This section doesn’t currently include any content. Add content to this section using the sidebar.

Image caption appears here

Add your deal, information or promotional text

This section doesn’t currently include any content. Add content to this section using the sidebar.

Image caption appears here

Add your deal, information or promotional text

This section doesn’t currently include any content. Add content to this section using the sidebar.

Image caption appears here

Add your deal, information or promotional text

Fisho’s Weekly Fishing Report – 23rd February, 2024

The Platinum Prince from Commercial Chaos was hauling this big oversized cod up on a handline. It would've been released but .....

Great Weather in the Lead Up to the Full Moon

Last weekend was a bit breezy, and frustratingly for many, the wind eased gradually as the working week unfolded. Right now, there is next to no wind at all, and the lead up to Saturday night’s full moon looks sensational. It has warmed up again, and will continue to do so until the cool change arrives on Sunday.

Those lucky enough to get floating today are undoubtedly enjoying the calm conditions, and can make the most of overnighters into the weekend. There will be a slight north-east sea breeze late this afternoon and that northerly trend will take hold until the change arrives. Today’s 5 knot northerly will be repeated Saturday. Even the evening sea breeze will be a mere 10 knots, offering some reprieve from the daytime heat.

Come Sunday however, things turn a little sour. It is a case of ‘eeny meeny miny moe’ when looking at the forecast models and weather sites for Sunday’s south-east change. All agree that there will be a change, but the timing and the strength varies (and can do every few hours it seems). As Sunday draws closer, the bureau’s predictions should become more accurate – surely. 

Locally, for now, forecasts of up to 20 knots Sunday morning suggest caution should override bravado and long-range trips should conclude beforehand. North of here though, at say 1770, the later arrival and potentially diminished strength of the change might mean otherwise.

Showers are pretty much a given for next week, whilst the risk of a storm lingers over the weekend. Keep an eye on the horizon and the radar. The south-easter may prevail around 15-20 knots for the early part of the working week, easing by mid-week. I say “may”, as again, there are conflicting views. Showers are likely all week from an onshore air flow either way.

Regardless of all the speculation over weather, two things can be relied on and they are the moon and the tides. Expect plenty of current flow when you get out there from the pull of the full moon opposing the sun. The skies will be well lit and nocturnal activities gain that extra appeal. The fish, crustaceans and all things marine will relish these tides and the fishing and the crabbing should be good.​

Superb colours in this photo of Jesse's are let down only by the species. Haha! You make even a blackall look good mate.

Tim O'Neill caught this cobia twice. The second time was after he cleaned it and dropped it and had to dive down after it (with sharks circling). Mad!

Making Tides Enhance Pelagic Activity

There have been mixed reports from crews cruising the bay’s waters this week. Some found schools of smaller tuna, whilst others found larger fish.  Random free-roaming longtails riding the bigger making tides further south into the bay have been spotted in our shipping channels at times, but most tuna fans are heading for the northern bay or Platypus Bay for their fix. 

Queenfish have been very common captures inshore of late, and are also turning up wider afield in the western bay. Many queenies have moved right in close and are very viable targets just off our coastline. Anywhere from Pt Vernon to the Picnics is worth a try, as are the shallow waters just off the beaches further west. Stick baits and poppers are being pounced on with gusto and most of the queenies have been quite sizeable. 

There have been a few stray mackerel swiping at lures trolled or cast, but they haven’t been too much of a problem. They are more likely from the nearby shipping channels due to the prevailing pencil squid run at present. Random catches of large giant herring have added another element to the sport inshore, with their blistering runs and acrobatic jumps rivalling the queenies any day.


Samaki Shrimps catch a huge range of fish, including giant herring such as this one that Jacko caught this week.

Cooper had his hands full landing this 123cm 20kg longtail near Fraser Island this week. Expect a lot of big LTT in the bay over coming months.

A Zerek Zappelin stick bait was too tempting for this queenie that Jacko picked up within cooee of the local shoreline.

