27
Nov

Session where bait yielded nothing, but caught a couple of GTs on the vibe and my first wolf herring. Dropped a very large barra that made my reel scream like never before and also something large from the depths of the channel in the Inlet.

Did well to land the larger GT around the pylons, certainly went hard for a smaller trev.

wolf

trev

lil-trev

04
Oct

We decided to fish Trinity Inlet this morning focusing on the hour and a half either side of high tide. The plan was to just target barra as closed season approaches, and to try and get Ryan his first legal sized fish ever. There wasn’t a lot of baitfish around except for very small fry and some jelly prawns and with a 2.5m tide a lot of fish (and the barra) were sheltering deep up in the mangroves. Near the tide turn there were plenty of ‘boofs’ up in the mangroves.

The spot we’d decided on was fairly quiet and we ran lures over all sorts of likely snags before heading for some shallow well timbered areas. Conditions were ideal with barely a drop of wind and enough water to get into an area that is perfect ambush territory for barramundi to prey on baitfish. Ryan told me to cast up into this one spot near some glassy water as he fired off a long cast across some gnarly structure. I watched his cast and a barra hit his gold bomber and take the air. Ryan did very well to get the fish to the boat through numerous snags using 20lb braid and leader and after a few tense moments while the barra ran around in a snag I netted the fish.

ryan-barra

ryan-barra-mouth

The barra measured 65cm and Ryan was a pretty happy man as you might be able to tell.

brave-gt

All I could manage for todays effort was this brave little GT.

08
Aug

The stuff you catch when there is nothing else happening…

golden

trev

fugu

barra

jack-lil

24
Apr

Had another live bait session a few nights ago in the Trinity Inlet. Live bait collection was easy, but no prawns. When we arrived I spotted some surface action and and called it for grunter chasing prawns. I was wrong and they turned out to be 60-70cm barra just cruising on the surface clearly visible in the clear high tide water. They wait for bait to get pushed off the flats by the tide and sit in ambush. Tony decided to try and cast net one and instantly they shut down. Needless to say, next time we will be throwing lures and plastics at them from a distance rather than the cast net. Barramundi are so in tune with their surroundings they really remind me of jungle perch. Doesn’t take much, but a sniff of danger and they shut down and move on (unless there is a stupid feeding frenzy going down).

grunt

After collecting bait from the flats we tried some deeper water that looked very promising and also threw some dead baits and yabbies out into the channel. One of my baits was snavelled and upon striking I could tell it wasn’t much of a fish and up came a cute little barred grunter. Not too long after I was bricked on the drop by a decent fish, not much chance to stop it. We both hooked some GT on live herring. I caught a small jack and Tony got a 60cm barra which he kept for his stomach.

trevor

TREVV

trev-tony

jackk

I also managed to get owned by something very large from out in the channel, presumably a large fingermark on light gear. I had no chance around oyster encrusted pylons but in hindsight I could have played it much better but I panicked when I felt the weight of the fish and just couldn’t turn if from heading straight at the wharf. I lost a similar fish last year that ran from deep water back straight under the wharf as if it knew what it was doing. These are the fish that keep us coming back for more. Suckers for punishment.

We returned the next night and Tony caught a 55 barra on live herring and a small queeny on a shrimp plastic. I caught a cute small jack. There were thousands of herring on the drop off the flats and we spooked the barra again off the bite and up into the mangroves. Doesn’t take much for them to work out what’s going on at this spot at night in relatively clear water.

queenfish

abse

jacky

castnet

Tony better start taking some photos of his barra I reckon, or at least allow a quick photo before release. Would be good to add them into these posts.

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. Changing 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

15
Apr

Every now and again the Sunday night BBB (Barra, Beers, BBQ) hunting gathering takes place. Last night saw good water clarity, but frustratingly not much bait around. In fact, it took over 2 hours to get enough bait, even then we needed more.

By about 9:30pm the high tide just sat still for hours. No run was no fun. Eventually we were over waiting for the tide to turn and left, but we agreed that things would have gotten interesting after the turn! Much time was spent fish watching with little queenies smashing bait fish and a lone lion fish doing it’s thing! I got ‘bricked’ by something rather fast, presumably a jack (by the way it scurried home), dropped a ray rushing it to the surface to keep it off the bottom and the usual missed runs while doing something else like casting lures.

Only one keeper and four fish. A 50cm odd barramundi, tail-less GT, a small estuary cod and a 43cm fingermark. The fingermark was kept for my dinner tonight, yum, my favourite! However, not enough fish for Monday BBB 🙁 Maybe next week!

trevally

lionfish

fingermark

19
Mar

Live bait, lures and soft plastics. A fair few bust offs, at least 6. We kept moving until we found where the barra were feeding. I was lucky to get one of my lures back after a huge hit and run from a very large barra. Leader knot failed because some idiot forgot to retie it from the other night.

Live bait did the trick, herring or mullet and somehow Tony caught nearly all the fish (freak). Also got a very good buck mud crab in one of the pots! Watching mullet get slammed off the surface and getting drilled by unstoppable barra near pylons was the highlight!

image-16
60cm flathead

image-18

36cm mangrove jack

image-19

40cm GT

image-20
44cm cod

image-21

51cm tarpon

photo-24
65cm barramundi

image-14
63cm barramundi

image-15

crab