce the leader weight and the size of lures and soft plastics you are using during the cooler months. Live prawns are the go to bait for barra during winter. Last but not least look for banks holding bait like herring.
The direction of the winds have been pushing over the beaches and resulting in some nice clear water in close in recent days. This tends to bring the bait in closer and as a result you start to see schools of bigger predatory fish like trevally, queenfish and salmon pushing along the beaches.
The Northern Beaches have been producing a few nice whiting and flathead in recent times for those willing to brave the cooler mornings.

Offshore & Bay
The fishing offshore has been none existent this week and it looks like there won’t be much over the weekend but fingers crossed later next week we can get some calmer conditions. Early last week from those that managed to snatch a few days through the week and get offshore reported good catches of coral trout on the reefs and the Spanish mackerel were going off on the shoals. Exciting times ahead all the signs are there for one of the biggest mackerel seasons in a long time we just need the weather gods to help us out.
There is plenty of bait on the billfish ground so the game fishers could be in for a great season as well. With reports of plenty of small fish off Cairns and the fishery going off around Fraser Island at the moment, all is looking good for a few good years for the light tackle game fishers.

Report 16/5/19

Freshwater
Much the same as last week as the temperature drops the weirs are likely to get harder and harder to get the fish to fire however the little bit of rain through the week may have some influence on the Barra. The full moon this weekend should also increase the activity in the weirs with surface lures a great option on a moon lit night.

Creeks, Rivers & Beaches
The fishing have been quite good lately with reports of plenty of Blue Salmon being caught with fresh prawns and strip baits working well around the mouths of the creeks and rivers on the run out tide. The Barra are also around in good numbers with fish starting to switch to the bigger prawn baits as the temperature drops. Both live prawn and imitation prawn lures like the Zerek Live Shrimp rigged weed-less are both great options around the snags. In the deeper wholes soft vibes are still accounting for their fair share of good Barra. It is also mentioning that quite a few larger fish have been marking up on sounders but are proving hard to get to bite at times. Reducing the size of your lure or soft plastic down around the 3 to 4” mark and using lighter leader can sometimes get a bite out of these bigger fish.

Once again the mud crabs continue to play the game with good catches continuing over the last few weeks. Just in the last week there have been some very good reports of both quality and quantity when it comes to muddies. The Bohle River and the local creeks in the bay have been crabbing very well.

The beaches are also starting to fish well with some nice reports of big flathead starting to trickle in with soft plastic prawn lures or grub tails working well on a very slow retrieve as the water pushes out through the undulations in the sand bars.

Offshore & Bay
On repeat from last week the winds are up so there is not likely to be much opportunity to get offshore but once it drops out it will be on for young and old with so many great signs of a cracker mackerel season.

Report 18/4/19

Freshwater
The weirs have stopped flowing so many of the barras will start to scatter out once again and it will be back to fishing for them before the big wet. Surface lures at night are a great way to entice a bite from these fish. The traditional slowly worked paddle tail soft plastics are also often rewarded with nice fish in the weirs. Remember if you are fishing the freshwater sections of the Ross River you need a SIPs permit.

Creeks, Rivers & Beaches
Over the weekend the tides will have a lot of run in them and the crabs should be on the move so it will be well worth putting a few pots in. The other tasty crustacean and probably my favourite the prawn should also be around in good numbers around the full moon. On the fishing front the last few hours of the out-going tide look good for chasing a few barra with big tides this will allow the water to drop out of the mangroves. The creek mouths and drains will be good places to concentrate as the tide drops off the flats. Both lures and live baits have been catching their fair share in recent days.
There have also been some good reports of grunter in many of the creeks around the Burdekin with fish up around the 50cm willing to take well-presented baits with large prawns and mullet strips working best. Look for a bit of back water with such big tides it is very important that you get your baits to the bottom.

Offshore & Bay
Once again and again the record player is on repeat – Offshore fishing out of the question this long weekend with strong winds forecast. It is almost as if we are already in the traditional winter pattern with calm conditions very early morning with winds picking up around 8-9am. So if you are looking to sneak over to the Island and get out of the wind it is best to get out early. This also applies to all heading over to huts at Cape Cleveland and Cape Upstart.

Report 12/4/19

Freshwater, Creeks, Rivers & Beaches
The weirs are still producing barra with Aplin’s probably the place to be land-based over the last few weeks and it is likely to stay that way until the water stops dribbling over the weir wall. Once that happens we should see most of the action back in the freshwater sections and back to the usual with most action around the moon.
Remember if you are fishing the freshwater sections of the Ross River you need a SIPs permit.

The tides are slowly improving and as we get into the weekend there should be more movement in the tides with the morning tides probably the best for crabbing. The first few hours off the top of the tide is often a great time to crab as you tend to get the better male crabs start to move first.

