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Weekly Fishing Report - 25th September 2018

Our report is a couple of days early this week, but let’s hope that that actually helps a couple of holidaymakers get onto a fish or two. Of course the September school holiday weather hasn’t turned out to be so great which won’t help boaties, but those with time off mid-week can look forward to a couple of good days on the water. The upcoming long weekend looks a bit dodgy for the open bay waters which will mean the Straits, rivers and dams will be popular. Today’s full moon brings with it a good run in the tide that will fire up the pelagics inshore along with the flats dwellers and reefies.

The Bay

Small numbers of tuna have been busting up on baitfish schools in Platypus Bay, but they are fairly scattered at present. Trevally are certainly a much more reliable target if you spend some time sounding over the reefs up that way and drop plastics or micro jigs to the bottom and work them back mid-water.

Weather-permitting, a snapper session late afternoon into the evening should be productive for those that put in the time to set up a light berley trail after securing "local" baits of herring and yakka. Cobia are turning up all over the bay at present, so don’t be surprised to have a few XOS models turn up to trash your party. They are very easy to catch, so don’t go overboard killing too many, and let the bigger bruisers go as they are a fairly high Ciguatera risk given their nature of eating anything that will fit in their cavernous gobs.

Whispers of marlin sightings and captures from within Platypus Bay are exciting for those keen to tangle with the bay’s now legendary baby blacks. Don’t expect to rock up there and score multiple captures just yet, as recent encounters have been few and far between. Word is that Yeppoon is enjoying a good run of blacks right now, so it won’t be long before it is our turn. We have responded to demand for tackle for our local marlin fishery in recent years and are now well-stocked with pretty much everything you will need to score your first or umpteenth billy.

Inshore

School mackerel are in big numbers throughout much of the lower and western bay right now, making for easy targets for mums and dads who want to take the kids out chasing fish that don’t require fancy gear or local knowledge. You can choose to spin them up on Flasha Spoons, Halco Twisties and the like; troll them up on Halco Laser Pros or other high-speed divers; or sit back with pillies or livies set mid-water on gang hooks. Or you could employ all these options and many more for a bit of fun and variety.

You can chase schoolies anywhere from the Burrum 8 Mile and drop off, the grounds off Toogoom, the beacons in our local shipping channel north of Urangan, the Urangan Channel, and over many of our local inshore reefs such as the Arti. They have been turning up further south as well, with mackerel reported from The Picnics, the ledges off Kingfisher and River Heads. Broad-barred mackerel have also joined the fray recently, with quite large broadies over the reefs and smaller models at the heads.

Reef fishos fishing inshore can still expect to tangle with a few decent squire and perhaps a knobbie or two. Late afternoons were the go for most of winter, but consider the arvo sea breezes and northerlies this time of year and you might want to re-visit the early morning sessions as well. Blackall, cod, trout and sweeties are all possible at this time, though if you are not used to our tides then you will certainly want to time your efforts to coincide with the tide changes at present.

Those chasing estuary species are spoilt for choice right now. Whiting will be biting up on the flats and around the creek mouths along Fraser’s western shores from Coongul south. Night sessions are without a doubt the best for those chasing numbers this time of year, but a good feed can still be secured during daylight hours if you can keep away from the pickers. Daytime sessions allow you to mix it with the prolific flathead during the late ebb and early flood tides, and you do well with a range of small 3-4 inch lures be they soft, hard, diving or sinking. Sight-fishing for flatties in the shallows is one of the true pleasures of fishing our flats and creeks this time of year. Keep an eye out too, as golden trevally, queenfish, GTs and mackerel are all possible up on the flats from now on into summer.

Great Sandy Straits & Mary/Susan Rivers

Catching a few flatties won’t be hard at all for those boating around River Heads, the lower reaches of the rivers, and indeed much of the straits. You can choose to get up on the flats and along the rocky fringes with the high tide, but will score greater numbers a few hours later as the tide drops out and pushes all the tucker off the flats. Rising and high tides are better spent chasing a feed of whiting on yabbies, worms or small prawns if bait suits you, or for those with the right gear, then micro poppers and stickbaits.

Threadfin salmon have made an appearance around River Heads this week. A few large models have been caught by land-based fishos, but it’s the boaties that have the edge, using their sounders to scope out the schooled up fish and drop vibes into their midst. These salmon are likely to be simply passing through that area, more-so than gathering to spawn as they appear to do later in the season, so time will tell as to what sort of numbers are caught this week.

School and broad-barred mackerel have both been taking spoons spun from the rocks at the heads which is giving the kids a real buzz at times. Flatties are also a good target on shallow diving lures, plastics or livies, and big bream are still turning up at night in enough numbers to keep the bream fishos happy. There has been word of a massive over-sized bull shark that has been lurking around the pontoon at the heads, no doubt drawn in by the fishing activity, so be very wary about entering the water, particularly when landing a fish.