Mixing it With Spaniards and Giant Trevally Inshore

Spanish mackerel have turned up in the southern bay and are fair game for the coming week. The first annual closure concluded at midnight 21st February and the next closure commences 1st March. The minimum size is still 75cm, and the new bag limits apply. Ie; one fish only per person, with a boat limit of two fish if two or more people are onboard.

Locals will apply their own precautionary limits, avoiding the retention and consumption of larger spaniards due to the unacceptable risk of ciguatera fish poisoning. The no-take rules still apply for all spanish mackerel caught in Platypus Bay (east of a line drawn from Rooneys Point south to Coongul Point).

Catch and release proponents might take the opportunity to mix if with some of the larger spaniards that are haunting our high-current inshore reefs at present. There are plenty of prominent deeper reefs (including shipwrecks, other artis and ledges) that spaniards frequent, all washed with strong currents. You can catch them trolling or casting topwater lures, or simply kick back soaking large live baits. These full moon tides will play to your advantage in this regard, so go have a crack.

Similarly so, those dirty big GTs are still out there just itching to kick your butt on some of the very same reefs referred to above. The Roy Rufus’ shipwrecks, ledges such as Moon and Mickies and the Simpson arti could all lighten your tackle supply if you dare mix it with the semi-resident GTs. Topwater forays around the bay islands, and even further south, could also have you fully stretched out and groaning over these tides.

Trollers that are fans of dragging deep divers such as Dr Evils around could beef up their tackle substantially and get serious about a little GT trolling. You know the scene; you see it on the TV shows all the time. Powerful outfits pitted against brutish GTs in unforgiving reefy terrain. Whilst a Dr Evil or an RMG Scorpion Crazy Deep might well tempt a GT that you might even land (if you are lucky), the heavier alternative really puts you in the game.

Stepping up to the likes of high-speed capable divers such as Rapala X-Raps in the 20 and 30 foot class, Nomad’s larger DTX Minnows, Venom V-Minnows and the like are sure-fire upgrades that will enhance your chances of not only attracting big GTs but equally oversized spaniards as well. Heavier tackle, heavier line and heavier leaders are all part of this game and then you can take the fight to them. Don some wire if you aren’t prepared to risk bite-offs from the spaniards, but risk deterring the GTs if you do.

A Halco Roosta Popper was too tempting for this spaniard caught inshore by Bobby Jeynes from Hot Reels Charters.

There are swags of lures that will tempt shallow water coral trout. Tim trolled this one up on a Classic and feasted well that night.

Scarlets are the Stars of the Inshore Reef Scene

Staying inshore and seeking a feed of reef fish is a good idea for those in smaller vessels. There are plenty of grassy sweetlip on offer that will keep the whole family busy when they are on the chew. Evening sessions will be particularly productive under the glowing full moon, and the cooler conditions will be a bonus too. Blackall are very likely to get in on the act after dark in some places, whilst in others it will be the highly sought after scarlet sea perch that takes your baits.

From the waters of Kingfisher Bay all the way to the Outer Banks, there has been scarlets turning up in small but consistent numbers this summer. Not big fish, by any means, but very handy fish all the same. North of the banks, it has been a scarlet bonanza on some low-lying reefs, but small undersized fish have been in plague proportions. There are exceptions of course, and the occasional fisho has been keen to brag about the quality scarlets they caught further north too.

Coral trout are a much rarer commodity in the shallows than they were earlier in summer. The impacts of enhanced fishing effort cannot be denied here. The deeper reefs are set to shine on the trout front now though, so if it is trout that you seek, then simply head deeper. You can still troll for them, with deeper divers, but jigging will typically out-score that tactic in deeper waters. 

Live baiters will be happy to see the return of pike to our inshore shallows etc. They can return to the usual morning rituals and reasonably expect to catch a trout and a few cod with some effort through the day. The sharks won’t be overly accommodating though, and will tax your prizes relentlessly on many grounds, so be prepared for losses and please don’t sit there feeding them quality reef fish one after the other.

