hinchinbrook creeks
Steve landed a barra on a Tiemco Sumari.

Fishing creeks and rivers around Hinchinbrook Island

I HOPE you had a wonderful Easter and enjoyed the waterways safely.

I’d just like to let you know that north Queensland is open for business. All our little communities really rely on tourism around here. Cyclone Debbie made a mess of Bowen, Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays but all are well and truly back on track and looking forward to the tourist season. All these areas need a good season to lessen the impact of the cyclone, so please don’t abandon your ideas of travelling north and experiencing these beautiful places because they will need tourist numbers to get back on their feet.

Up here in Hinchinbrook we were lucky and didn’t feel any of the effects of Cyclone Debbie. We missed the wind and rain entirely, remaining totally unscathed.

Lately on my days off I have been exploring freshwater creeks and branches of the Tully and Herbert rivers, tracking up these beautiful rainforest-lined crystal-clear creeks and catching sooty grunter, mangrove jack, jungle perch and tarpon. I must say, it is a beautiful way to fish and relax.

I’m sure the word is out by now about a new lure that Alan Dolan from Lively Lures is producing. The new Ziggy range of topwater walk the dog lures has been smashing the fish both here at Hinchinbrook and all over the country. I must say Al has really outdone himself on this one because the Ziggyhas a fantastic action and everything eats it. I’ve been using this lure a lot and testing it in the creeks, sweet water reaches of the rivers and out on the flats of the Hinchinbrook Channel. Wherever I’ve gone, it has out-fished everything. So if you haven’t got one, check out the livelylures.com.au online store and do yourself a favour by buying a couple. It’s really fantastic to have an Australian-made walk the dog topwater lure. Well done Al!

While we were fortunate to miss the bulk of the rain, we had enough to make the river run for a few weeks and the number of barra definitely improved as a result, with clients enjoying catching them on topwater lures and in the snags on deep divers. The mangrove jack are still kicking on and we’re catching quite a few amongst the barra action. There is no better way to catch both these iconic fish than watching them smash topwater lures. It really is a great way to fish!

Steve was chuffed with this mangrove jack.
Rob’s sooty grunter hit a 90mm Lively Lures Ziggy.
This barra smashed a Bassman Spinnerbait in a remote part of a river.
The author landed a tarpon using a Ziggy in a rainforest creek.
Dave’s first-ever barra ate a 90mm Ziggy.

I’ve also been exploring the upper Herbert River as a location from which to run a future charter where we will spend two days casting lures for sooty grunter, barramundi, mangrove jack and jungle perch. The plan is to put the boats in upriver, drift fish down to a little cabin on the banks of the river and pull up, have a shower, steak on the barbecue and a few coldies around the fire before crashing in the cabin for the night. Then we will get up very early the next morning, have breakfast and get back on the water to fish another full day down the river before pulling the boats out.

Testing has showed fantastic fishing, with good numbers of barramundi and sooty grunter taking topwater lures and Bassman Spinnerbaits throughout the whole day. This country is just amazing, with high banks in some sections and big gravelly shallow runs with deep rocky holes in others. It really is an amazing place to go fishing.

On the bluewater scene, we’ve enjoyed unbelievable micro jigging sessions, catching everything from nannygai and all different species of trevally to spanish mackerel and even cobia.

We’ve also had great sessions popper fishing for GTs. July, August and September have traditionally been amazing months for popper fishing in Hinchinbrook, and we have been working really hard and getting very consistent results in hooking cracker GTs. If you are looking for a fishing holiday destination, Hinchinbrook ticks all the boxes.

No matter what the weather does, there is always a place to go and catch fish. We have such a diverse fishery and you really can mix your fishing up. Until next month, come and check out the Hinchinbrook way!

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About TODD EVELEIGH

TODD EVELEIGH
Operating out of Lucinda, north Queensland, Todd Eveleigh owns and operates Crackajack Sportfishing Adventures. The charter business uses unique permits that allows it to conduct a personalised, guided fishing service in and around the beautiful World Heritage-listed Hinchinbrook Island. Crackajack can custom make packages to suit all anglers, whether it be chasing jungle perch and sooty grunter in the sweetwater tropical rivers; fishing for the mighty barramundi and mangrove jack by casting lures to snags and flats on the mangrove-lined creeks of Hinchinbrook Channel; catching metre-long queenfish around the Lucinda sugar loader jetty (the longest jetty on the east coast of Australia); micro jigging and popper fishing the Great Barrier Reef and Palm Island group for giant and golden trevally and spanish mackerel; or trolling for elusive juvenile black marlin. Hinchinbrook is a great place to visit and tick a number of species off your bucket list on a Hinchinbrook sportfishing holiday.

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