This last week has seen some great conditions for boaties to hit the water and venture further afield, particularly last weekend. Light winds saw crews making the most of it fishing the wider grounds out towards the gutters and beyond, the waters off 1770 and even across the Breaksea Spit on the eastern side of Fraser Isalnd. Mid-week we’ve had some pearler days as well for those lucky enough to sneak out and avoid the crowds. Unfortunately this weekend looks like a different story with stronger winds predicted, but don’t despair there’s still plenty of options to get out and wet a line!
The great run of blue and striped marlin continues on the eastern side of Fraser Island for those with larger vessels and suitable heavy tackle. A mixture of both trailer boats and dedicated game vessels alike could be found trolling the shelf east of the 4 mile crossing working down towards the Waddy Point canyons. So far this season the range of Tornado Lures heavy tackle skirts has been the standout out choice for both charter operators like Mistress Sportfishing and novice crews. The spotlight has definitely been on the blue and striped marlin so far with some boats managing double digit sessions. Bycatch on the shelf has been pretty minimal however some anglers have come across the odd patch of large mahi mahi (dolphin fish) and yellowfin tuna. Deep drop fishing with electric reels is also becoming increasingly popular in these waters and is a great way to break up a day of trolling lures. Using this technique is a great way to put some prized reef fish in the esky including pearl perch, bar cod and flametail snapper. The shallower grounds around the Sandy Cape Shoals has been producing some nice red throat, coronation trout and tuskies during the day with reef jacks a highly sought after fish at night.
A few groups headed up to 1770 last weekend to take advantage of the good weather and were rewarded for their efforts. A nice mixed bag of reefies was on offer including good numbers of coral trout, red throat, sweetlip, hussar, tuskies, red emperor and cod.
It looks like the juvenile black marlin are running late to the party with still only the odd report of fish coming through. A couple of customers managed to land little blacks last weekend trolling a spread of skirts. We stock a range of rigged and unrigged skirts from Williamson, Pakula, Black Pete and Tornado along with teasers and all the right rigging gear to get into your first marlin so if in doubt drop in and the team at Fisho’s will be more than happy to show you how to get started. Here’s hoping they shouldn’t be far off and we can all enjoy this great seasonal fishery.
Even though the light tackle fishing has been pretty quiet there’s still been plenty to keep anglers entertained up the island particularly around the Rooney’s and Coral Patch area. Schools of mac tuna are becoming more prevalent with the odd longtail tuna in the mix. Small metal slugs are still the go to lure at the moment, however it’s always worth carrying a packet of 5” Zman Streakz in bubblegum colour or a rigged stickbait in the off chance they’re willing to feed on something larger. Spanish mackerel and large cobia have been frequenting these areas as well and will test out your tackle.
Coral bream (grass sweetlip) are starting to turn up over the inshore reefs and are a popular target for bait fisho’s. A few anglers have reported that they’re still getting good numbers of squire when chasing coralies which is a bonus. Cod and coral trout are also a great target this time of year particularly for those trolling hardbody lures on the shallower reefs. Drifting with prawn imitation soft plastics such as the Ecooda Shrimp is also particularly effective and will catch just about anything on these reefs.
Great Sandy Straits & Mary/Susan Rivers
Reports from River Heads suggest the Mary and Susan are still running pretty fresh so your best bet will be concentrating your efforts on flats throughout the Straits and the mouths of the smaller systems. There’s been some nice barra and threadies caught on a mixture of live baits and lures. This week will be your last chance to chase a saltwater barra before the annual closure which begins on the 1st of November and is in effect until the 1st of February. Summer whiting have been a good target on the flats on the western side of Fraser on the lead up to the full moon with the best results often coming at night.
The town beaches have a popular spot for chasing a feed of summer whiting which school up in huge numbers over the big tides. They can be quite finicky at times particularly when they’re tightly packed in an area. It’s not uncommon to see a patch of whiting which stretches for hundreds of metres along the beach in the shallows, luckily cast netting is prohibited along the foreshore otherwise these fish would get decimated. When the summeries are playing hard to get it’s often worth dropping your leader material down to as low as 4lb and to run a slightly longer leader to allow a more natural presentation, paying particular attention to how you’ve rigged your bait.
Lake Monduran & Awoonga
Rob Howell from Lake Monduran Guideline Fishing Charters reported that the Monduran fishing comp last weekend was a great success. Fish numbers were well up on previous years with 42 barra weighed in live and as many caught and released. Since the comp, the fishing has slowed a bit due to the wind, or lack thereof apart from the odd northerly puff in the afternoons. Conditions are looking good for this weekend though with the winds set to pick up and air temperatures set to reach 37 degrees Friday and 36 degrees Sunday, hopefully this should trigger a good bite. A few spots to try would be Bird Bay, the southern arm of B Bay, SDA Bay and the points on the northern part of Rainforest Bay. Suspending hardbody lures such as the Jackall Squirrel 79Sp and Jackall Smash Minnow have been some of the favourites along with Rapala X-raps and 4-6” paddle tail soft plastics.
Make sure you also check out the The Golden Barra Competition (https://www.goldenbarra.com.au/) which is on from the 1st of November to 31st of January at Lake Monduran. This is a FREE entry competition with some seriously good prizes on offer. For the lucky angler that catches the golden barra there’s $15000 cash up for grabs, a Polycraft boat package for the angler who catches the white barra and a swag of great prizes for silver barra including a Viking kayak, a Humminbird sounder, $3000 worth of tackle from Wilson Fishing and much more.
From all accounts Lake Awoonga is still firing with some anglers managing well over 20 bites a sessions. Weedless soft plastics like the Berkley Rib Shad and Hollowbelly rigged on Owner Beast Hooks have been dynamite around the weed beds and lillies. Suspending hardbody lures have produced plenty of fish as well around the timber including Jackall Squirrels, Lucky Craft Pointers and Duo Jerkbaits. It’s great to see so many fishing being caught in the 70-80cm range, it won’t be long before we start seeing some beasts over the magic metre mark caught.
Good luck out there y’all.