One fish that should really hit its straps this full moon is the grunter. There have been increasing catches for the past few weeks, as is to be expected each summer after the first rains. We haven’t had a lot of rain (yet), just nice soaking rains and just enough to draw some fish out into the open. The Fairway will be popular, as will the Burrum 8 Mile and other sites across the banks. Staying even closer inshore and fishing the fringes of the shallow reefs is also quite viable. All of the above will be even better after dark, though daytime forays can be productive too.

Nothing like sunsets and sunrises to enhance fish pics.

Luke bought this RMG Scorpion to troll deeper waters and sent us this photo an hour or so later. Grunter can be quite aggressive when in the mood eh.

The Gutters and Rooneys Reefs will be Popular

Many crews will head for the northern bay, and many will try the Gutters for reef fish and spaniards. Given the current spaniard bag limit, that part of the day won’t take long! Shark activity has been pretty horrendous along many stretches of the Gutters this summer, yet the weather hasn’t been all that good just recently, so chances are they will be scattered.

Take plenty of the usual heavily-weighted softies and jigs and keep mobile and you should score a feed. Coral trout will be the main target as usual, though a mixed bag is on offer in summer. Grass sweetlip, venus tusk fish, cod, spangled emperor and scarlets are all possible, as are moses perch, blackall and even squire. Bite-offs from spaniards can be a real nuisance, so keep that in mind and monitor your sounder for signs of them.

Over Rooneys-way it will be a similar story – but different. Smaller fish to some extent, more scarlets, more squire, less sweeties, less tusk fish and plenty of undersized reef fish in general. That is in the immediate Rooneys 4 Mile area and surrounds at least. Further south from there you can add large grunter to the mix. Cod and trout can be caught, but rarely in the numbers out wider. 

Spaniards have their moments off Rooneys, schooling in good numbers at times and highly visible in the water column. Even golden trevally can be found schooling over low-lying reef and ledges west of the point. The sharks can be every bit as bad there as the gutters though, so do yourself, your crew and the entire fishery a favour and keep on the hop if they find you. Move into the shallows for an overnight hang if you wish and you just might be surrounded by pencil squid drawn to your lights (when the moon isn’t glowing strongly overhead that is).

Chunky shallow water estuary cod are a real handful on the lighter tackle. Jacko extracted this one and let it go to fight another day.

Blackall are most active after dark. Tim's fish is proof you can catch them from the pier.

Offshore Fishos Heading Far and Wide

Frustrated offshore fishos will be heading for all points east and north this weekend. Many are already out there as you read this. Parking will be at a premium at 1770 once again, where we are told you can have a lengthy walk back to the ramp if your timing is poor. Most are aware of water depth restrictions at the entrance of Round Hill Creek, so crews often gather at similar times for departure and return.
Parking issues aside, the fishing should be terrific. Great weather and great tides. Bag limits of coral trout and red throat are to be expected, with red emperor thrown in for those that ply deeper waters. Heading wide will be the option for some, adding the likes of pearl perch and a variety of jobfish to the mix. No doubt we will hear all about it next week.

Launching locally and heading over Breaksea Spit will suit other crews. Overnight hangs off Rooneys or the Cape in readiness for dawn bar crossings are the norm for many. If the squid play the game, getting up pre-dawn and filling live bait tanks could add an element of excitement to the offshore fishing. The current is likely to be roaring over the shoal country, but until we hear from returning crews, we won’t know to what extent.

Those familiar with the summertime offshore scene will be well-versed in strategies to avoid or work with the current. Some will tie on stick baits and poppers and go seek out the GTs and spaniards haunting the shallower shoals. Others will seek the waters where the EAC is slowed due to eddying effects of the outflow from the bay. 

