Another week of fairly ordinary weather has kept a lot of anglers onshore this week, with the exception of a few good windows of opportunity. Those that took advantage of these days mid-week were rewarded with some nice fish both inshore and from the wider grounds. Unfortunately it looks like we’re in for a strong sou-easterly blow leading into the weekend, however Sunday may ease off enough to allow boaties to hit the water so keep a keen eye on the forecast as the weekend progresses. But don’t despair! There’s still plenty to look forward to this weekend especially for those entering the Toogoom Beach Family Fishing Competition and the Woodgate Beach Hotel Fishing Classic which are both running from Friday to Sunday. Both competitions have great prizes up for grabs and a very family friendly atmosphere so why not jump in the car and make a weekend of it.
For those that managed to get out and fish the waters of Platypus Bay, there was a variety of species on offer to keep anglers entertained. Mixed schools of trevally including golden, tea leaf and small to medium sized GT’s have been taking soft plastics, jigs and even stickbaits. As we get further into spring and water temperatures continue to rise we should start to see more school size longtail tuna move into the bay and will become a more viable target on stickbaits and surface presentations such as the Nashy’s Custom stickbait and Rapala Longcast. At the moment most of the tuna have been mac tuna, however there’s been the odd lone XOS longtail tuna caught.
It’s still early days in regards to our annual run of juvenile black marlin but already there’s been the odd fish patrolling the flats so keep your eyes peeled. Now’s the perfect time to get your gear prepped and lures rigged so it’s all ready to rock n roll when they start to turn up in bigger numbers.
Out in the central bay there’s been some huge cobia around, which have been belting big live baits. Reef fisho’s have reported a mixed bag including cod, scarlets, moses perch, coral trout and blackall.
School mackerel continue to be one of the main target species in the bay due to the huge masses of bait present at the moment. Schoolies are being caught in good numbers around Gatakers Bay, in the Urangan Channel and around the NU2 beacon, the bait grounds and most of the inshore reefs where big schools of bait are present. There’s been some nice broad-barred mackerel caught this past week as well and make for a great meal when eaten fresh or smoked. Don’t be surprised if you run into the odd Spanish mackerel as well when chasing a feed of schoolies and broadies. Larger live baits such as bonito make great livies and are sure to draw the attention of these bigger speedsters.
Great Sandy Straits & Mary/Susan Rivers
Building tides leading up to the full moon on Tuesday should see flathead numbers increase throughout the straits particularly on the run out tide. As always, hopping soft plastics along the bottom will produce good numbers of fish however hardbody jerkbaits like the Daiwa Double Clutch have been proving extremely popular and for good reason, it seems the flatties can’t resist them.
Summer whiting will be on the cards over the weekend and should feed harder over the full moon period. The flats on the western side of Fraser Island from Moon Point south, produces some exceptional fish particularly at night. Further down the Straits around the Turkey Straits area you can expect to find some good fish as well. Soaking baits of live yabbies or bloodworm seems to work best, however fishing tiny walk the dog type stickbaits and poppers over the flats can provide a very adrenaline packed and visual way of fishing especially when an elbow slapper summerie belts your lure off the top in skinny water. If this sounds like something you’d like to try, check out the Daiwa Silver Wolf Slippery Dog or Bassday Sugapen as they have an incredible action which the whiting find irresistible. Remember to fish a mono leader as opposed to fluorocarbon as it floats and won’t detract from the action of the lure. Connecting your presentation via a loop knot too will also pay dividends.
There’s been a few more reports of threadfin salmon in the Mary River this past week around the mid reaches. A quality sounder will be your best tool in locating the schools of threadies in deeper water, so make sure you’re paying attention when scoping out a potential spots. Soft vibes and blades are an extremely effective lure choice when fishing these schools and allow you to get the lure down quickly and in the face of the fish for the maximum amount of time. This is very useful particularly in areas with higher current flow where it is simply too hard to get a lure down to them.
Burrum River System
Reports from the Burrum have been a bit quite this week however you can expect the whiting and flathead to fire up around the lower reaches over the full moon period. Trolling little hardbody lures like the Zerek Tango Shad has been working well for flatties and allows you to cover a large area.
For those venturing out of the river, there’s been some nice mackerel caught at the Burrum 8 Mile. The majority have been schoolies, however a few quality broadies and Spanish have been reported as well. If you’re feeling energetic, spinning with metal spoons like Flasha’s works a treat. However, live baiting has definitely been the most productive tactic with herring and yakkas the preferred bait. If you don’t manage to catch any livies, you can always get a berley trail going and float a pilchard back. The odd snapper is still being caught as well so don’t be surprised if you pick one up around the low light periods.
Fraser Island’s Eastern Beach
Reports from the island have been pretty quiet again this week due to the strong winds and clear water. However the fact that the water is still weed free is very promising for the rest of the tailor season. For those that did manage to catch a fish the late afternoon session have been the best to combat the clear water. Dart are still prolific along the beaches and will keep you entertained throughout the day whilst waiting to catch a tailor.
Local Beaches, Creeks and Urangan Pier
Last weekend saw the great run of mackerel continue at the Urangan Pier, however throughout the week it has tapered off slightly. There’s still some nice school mackerel being caught, just not to the extent they were previously. Live baiting with herring is still producing the most fish with Flasha spoons in various sizes being your next best option. Big broad barred mackerel have been a bonus for pier fisho’s and have been responding well to both baits and metals. A few XOS Spanish mackerel have been landed on live bonito, with a few big GT’s starting to show up as well. Mac tuna and the odd longtail tuna have also been present over the last week.
Summer whiting should start to school up along the town beaches over the next couple of days. The stretch of beach from Shelly Beach to the Urangan Pier often produces the better quality fish. Fishing the last of the incoming tide and the start of the run out will often see the best results.