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The Hinchinbrook Channel has become one of the best fishing locations in Australia over the past decade. Not only does the area offer sheltered waterways away from the winds, but it also offers arguably the most diverse fishing inAustralia.

There are Permits to be hunted on the flats, GTs cruising around the drop offs waiting to smash any unsuspecting schools of bait, Mangrove Jacks and Barramundi waiting to ambush baitfish in the snags and along the rocky outcrops and lurking in the deep holes you will find Fingermark and Jewfish. Plus, there are all the other usual suspects, such asBreamSalmon, Grunter and Cod, just to name a few. In fact, there are so many species to target and so many choices when it comes to wetting a line that you won’t know where to start! 

As well as the diverse and exciting fishing, this area is also a fantastic fishing location because of the breathtakingly beautiful environment. The shades of the water vary from crystal clear in the fresh water creeks that run off the island, to the cobalt blue of the open water. The sandy beaches on the eastern side of the island are picture perfect, and the golden sand flats will get any fisho excited.

The mountains and rainforest in this region are simply majestic, and it’s easy to just drift off into your own little paradise here as you gaze off into the mountains and almost completely forget that you are fishing…it takes the scream of your reel to pull you from the mountains and back into your boat!

The more you explore this area, the more excited you’ll become. This is one of those locations where you just simply can’t fish all of the surrounding creeks, there are just so many. Around each bend there is another deep hole holding Fingermark and Jew Fish, along with snags full of Barramundi and Jacks.

As you move out into the open you will find flats at low tide as far as the eye can see. In amongst these flat there are channels galore. As you move further away from the creeks the water becomes deeper, and here you’ll your likely to encounter reef fish varieties like Small and Large Mouth Nannygai and even Coral Trout.

When it comes to different fishing styles, there really is something at Hinchinbrook to suit everyone. For those of you that like trolling, there’s plenty of action here. With such a variety of species the chances are that you’ll catch something without a great deal of effort. But with just a little planning and consideration you’ll be onto your target species in no time at all.

If you are trolling the creeks you should ideally have one lure up top and one down below to determine the depth at which the fish are eating. Keep a close eye on your fish finder, making sure that you lure is neither too deep nor too shallow for the water that you are working. As you move into deeper water you will see on your fish finder where the fish are, so try and get your lure to that depth.

Those with a soft plastic infliction will discover Hinchinbrook to be the ‘Holy Land’ for soft plastics. Not many plastics come back alive after spending sometime in the water around Hinchinbrook Island. Plastics are perfect for jigging deep water Fingermark, but there has been a method developed that works fantastically in the area. For this method to work you have to make sure that you are in full stealth mode! Ready for it… jigging along the edge of the Mangroves for BarraCod and Jacks!! Yep jigging in the mangroves!! This way you are able to get right in amongst the fish and you get the opportunity to cast into the same snag many more times than if you were casting from a distance.

Hinchinbrook does not discriminate, so those of you that like the long wand will be in fly fishing paradise. The schools of fish wandering the flats will test your gear and your energy levels. So make sure you have a big breakfast, as you’ll need it. There is no tranquil Brown Trout casting here. When chasing speedsters on the flats like Golden and Giant Trevally you cast your line out and place you rod between your legs and strip (line not your clothes) like crazy!! You will never tire of the sight of one of these fish turning and speeding towards your fly.

When it comes to fly fishing, every angler in the universe would have read about the fighting qualities of the ‘Prince of the Flats’ - the Permit.  Not only do they go off like a freight train, but they are cunning and will pass over your crab imitation more times than you will care to remember! But this frustration makes for a magical moment when you eventually feel a weight on your line. And as the line screams off the reel and you spring into action, any feeling of frustration is gone in an instant as you contemplate when to set the hook on your stampeding Permit.

Bait and hard body lure fisherman are certainly not excluded from the sport at Hinchinbrook. Bait is often found in large numbers at the lower end of the tide, usually around or close to some type of structure. Floating a live sardine or prawn into a snag is devastating and will almost always be rewarded with a fish. Hard bodied lure fishers you had better start saving holidays now as you are never going to want to leave the area. You will not be able to cover the area will 10 million casts! There is always going to be one more snag or one more rocky outcrop to cast to!!

The channel between the mainland and Hinchinbrook Island is almost always protected from the elements and provides guaranteed fishing results, but there are also other areas around the island that offer superb fishing, when the conditions are right.

On the seaward side of Hinchinbrook Island there’s a great spot to fish between Cape Sandwich and Channel Rock. Around the offshore reefs you’ll also find Spanish Mackerel, Spotted Mackerel, QueenfishTrevally and Coral Trout. This side of the island is not particularly hospitable though unless it’s the calmest of weather.

North of Hinchinbrook Island is the tiny Goold Island, which attracts MackerelTunaTrevally and Queenfish. There is also a reef area that runs off Good Island which is great for Coral TroutCodRed Emperor and Sweetlip.

The boat ramps at Cardwell and Lucinda also provide some great land based fishing. At Cardwell anglers can fish off the jetty or in the many creeks that cross the Bruce Highway from Cardwell down towards Lucinda. At Lucinda anglers can try for BarraQueenfish and Trevally from the jetty, or target Estuary Cod, Barra, Threadfin Salmon and Mangrove Jack at the mouth of the Herbert River. Port Hinchinbrook offers land-based fishers the opportunity to fish some productive areas from the bank too.

As well as the top notch fishing, Hinchinbrook Channel is also home to many marine animals, including the dugongs, crocodiles and turtles. This, combined with the magnificent coral formations, makes Hinchinbrook Island a great location for snorkelling too. There are also some well service campsites on Hinchinbrook, Goold and Garden Island, which offer fabulous sandy beaches, great swimming and incredible views. What more could you and the family need?

So if you’d like a fishing trip to Hinchinbrook with the mates, or a little fishing combined with the family holiday, give us a shout and we can provide you with some options and even book your whole trip for you. Just call us on            1800 288 378       or email any time 

Article By:
kelly Leoni

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