At worst, longer drifts between heavy reefs and pinnacles in the 50metre country will see you filling up on the likes of venus tusk fish and gold spot wrasse, which really fire up over the full moon. Reefies such as maori cod, coronation trout, red throats and others are to be found as you pass the reefy country. Ensure you have plenty of larger sinkers and plenty of tough baits such as squid, cuttlefish or mullet fillets. 

Look for suspended fish as you drift. These might be green jobfish, spaniards, cobia, or even larger red throats (particularly over ridge country). You can lift your baits up to them, or better still, target them with large heavily-weighted soft plastics or jigs. Many fishos are keen jiggers these days, and those guys have the edge in stronger currents that we experience offshore in summer.

Heading wide and deploying the deep drop gear will be the focus of many crews. Some just head straight out and set their sights on deep water all day, whilst others try the shoal country and the 100 metre lines first. It’s a suck it and see situation just at the moment. Hopefully the sharks aren’t too big of an issue. There has been very little traffic offshore recently, but that is one part of our world that doesn’t need constant boat traffic to draw sharks. The massive number of reef fish is drawcard enough. Good luck all, we trust we will have plenty of photos to share next week.

A few proper-sized trouties from out wide and a standard codger. This good weather will see plenty of boats out chasing similar fish.

​Estuaries Alive and Full of Hungry Fish

Our riverine waters are still dirty, but the water quality continues to improve. The Mary system is still home to some beaut barramundi and plenty of threadfin salmon as well. The lower reaches are where most of the action is, and the flood tide is more productive than it would be at other (cleaner) times of year.

Look for threadies working the ever-growing jelly prawn hatch along the muddy verges. Sadly, we haven’t had enough rain to have a real burst of jelly prawn that only comes from minor-major flooding events (so far). Yet, there are pockets of tiny prawn, and if you can find them as well as the salmon can, then you are in with a chance. Muddy drains and the banks immediately downstream thereof are good starting points by the way.

The full moon will have the river running too hard for many lure fishos, but the bait fishos can give it a crack. Reflecting on recent results from locals that have tried live baiting for barra in the lower reaches of the Mary, you had better be prepared for plenty of action from the bull sharks. Not far from the river mouth, it has been bull shark central too, and queenfish have also been a ‘nuisance’ a bit further beyond. Lots of action - not so many barra (for some).

Hitting the Great Sandy Straits will be popular this week. The bigger tides will drain the creeks, flushing out any small prawn and plenty of baitfish, enabling the larger predators to feast with reckless abandon. Fish the right creeks at the right time and you could be catching barra, threadies, blues, grunter, small GTs or flatties. Head for Fraser’s western creeks or the more southern mainland creeks and you can add jacks to that list.

Stay in more open waters of the straits and all those same species are still possible, as well as jewfish. Reef fish such as sweetlip, scarlets and even coral trout can be caught, if you can get through all the cod. Grunter are a particularly good species to target down that way at present, be it with bait or with small softies. Real die-hard jack fishos won’t waste time chasing anything else though, focussing their attention on the continued hot jack bite that has prevailed all summer.

Burrum system fishos have plenty of spots they can hunt jacks too, but will likely focus on the mid-lower reaches at present. Barra are bound to get their attention in some spots this week, particularly after dark. There have been plenty of barra caught in recent days, many of which have come from Burrum Heads itself.
The full moon tides mean whiting and grunter for a few locals up that way though, and by latest reports there are a few in the river. The lower Gregory and Burrum Heads area are good starting points for those looking for these species. Bycatch of flathead and the odd cod can be expected. All in all, the Burrum is fishing better now courtesy of the recent freshwater inflows than it has for a long time. 

Better weather this week has and will enable fishos to escape the confines of the river and get out the front. Grunter will be the prime target for many, without driving too far from the drop-off or the close reefs. The river channel out near the leads (if you can call them that) could have anchored vessels sitting out the night tides so keep that in mind. Mackerel and scarlets will be on the minds of some folks as they head wider. 

Ethan spent a day out with staff member Scotty, and picked up this solid barra.