The afternoon tides look good for flicking a few lures around the snags or soaking a few live baits. There has been a few nice barra caught in recent days and in terms of baits both mullet and large prawns have been producing some very nice fish. It is also worth mentioning the good reports of prawn in the creeks making it easy to catch bait and if you get onto a good patch plenty for a feed also. Top pocket cast nets are a great way to chase prawns in the deeper holes.

Offshore & Bay
Once again the record player is on repeat – Offshore fishing is probably not an option again this weekend with the winds around the 20knots for most of the weekend. If you are looking to sneak out into the bay the early mornings have been ok for a few hours before the winds get up but once again that is a day to day observation that one needs to make before heading out.

Report 5/4/19

Freshwater, Creeks, Rivers & Beaches
The fishing around Townsville continues to improve with some nice barra willing to take both live baits and lures. Slowly worked paddle tail soft plastics have been producing plenty of action in recent weeks. Grunters are also on the increase with some nice fish being caught in recent days with fresh prawn and slab baits doing the trick.
The Hinchinbrook area is fishing particularly well with many reports of good catches of barra, jacks and grunter but one thing to consider is the areas you are targeting in such a large system. In recent days the southern end is fishing well for jacks and grunter but the barra don’t seem to be playing the game. However the guys fishing the northern end of the channel are reporting the barra as being very active. The Hinchinbrook channel is an amazing place and this is just a perfect example of this.
This time of year the mud flats and drains are the prime stops to cast a lure or well weighted soft plastic with plenty of barra often found in these areas feeding this time of year.
On the crabbing front most of the buck crabs seem to be a little on the soft side at the moment but should be nice a full just before Easter which is great timing. There have been heaps of female crabs in the pots of late so there is quite a lot of sorting through them to find a decent take home crab.

Offshore & Bay
Offshore the fishing has been a little hit and miss with some reporting good catches of coral trout and lippers while others have been struggling. But there is one thing that seems to be quite consistent and that is the reds with plenty of quality large-mouth nannygai to be found in many of the shoals.
Closer inshore the Fingermark are the fish to be targeting with good number around the shipping pylons and many of the regular spots like Cape Cleveland and the back of Maggie.

Report 21/3/19

Freshwater, Creeks, Rivers & Beaches
The little bit of rain around over the last few days has stirred up the prawns and crabs with some nice prawns around the mouth of the Ross River at the moment. The crabs on the other hand have been on the move also with the systems running into Bowling Green Bay probably producing the higher catch rates. With the larger tides you will just have to make sure you work the flats or put your pots in areas of back water where the current is not as strong.
There is also good reports of barra though out Ross River in both the freshwater and saltwater reaches – just remember if you are fishing the freshwater sections of the Ross you must have a SIPs Permit.
With the larger tides at the moment and calm conditions should see the larger predatory fish move closer in shore in search of bait fish. Pallarenda and Ross Bay are good places to start as there has been some nice queenfish and trevally working these areas lately. The Northern Beaches should also fish quite well on these tides with the best time on the making tides.

Offshore & Bay
The fishing around Townsville has been good lately and this weekend should be no different with some nice fingermark being caught in recent days around the back of Maggie and Cape Cleveland. There has also been plenty of squid in these areas which make great baits for fingermark or even better just cleaned, cooked and eaten I personally love a good feed of fresh calamari.
Green squid lights are a great way to attract the squid to your boat at night however with the full moon on us it can often make it more difficult however if it stays a little overcast the moon doesn’t play as big a part. Throughout the daylight hours fingermark will take all sorts of lures from metal jigs to soft vibes and soft plastics in general. They can also be caught trolling lures with bright colours on overcast days and lures with plenty of flash on the brighter days as a general rule.
Offshore the reef fishing has been improving as the tidal flow increases with both Coral trout and red throat catches starting to play the game. It is just a matter of trying to find areas with just the right amount of tidal run. The shoals have also been producing good red emperor and nannygai with the peak bit times around the changes in the tide just before the current pickup too much and you need a kilo of lead to keep you on the bottom.

Report 3/8/19

Freshwater, Creeks, Rivers & Beaches
Reports have been good with plenty of Barra and Jacks willing to take lure and baits. With larger lures and live baits seem to be the preferred options for the Barra at the moment. The Barra are a little spread out at the moment so don’t be afraid to do a bit of moving around to find them. Vibe style lure have also been working well with some nice thread fin salmon being caught while jigging the deeper holes through the creeks and river around Townsville.

Don’t forget the crab pots the reports have been good in recent weeks with some reports of 3 and 4 bucks per pot from some of the local creeks with the incoming tide tending to produce the better catches.

Offshore & Bay
The last couple of days have been nice out on the bay in the mornings with flat conditions allowing for most to get out and fish the pylons and headlands. There was a bunch of squid around Orchard Rock at the back of Maggie earlier in the week with those fishing the area reporting nice catches using squid jigs.
There has also been some nice fingermark captures in recent days with some nice fish being caught around the some area, Cape Cleveland and the Shipping Pylons.

