A Return To Great Weather For The Full Moon
The last week has been a shocker weather-wise courtesy of howling westerlies that dominated for a few days and pretty much put the kybosh on most forms of angling. A few die-hards sheltered from the winds and scored a feed of whiting and other estuary dwellers but most of us rode it out and are looking forward to better days ahead.
A weakening high pressure system drifting eastwards across our latitude will time its passage just right for this weekend with light winds and clear skies forecast for local waters from tomorrow onwards. Northeasterly sea breezes are likely from Saturday with the northerly getting a little more serious early in the week.
By mid-week another trough should pass through turning the winds onshore from the southeast for a few days. Thankfully it looks like we have seen the worst and last of a belated wintery cold snap and can now look forward to our awesome Fraser Coast springtime weather.
Saturday night’s full moon will be one for many fishos to get excited about. They say that the full moon brings out the crazies, and we reckon you would have to be crazy not to be going fishing. The spring tides are quite manageable over the full moon this time of year and many of our estuary, reef and impoundment fish will be super active.
Small Window For Offshore Fishos
The sensational grounds offshore from Fraser Island have had another spell due to the weather, but there is a small window of opportunity to head out wide Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Going on recent catches from those crossing the bar both north and south of the island the fishing should be first class.
For those that haven’t been out for a look lately, you can expect a huge array of reef fish ranging from snapper, pearlies, jobbies, reds, scarlets, lippers, parrot, maori cod, coronation trout and many more. The variety on offer is really only limited to your desire to move around and try varying grounds, baits and techniques.
Those favouring a bit of deepwater reef fishing should make hay while the sun shines as the current offshore hasn’t been too bad lately and the deeper reefs beyond the top of the continental shelf are readily accessible for now. Deep water jobfishes of various types, bar cod, big pearlies, horse knobbies and any number of deepwater ooglies are possible for those armed with the latest in electric reel technology, winches or a willingness to keep winding beyond the pain barrier.
If this spring is like those before it, once the northerlies settle in consistently then the EAC will be pushed closer to the coastline and the current will pick up. This current that makes the fishing a bit tougher for reef fishos is the very thing that brings the billfish to our waters as they hitch a ride south from the tropics.
Pelagic activity offshore will kick up a gear very soon so get the game gear ready. Till then, it is the jigging gear that is getting a solid workout for anyone brave enough to drop jigs to the big Green Jobbies and AJ’s hovering over the deeper reefs of the shoals and the shelf.
Snapper And Reefies Will Shine Under The Full Moon
Those familiar with Hervey Bay’s wide grounds will know what is on offer with the first full moon of spring. Not only will the snapper be on the chew, but nearly every other large predatory reef fish in our waters. Securing a tank full of live baits (taking due care not to exceed the latest bag limits) will be the first step for those bait fishos serious about tangling with the likes of snapper, scarlets, trout, cod and reef jacks.
Those favouring lures will find plenty of trevally willing to smash their offerings along the ledges at the Gutters, off Rooneys and over the reefs in the northern and central parts of Platypus Bay. Some great snapper could be found by those seeking them out around dawn and dusk on appropriately-weighted plastics and as always your efforts should be centred around the best bait aggregations you can find in your chosen area.
Late Season Snapper Inshore
Those keen to chase a snapper inshore should take up the opportunity this weekend. The full moon tides falling in the wake of a spell of bad weather should have any knobbies in the area stirred up and keen to feed. Sound around your chosen location/s and look for bait schools and present them with a bait they are there to feed on. Don’t be put off by the run in the tide either, as many a snapper fisho will know, the big knobbies will use the strong currents to move around and ambush the weaklings in the bait schools.
Trolling deep diving hardbodies inshore continues to produce some sensational snapper for those that persist with this deadly technique. The reigning champion of snapper-trolling lures in these parts is still the Dr Evil, with the only frustrating issue with this super deep diver being its tendency to be eaten by every big cod you drag it past. As our waters warm further, this lure and other deep divers will account for even more cod and some very nice trout.
Trolling high speed minnows for mackerel will be popular for many fishos that head out this weekend. The great run of spaniards and schoolies that created havoc in Urangan Channel and at the pier a bit over a week ago has likely dispersed or moved further south. Try the local shipping channels, the beacons and deeper bait-holding reefs for schoolies this coming week.
Flats Fishos Starting To Get Serious
The cold snap this week did little to encourage the local flats fishos, but from now into summer there will be increasing effort from those flicking the finesse gear or swoffing the fly rods up on our local flats. Right now you can certainly expect to encounter flathead, whiting and the occasional queenie, small goldie or GT. Once our waters warm further, you can look forward to the big tailing golden trevally that the bay was made famous for many years back, along with a range of other ghosts of the flats.
The bait fishos are having a fat time on the sand whiting of late and this week’s full moon tides should see them out in force. The flats along the inside of Fraser will be popular, as will the gravelly flats of the bay islands, the big mud flats and gutters out from River Heads and the sand banks, channels and small creeks down the straits. Basically, this place is "whiting central" right now so if you favour the flavour of these finicky little fish then break out the light gear and go get your share.
Spend some time flicking softies or other lures of your choice around the drains, gutters and creek mouths in the vicinity of these same flats and you are bound to encounter plenty of flathead. They will still be in spawn-mode locally so if you find a stack of smaller models (40-50’s) chances are they are all males hanging around a big female or two. Let the big girls go to do their thing and keep a feed of the smaller models if you are so inclined.
Hit The Local Beaches For A Feed Of Whiting
Plenty of shore-based fishos have been enjoying a meal of fresh whiting caught from our local town beaches since just before the last new moon. This week’s full moon should see a repeat of these catches, so grab some beach worms or go pump some yabbies and get down along the stretch of beach from Torquay to Urangan during the rising tide for some light tackle fun.
To take the fun factor a step higher, bust out the light finesses rod, grab a handful of poppers and mini-stickies and hit the shallow gradient beaches such as the flats out from Eli Creek or the Booral Flats and watch the ‘ting climb all over your little surface offerings. You can try the same thing from our local beaches too but will need to do so when the tide is quite low due to the inherently greater gradient of these beaches when the tide is higher.
There will undoubtedly be a gathering of keen whiting fishos along the first stretch of the Urangan Pier over coming days and nights as those that had such great success on the new moon return for another crack. It can get a little crowded along parts of the pier at times so if the crowds don’t appeal then try the rock wall back towards Torquay or the groynes at Shelly Beach if you don’t like sand between your toes.
Impoundments Set To Fire
Ignoring the past week or so of strong winds, dropping temperatures and all round tough fishing conditions, our "local" lakes are full of hungry barra and are primed to go berserk this spring. Wind the clock back an extra week to better, more stable conditions and even though it was still relatively cool, the barra in Monduran, Awoonga and Lenthalls all bit really well.
This week’s full moon will see crowds gathered at Mondy and Awoonga and looking at the weather forecast there should be a good bite to be had once the wind direction settles down and stays either side of easterly. This weekend will certainly be a better bet than last weekend, so don’t be put off if you failed to score then.
Of course, crowds have never been an issue at Lenthalls and the size and easily-read nature of this pretty little lake makes it an ideal option for those chasing their first impoundment barra. Bass fishos have been having a ball out there all winter and whilst some of them may now focus on the barra, there will still be good bass on offer for those favouring the light gear.
Good luck out there y’all.