Grunter such as this fine model of Max's are just one of the many prized species you can catch whilst walking our estuaries.

If you are willing to get your feet muddy like Max, then you can add mangrove jacks to your hit list whilst your wander our creeks.

​Plenty of Action for Landlubbers

This is a great time of year for non-boat owners. Our creeks are re-invigorated courtesy of recent rains and our beaches come alive with ex-creek predators pursuing displaced fodder flushed from the creeks. Wandering our local creeks right now might see your next lure snatched by a barra, a queenie, a grunter or a flattie. Further upstream in the same systems, those with muddy feet might add mangrove jacks and lots of little cod to that list.

The sandy stretches of beach west of town are where you might head for a feed of whiting over this moon. Good catches are possible from Burrum Heads to Eli Creek. Even in town, there has been a handy little run of whiting in Urangan, thrilling a couple of pier fishos and beach goers as well. If you are part mudskipper then the Booral Flats could see you mixing it with whiting, grunter, flatties and salmon. 

Andrew and the kids had an absolute ball hauling in this terrific feed of 'ting this week. A great catch from a local beach. Try this full moon if you wish.


​​The Pialba – Pt Vernon stretch where rocks meet sand is where many are focussing their efforts, mostly in the hope of more action from the grunter. There has been a few about again this week, and they won’t be the last caught. Bait fishos soaking prawns, squid, herring or half pillies are in with a chance, but often out-fished by savvy lure fishos nearby hopping the latest and greatest prawn imitations. 

Evening sessions can be very productive for grunter hunters. Small sharks can be a real nuisance, or a bit of light-hearted sport, depending upon your outlook. Much larger sharks on the other hand must be considered at all times if fishing after dark, when wading too deep could get scary. 

Shark fishos with quite heavy tackle have failed to subdue large noahs hooked from the Urangan Pier this week. Getting spooled has been an issue. There has been the odd smaller shark landed at night, and there has been just enough pencil squid there to keep folks coming back for more. The full moon cannot be helping their cause though.

Making tides such as those that have been building towards this weekend’s full moon often draw pelagic predators back to the pier. Dirty water has been an issue at times recently, but we hear there are GTs being hooked, along with the odd random smaller pelagic. Nothing has been described as a ‘run’, just the odd fish here and there. Such captures have included queenfish, barracuda and mackerel on the pelagic front, and the odd flathead otherwise.

Shore-based mud crabbers have an opportunity to catch a feed this week. The full moon means muddies this time of year and the way our streams are cleaning up, the stretches housing the crabs shouldn’t be too hard to identify. Picture crabs moving back upstream as water quality improves and intercept them with your freshly-baited pots. Have a fish nearby and keep an eye on them if you can, otherwise yours might not be the only hands pulling on your pot ropes from what we hear lately.

Good luck out there y’all …… Jase


Tim with a solid muddy. He still has both his thumbs by the way.

Barra can be caught wandering the local creek banks flicking lures. Doulin was chuffed with this nice salty.

Giveaway Time! 🎉🎉 We're partnering with one of the highest profile impoundment Barra guides in the country, Jason Wilhelm to give you guys the chance to win multiple prizes when you spend on Barra gear this season! 💥💥
Head into store and spend money on BARRAMUNDI GEAR!
The more you spend, the better your chances.
🎟 $50 = 1 entry
🎟 $100 = 3 Entries
🎟 $200 = 7 Entries
Impoundment Barra Mastery with Jason Wilhelm. Three-step blueprint for success! 🐟 VALUED AT $1500
Daiwa Tatula Combo with Line 🕸 VALUED AT $670
1x Daiwa 23 Tatula 702HFB
1x Daiwa 23 Tatula HD 150 LTD
1x J-braid Expedition X8 40lb 150m
Hurry Comp Ends 31st March! 🏃💨
Visit us in-store and get spending, good luck! *T&C Apply
Make sure you get even MORE fishing updates by scanning the QR code below:

Search our shop