31
Jul

A plan was hatched to fish the last of the run out tide today in the lower reaches of the Barron River, then to head home. The wind was shifting direction a bit from SW to SE and it picked up to the usual gusts of late pretty early on. We decided to start fishing not far from the ramp and just flick prawns into the shallows and drift towards the mouth with the tide. Didn’t take long and I was connected to a fish that had me confused as it was pulling like a little GT then a jack and it turned out to be a small grunter. Finally I have caught one on a lure!

grunter

We drifted on and apart from some very small taps nothing was doing. We stopped at the airport lights bridge and jigged some vibes (an a piece of carpet) before getting bored and continuing the drift downstream. The wind started to pick up so I turned the electric for Redden Creek and we went to hit some snags. I haven’t been up this creek in nearly a year and a half and there really aren’t the snags there I had remembered. We spotted a small croc swimming just near the boat and he was camera shy, every time I got the camera out then turned it on, he went under.

There was a likely snag just off a nice back eddy out of the current and full of sticks that I kept doing drifts past and just as I went to adjust the electric something hit my plastic but he wasn’t very big and couldn’t make it far before I had him winched in. A nice healthy little jack that swallowed the lure, I didn’t measure him but he would have been around 35cm, maybe a touch bigger.

lil-jack

We then went down to the seaside mouth of Redden Creek as I was looking for some bigger snags and didn’t find any decent ones, so we motored back out and had a flick around the mouth of the creek and what little snags we could find.

I ran the electric motor over to a distant snag that looked good and planned to drift back across the others. We all deployed our weedless plastics deep into the snag, I drifted mine right into the snag, down nice and deep when I felt a sharp pull and solid energetic weight. This fish was not mucking about and it ended up being a tug of war for a moment with neither wanting to give in. For a split second I was thinking it was a barra because of the sheer power, but then it bricked me good, but I could feel leader on the snag and I was confident of getting him out. Out of the corner of my eye I heard Ryan yell, “Got ya” as this poor archerfish became airborne straight into the boat at head height. Ryan had a good hit and thought it had come back and gave it all he had, which was too much for a little archer. Around this time I asked Ryan to help out with the electric as I’d drifted onto the snag and was struggling to concentrate on two things at once. Almost the moment we got off the snag the fish swam out into the open and up popped a very nice jack. Once again I didn’t measure him but he’d have been about 46-47cm and quite a nice fish, he certainly wanted that lure!

jack-closeup
jack-side
jacky

We called it a day shortly after and got out the wind but it was a nice way to spend the morning and finally get out for a fish!

17
Apr

inlet-sunrise2

Yesterday we left nice and early to explore the Inlet for the first time in a new tinny Ryan can borrow from time to time. The tinny itself is awesome and very well set up for estuary fishing. We were greeted by overcast and slight drizzle which is a good thing in the Trinity Inlet, keep the midgies away and prolongs the morning bite period. The photo above was taken just on sunrise and almost looked like it was going to be a fine day.

inlet-morning

Wasn’t long before we found ourself in a ubiquitous mangrove lined FNQ creek and casting lures at anything the looked like a fish might be lurking. There wasn’t much run in the top of the tide so we slowly motored up the creek. Ryan was onto a little barra on about the 3rd otr 4th cast which jumped, shook its head and threw the hooks. A few more lure changes and bends in the creek and I picked up a small GT which went pretty hard for a little guy and put on a good show. With not much happening we left and went for an explore something new.

DSCN8695

Motoring back out along the main channel a fair way up the Inlet Ryan noticed something get nailed so we went back to electric mode and stalked the flats near the mangrove line. Barra were boofing and jacks smashing bait up in the mangroves but they were too far in and the water needed to recede more. Ryan said, ‘stuff this, I’m going to cast out the other side’, his lure was taken the instant it hit the water and line screamed off the reel instantly. After a solid tussle, up popped a beautiful barred grunter that took one look at the tinny and dived off on another good run. I netted the fish, took a quick photo and sent him off to fight another day. The grunter measured around 38cm and was caught on a three inch gulp shrimp.

grunter

Continuing along the same stretch I was hit by something decent and as I backed my drag off it won its freedom. Might have been another grunter. As we made our way along the flats there were some impressive bust ups that were always just 50m either side of us and while that was fun to see it was frustrating at the same time. At one stage we both braced as a school of big mullet jumped all around the boat and how they didn’t end up in the boat I will never know.┬áChanging to a large soft plastic I had a decent hit from a barra but the hook didn’t connect and the fact I wasn’t looking and playing with the foot controller on the electric didn’t help much either. Bust up after bust up was still happening, however the run out was finally in effect, so keen to explore we motored off in search of something different. This is why the Inlet is so good, there are plenty of options.

inlet-noon

This next creek had dirty water coming out from the mangrove flats and there was no bait to be seen, however as we got further up mullet schools were everywhere along with mud herring and plenty of gar. A good sign we switched to live bait and first cast saw me donate a net to the cast net gods however I managed to salvage 5 mullet. So we rigged up and threw them out into a tight channel holding bait. Didn’t take long and my mullet was snavelled, knowing I had to get it up off the rocks didn’t help my cause as this was a decent fish, certainly a Lutjanus! I could feel the head shakes and runs and I’d near locked drag but still, even with turning it’s head straight up I was busted off on the rocks. I was pretty devastated having lost what was clearly a good fish and I thought to myself and said to Ryan, that was a big jack! I cast my next mullet into the same spot and was hit within 2 minutes, no chance straight to bust off. Felt like a big cod, just hit bam, thanks for coming.

So I upped the anti and went for 40lb mainline and 60lb leader, threw out the last mullet and was rewarded with a small but very strong fingermark. So that first bust off was more than likely a larger fingermark I think. The 5 mullet were now either in fish stomachs, or donated to a rock somewhere on the bottom. Ryan did a bodgy repair on the castnet and I managed to somehow cast another 5 baitfish, this time mud herring. For some reason we couldn’t connect to a fish at all on the herring and every bait was taken without hook up. So we called it a day and headed home.

fingermark-inlet