Further upstream in both the Mary and Susan some good threadies have been reported along with barra, grunter, blue salmon, flatties and bream. The bigger river predators will increase in activity as our waters warm further though you can certainly expect to score a few barra and salmon from now on so long as you are in the right places at the right times.

It is a similar story down the straits, with many of the creek systems now home to some decent grunter, a few threadies and barra. Flatties are of course prolific around many of the creek mouths and drains within the creeks. Whiting are becoming more widespread and have been reported from the Shell Gutter, Turkey Straits and Shoulder Point just to mention a few spots. Expect to find them active up many of the creeks and up on the adjacent flats whilst the tides remain large.

Burrum River System

Queenfish and mini GTs are great targets for family fishos looking to get the kids into some fun in the Burrum. Look for schools of fish on your sounder in the mid reaches in the deeper holes and drop small plastics, vibes and blades to the bottom and work them back erratically. Small poppers and stickbaits will add a further level of excitement for those on the water during the low light periods. Big tarpon are another great fish for the kids, often giving away their presence with slurps and bust ups on the surface over the same deeper holes. Be extra careful when fighting and handling tarpon as they have a great knack of throwing hooks which can be an issue around small hands etc.

Barra and jacks will be the targets for the more serious river fishos from now on in the Burrum system. Old bucket mouth will be a more energetic lure taker than the red devil till it warms further, but both are on the cards. It will be interesting to see which of the four rivers produces best this season. Last year it was the Gregory.

Local Beaches, Creeks and Urangan Pier

The Urangan Pier has still been the place to be for landbased fishos chasing mackerel and other pelagics. A sensational run of schoolies has been keeping the kids and adults busy spinning with Flasha Spoons, with not just schoolies, but broadies, spanish, GT, tuna and bonito all joining the fray from day to day. Live baiting with bonnies is ever popular for those with heavier gear – the main targets being spanish and GTs. Of course live baiting with herring is equally as popular as spinning, particularly for the less energetic.

Flathead, whiting and bream are all possible from the pier as well. Flatties can be sight fished at times around the sloping bank out towards the end or from the first channel. The bream are best at night at present and are best targeted under the pier with herring baits. Whiting will frequent the first (beach) section of the pier and are possible early evening or early-mid morning during the rising tides at present.

This long weekend’s weather forecast suggests the pier will be super popular, even more-so with the Fraser Lions Pier Festival scheduled for this Sunday 30th. A fishing competition will kick off at 6am, and swags of food, fun and entertainment will be on offer for the whole family to enjoy.

If you would prefer to avoid the holiday crowds, then a session with the light gear along the town beaches (mainly Torquay to Urangan) should see you score a feed of whiting and perhaps a flattie or two. Fish the top half of the rising tide for best results, but hang around for an hour or so of the ebb too if you are struggling to get a feed. The flatter "beaches" on the outskirts of town, ie; Eli Creek flats and the Booral Flats will be worth a session flicking micro poppers and stickbaits for a mix of whiting, bream and flatties. Otherwise, you can wander the local creek banks and pick up a few flatties, whiting, bream or grunter, with the added bonus of flicking lures for barra, jacks, queenies and mini GTs.

Local Dams

Lake Lenthalls has been quiet so far barra-wise this season, possibly due to the consistently dirty water. Word is that the odd bass angler has connected to a barra or two, albeit briefly. Bass on the other hand have been biting reasonably well, particularly for those fishing the deeper waters off the points with hard vibes. Trolling similar areas will also account for a few, just watch your sounder for schooled fish and choose lures to swim to the appropriate depth. We will keep you informed of any improvement in the barra scene as spring goes on.

If it’s freshwater barra that you are after then it’s Lake Monduran that you should be heading to. Reports from the past week suggest that spring has well and truly sprung and the barra are getting more active. Those that chose the right times to hit the lake in late winter did quite well with at times big numbers of fish getting caught from a variety of locations. Those of us that enjoyed the heady days pre-flood on Monduran have been waiting anxiously for the re-stocked fish to grow out to sizes more akin to the good old days. Whilst this is still some time away, some of the earlier re-stocking efforts should now be realising in the form of 1m+ barra. Of late, it has been a couple of classes of fish that have been most active, being 60-80+, which are all fun and a class of fish that is very much inclined to school in the right conditions. We’ve got a massive range of all the best barra lures for the lake right here, plus staff with hands-on experience fishing Mondy, so if heading that way why not drop in for a chat and the latest arsenal.

Good luck out there y’all.

 

 

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