Skilled fisherman lands seven barramundi
A LUCKY local fisherman has managed to land seven barramundi and a king salmon at a creek north of Mackay last week.
Mackay resident Fletcher Harrington says he caught his first fish within 15 minutes.
"I put the boat in at Constant Creek Wednesday evening with an outgoing tide, motored down to the mouth and collected some live herring and mullet," he said.
"I cruised around in some of the channels until I found some fish on the sounder then I pulled up there and started fishing, hooked and landed a threadfin salmon about 15 minutes later."
It took Mr Harrington another hour to catch his next fish, which was the first of seven barramundi.
"Not much happened for another hour until the first barramundi was hooked and landed and it really started to go from there," he said.
After catching his first barra, several more fish started heading towards Mr Harrington's boat.
"After that the fish went crazy, had one take the handline as I was putting the first one in the icebox, it hooked and landed while measuring 73cm," he said.
It wasn't long before the skilled fisherman had another barra on his hands as he hooked one while putting his second in the esky.
"After I had that one in the icebox, I was re-rigging the first rod when the handline went off again and a 71cm fish was landed," he said.
"It settled for about five minutes and I had re-rigged again when the handline tore off the third time."
After catching the first three barramundi, Mr Harrington caught a further three to add to his already impressive collection.
"I tangled the two rods, cut my fingers and wrapped line around my leg then I landed the big one which was 79cm followed by two small ones that went back and one lost next to the boat," he said.
Mr Harrington didn't let the stunning catches go to waste as he decided to give his fish away to family and friends. "The smallest barra I caught was around 62cm and I ended up with 9.5kg of fillets that I gave away to family and some neighbours," he said.
"I'm pretty stoked about it to be honest, I think I might leave that place for a few weeks before I return again."
Andrew Elworthy, of Tackle World Mackay, believes the Prosperine River has been fishing really well of late.
"Proserpine River has been fishing really well for king salmon, blue salmon and barramundi lately, I went out there recently and while it was patchy, but there's some really good fish there at the moment," Mr Elworthy said.
The region's creeks and estuaries have been a great place to fish and according to Mr Elworthy they have produced some great fish in the last couple of weeks.
"The estuaries have really improved, they're fishing quite well... off shore has still been a little bit quiet but we have had a lot of westerlies recently which haven't helped," he said.
"Other places that have been fishing well at the moment include Constant Creek, Rocky Dam and Murray Creek."
Mr Elworthy believes the shipping channel has still been a tough place for anglers but should improve while the weather warms up.
"The shipping channel has been tough for a couple months, I've seen some fishermen do really well there but most have found it quite challenging; I think it should improve when the weather warms up a bit," he said.
The weather changes leading into spring should help many fishermen and according to Mr Elworthy it should also attract more fish into certain areas.
"Mudcrabs are moving around a bit more as the weather warms up and school mackerel should start moving as we get a few more northerlies," he said.
"Some quality black bream coming from Mackay has been appearing from Murray and Mathers Creeks and that should get better as we get more into spring."
This weekend should be a good one for Mackay's fishermen with plenty of good conditions on the way.
"Anyone who wants to get out on the water this weekend should take advantage of the good conditions, the wind will be ideal and should be travelling around 10 to 15 knots coming from the north tending to north easterly at times," Mr Elworthy said.
"Temperatures will be great all throughout the weekend."
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