Super Boats Likely To Get Some Air
A much improved spell of weather over the past week saw plenty of boaties out on the bay. The weather looks like turning sour during the coming weekend however, with a particularly nasty northerly blow on the cards for late Saturday through Sunday and Monday and a better than even chance of a storm or two.
Make the most of tomorrow’s light winds if you get the chance, or hit the estuaries or dams Saturday, otherwise it looks like we will all be waiting till mid next week for a break in the northerly winds.
In case you haven’t heard, the super boats are back in town for another race meet that should provide a great show for those venturing down to the esplanade to watch the races. The freshening northerly winds are likely to add to the overall spectacle as these super high speed craft thrash it out in our dreaded northerly swell.
The Urangan Harbour carpark becomes "Pit Central" for the super boat crews during this event, with word being that more than half of our carpark will be taken up by the race crews. Given the northerly winds there is unlikely to be too many recreational boaties hitting the water from the harbour this weekend anyway, but one of the two four-lane boat ramps will still be accessible for those that do.
Fantastic Marlin Bite Leading Into The New Moon
Great sea conditions inshore, but still fairly ordinary outside Fraser was the word from the many crews that headed out looking for billfish over the past week. The jiggly seas were soon forgotten about though when the heavy tackle crews hit the continental shelf in search of marlin, with some incredible numbers tagged over successive days prior to the new moon.
Big numbers of blue marlin and the odd striped marlin kept the game boat crews on their toes, with some boats raising numerous billies day after day. Many of the blues were of good size once again, topping out around the 600-700lb mark.
Possibly the most remarkable aspect of this week’s great bite is the depth in which the blue marlin were encountered. In recent times, most fish have been found out in 200-1000 metres of water, but this week they pushed right in close, with big numbers coming from only 100 metres along the crest of the shelf.
Hoards of baitfish have moved into these waters and have drawn the marlin and significant bycatch in the form of big mahi mahi, a few decent yellowfin and the odd wahoo. All in all, things are looking up for the offshore gamefishing scene, it is just a shame this latest run of fish didn’t coincide with the recently held gamefishing tournament.
Pelagics En-Masse In Northern Bay Waters
Many crews enjoyed sensational sportsfishing in the northern parts of Hervey Bay this week, with a real ensemble of pelagics on offer for the energetic fisho. Little black marlin numbers have improved slightly up towards Rooneys, though it sounds like far too many crews are spending their time trolling in shallow water when they might be better off out wider.
The shallow flats fishery is a major drawcard for many marlin tragics but the fish just haven’t been there in any numbers so far this season. Follow the largest biomasses of baitfish, their predators and those that predate on these predators and you will find your chances vastly increased. In other words, try trolling out wider in deeper waters where you find masses of spotties and tuna feeding on the smaller "rainfish" and the marlin are often not far away.
Latest reports suggest there are vast schools of spotties and mack tuna up off Station Hill in northern Platypus Bay. These fish have settled into the bay for a bit and are here to feed. Word is some schools are absolutely ravenous and are taking a huge range of lures, though make sure you have a good mix of smaller metals in your arsenal.
By the way, a great little lure we have just landed in-store for the tuna season is the 3 inch Dropshot Minnow. Match one of these little plastics with a 1/2 ounce 3/0 jighead on a leader of around 30-40lb and you will have just the ticket to trick even the fussiest of tuna.
Sharks A Big Problem Around Our Inshore Reefs
Inshore reef fishos tended to score a better feed from the shallow reefs than the deeper systems this week, not due to the better class of fish but due to their ability to actually land them without being taxed by the noahs. The shark issue will be worse than ever this season again, as it has been for each season successively for many years now, so do the right thing and move elsewhere when the bities move in.
Those fishing deeper waters that aren’t visited frequently by other boaties found a good feed of estuary cod and sweetlip fairly easy to procure. Coral trout are a lot more active now that our waters have warmed and are scoffing livies over the turn of tide for those not tuned into tea-bagging them on heavily-weighted plastics. A few blackall, the odd squire and some very nice blueys were all reported this week, but again, only by those able to avoid the sharks.
Estuaries At Their Best Right Now
The mighty threadfin salmon have been scoffing soft vibes with gusto for weeks now and will continue to do so till the rains come. Those new to the area could try trolling deep divers for their threadies too which will slow your boat down and enable you to scope out likely terrain where the salmon gather.
Grunter are well scattered throughout the Mary and Susan as well as within many of the creeks down the straits and along the ledges along the inside of Fraser. There is no better time to be targeting mangrove jacks in Fraser’s western creeks and you can expect a lot of bycatch over there from bream, cod and grunter to jewies, trevally and the odd out-of-season barra.
Whiting fishos scored well last weekend, with bag limits of sizeable ‘ting coming from the gravelly shores of the bay islands, the Fraser Island flats and down the straits. Timing your whiting sessions to be there before they get rounded up en-masse is paramount in many locations, with the bigger building tides typically best.
Flathead are still fairly abundant down the straits, and although they will soon head for deeper waters, they can be picked up around many creek mouths, drains and rock bars for a little while yet. Like all predators, even the flatties require a supply of food to stay in an area, so don’t waste your time in areas devoid of bait.
Quite a few small GT’s, queenfish and diamond trevally are often encountered moving in and out of creek systems down the straits this time of year. They will also join the golden trevally, both large and small, up on the vast flats systems over the higher tides, so there are ample sportsfishing opportunities for those with smaller boats in this neck of the woods.
Jacks Just Keep Getting Bigger In The Burrum
There isn’t much more to say about the Burrum system right now than to tell you to get up there and have a crack at the terrific jack fishing on offer right now. Bait fishos chasing a feed will score well, particularly after dark Lure fishos are spoilt for choice with so much likely jack-holding terrain on offer and four rivers to choose from. You might encounter numbers of little tackers to 40cm in places, but it’s this system’s substantial number of 50-60cm jacks that draw the jack tragics back time and time again.
Urangan Pier Fishing Well Again
The arrival of a few pencil squid in Urangan Channel a few weeks ago has seen the regular pier fishos sneak out at night with their lanterns, LEDs or chemical light sticks and micro squid jigs in the hope of scoring a few pencillies. The dark of the moon can be prime for these tasty little morsels, and we would expect their numbers to swell from now till at least January.
The arrival of the squid doesn’t go un-noticed by the predators either, with big queenfish, school mackerel and flathead all making appearances this week. The odd large GT has already dusted a couple of fishos out their recently too, and it won’t be long before numbers of these brutes again call the pier home for the summer.
Wild Weather Stirs The Impoundment barra
Stiff northerlies do little to excite anyone when it comes to fishing the bay or exposed waters, but for seasoned impoundment barra fishos these conditions can be very exciting indeed. Winds exceeding 20 knots can cool the waters in some parts of the lakes but effectively blow hot water directly into others. Find these pockets of warm, baitfish-rich waters and you will find the barra.
Both Lenthalls and Monduran have been fishing well for much of this spring season. Lenthalls has been much more consistent when considering angler effort, but the massive Mondy waterway is still home to the prized Golden Barra and its specially-tagged cousins just waiting for your lure to get too close and win you a shipload of prizes.
Good luck out there y’all.