The bays inside the Cape have been producing some nice grunter in recent weeks with fish working up into the shallows during the incoming night tides.
Offshore the reports have been good from those that have managed to sneak out with good nannygai catches on the inshore shoals.

Report 21/2/19

Freshwater, Creeks, Rivers & Beaches
If there is anything positive to come out of this it will be the long term effect such an event has on the fishing. Over the next couple of years the fishing will be great with all the creeks and rivers getting a good clean out. The injection of nutrients into the whole system will produce plenty of food for bait fish and in turn their numbers should grow fast and where there is bait there will be plenty of predatory fish in hot pursue. It seems to have started already with good reports of Barra and jacks in the creeks and plenty of great catches of reef fish in recent days.
It is also worth throwing in a few crab pots with the fresh chasing most crabs out of their holes. With good reports from those crabbing the flats in the bay and the deeper stretches of the smaller creeks.
With all the creeks and rivers pumping so much freshwater there is a lot of Barra moving along the beaches and out around the rocky headlands and of Cape Cleveland and Maggie Island.

Offshore & Bay

With the calm conditions over the next couple of weeks there should be plenty of opportunity to head offshore, just keep an eye out for floating trees. It is best to restrict your travel to daylight hours at the moment. Running into some of the monster trees floating offshore at the moment would bring a trip to an abrupt end.
If you come across any weed mats or floating logs over the next few weeks it will be well worth taking a closer look as these surface structures often attract heaps of fish and in particular are great places to catch triple tail. Soft plastics and lures cast around these surface objects can result in a day to remember.
Reports from those that have recently fished offshore have been positive with many reporting very good catches of coral trout and both red emperor and large mouth nannygai.
Off Townsville the flood plum spilling out of all the major rivers seems to have pushed about 15mile offshore with a distinct transition line between salt and fresh quite visible. This line is also a great place to troll a few lures with a lot of bait tending work along this line.

Report 1/2/19

Freshwater, Creeks, Rivers & Beaches
With so much freshwater stirring all the baitfish up it is a great time to target these big Barra. Before the dam went over the weirs were fishing very well however with so much water pumping down the system at the moment it will be a little hard to find areas to fish and stay safe. However once the water settles down we should see one of the best Barra seasons we have seen in a long time. These sorts of rain events are gold for fishing generally with the old saying “drought on the land drought at sea”. There is definitely no drought in North Queensland this year.
If you do intend fishing the weirs once things settle remember you will need a SIPs Permit as these areas are stocked impoundments and are part of the Queensland government scheme.
From all reports the Barra in the weirs have been taking smaller than usual paddle tail soft plastics however it is always a good idea to have a variety of sizes and colours as these fish tend to change their focus depending on the river conditions.
Once the Barra season opens on midday Friday there will be plenty of opportunity to fish the beaches and areas along the strand as there should be some nice Barra working along these areas. The areas around the mouths of the small creeks running out into the bay should be ideal stops to cast a few lures.
Although there is a lot of freshwater influence in most the creeks and rivers there has been some good reports of crabs. This rain should push most of the crabs out of their holes and into the main creek channels.

Offshore & Bay

The rain and wind has kept most offshore anglers at home so there isn’t much to report this week. Hopefully after the rain things might settle down and if we can get some calm weather there should be plenty of baitfish concentrations and where there is bait there should be plenty of bigger fish.

Report 25/1/19

Creeks, Rivers & Beaches
With good reports lately of nice prawn in the creeks there should be plenty of fish also in the systems taking advantage of this and feeding on them. Jacks and the odd quality grunter seem to be the talk at the moment with some nice fishing willing to take both prawn lure imitations like the Zerek and Ecooda live Shrimps and live prawns if you can get your hands on some. The best option to catch prawns is to use a cast net around the drains and gutters as the tide drops out. It is also well worth throwing in a few crab pots as the reports have been good lately. If we get any more rain it will only increase the crab and prawn catches over the weekend.

Freshwater
Although there hasn’t been huge amounts of rain to really get the water pumping over the weirs there has been enough to get a few big Barra interested with some nice metre plus fish being landed in recent days. The full moon is great time to flick a few surface lures around the weed edges in Ross River during the twilight hours. Large paddle tail soft plastics are also great options this time of year. Don’t forget if you are fishing the Weirs you do need a SIPs Permit.

Offshore & Bay

It is just becoming a copy of the week before and the week before that and so on once again the conditions forecast this weekend up around the 20 knots there isn’t much chance of getting offshore. It might be a good weekend to get yourself set for the Barra season opening in just over a week’s time.

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Danny & Rosalie Brooks
Tackle World Domain Central
Ph. 07 4725 1266
danny@tackleworldtownsville.com.au