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Weekly Fraser Coast Fishing Report - 4th July 2019

Thanks For Your Support!

Firstly, let us say a big thank you to the many locals and visitors that dropped in to Fishos last weekend for our big annual clearance sale. It was a resounding success, and we trust you all scored some great bargains. For anyone that missed out, we have extended the sale on a range of select items for the remainder of this week. It may not be quite the scale of the big clearance, but there are still a few ripper bargains to be snatched up if you are quick.

Good weather is on the way!

We wish we could offer an exciting report on local captures over the past week, but unfortunately, the weather just hasn’t been good enough for any wide ranging forays, and even local efforts have been restricted to sheltered waters.

If you live around here and you step outside as you are reading this, chances are you will be greeted by a howling southeaster and passing showers. A massive 1040 high pressure system over Tassie is the cause of the strong onshore blow, and it looks like it will blow till at least Sunday.

If you are holidaying in the area, then look forward to next week when the winds will ease right off and we should see Mother Nature turn on a spell of her spectacularly calm winter weather. Till then, read on for a few tips on what you can do to keep the kids entertained and maybe catch a few fish.

Have Your Say On QLD Fishery Amendments...

The filthy weather will at least give us all the chance to have our say in Qld Fisherie’ proposed amendments to the current Fisheries legislation. We only have till the 19th July 2019 to have our say on amendments that will affect every single one of us.

It is very important that you, as someone who fishes our waters, get to air your opinion on the proposed changes to the Act as some of the changes will dramatically affect the way you fish and how much you will enjoy your favourite pastime in the future. To say that some of the changes will anger many of you is an understatement.

So, go online to www.daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/fisheries/sustainable/sustainable-fisheries-strategy/fisheries-reforms and click on the “discussion paper” link and download the document to read all about the proposed changes. You can then click on “online survey” to complete the questionnaire or you may prefer to write to Fisheries as suggested in the above links.

If you think that this matter isn’t worth your time, yet you like to gather your own bait, go prawning or crabbing, or you would like to continue to fish certain local bodies of freshwater then think again. Here are just a few points you might like to ponder ......

  • We can (now) only take 20 yakkas, yet they propose to allow “lift netting” specifically aimed at making the commercial take of these baitfish easier (see item # 24)
  • Pippie bag limit will be reduced to 30 in possession (see item # 32)
  • A bag limit of 20 will be introduced for sand crabs (blue swimmers) yet they will allow commercial operators to increase their number of pots to 150 in our bay waters (see item # 32 & 9)
  • A bag limit of 50 is proposed for squid and mullet (see item 32) yet they seem to exclude tiger squid. Perhaps a limit on tiger squid would be acceptable, with a more lenient limit on arrow (pencil) squid that are a major bait source that turns up each year in massive numbers. A limit of 50 cuttlefish included in the same statement makes one wonder how much thought went into this one.
  • They want to introduce a General Recreational In-Possession Limit (see item 35 & 36). From what we gather, this suggests you will only be allowed 20 pike in possession as they are not listed elsewhere. An oversight surely.
  • If you’ve ever fished for bass upstream of the barrage on Tinana Creek, or you were planning to, then you will be shocked to read item # 41.
  • Snapper are under threat, so they propose a closure for the month of July which certainly has its issues, yet there seems to be no alteration to the rule that allows commercial operators to take numbers of large snapper whilst we are restricted to one only (see item # 46). Surely if the science says throw back the big ones then that should apply to all stakeholders.

Rest assured that the above points only highlight a few of the changes that will affect the average fisho. There are changes that will be welcomed and some that won’t, but if we don’t all stand up and voice our concerns now, the proposed changes will get through unchallenged.

If you cannot open the link above, then contact us here at Fishos and we will email you the proposal and appropriate links.

Onto the report...

Now, getting back off the high horse, here are a few tips for the coming week .....

Offshore

Obviously offshore is not an option at present. That will change by about Tuesday as the wind drops and the swell eases. By the following weekend it looks as though it will be particularly good, so keep an eye on the weather and get the big boat ready.

The Bay

Again, the winds will keep boaties inshore, so the open bay waters will get a spell. Come early next week and bay options will be unlimited. Pelagic surface activity has been fairly minimal of late, but there are plenty of big cranky sub-surface speedsters to target out wide and up towards Rooneys.

Numerous species of trevally are on offer for those venturing out to the Gutters, Rooneys or the Platypus Bay reefs. Cobia too will stretch your jigging gear to the limit and can reach immense proportions in these parts this time of year. Gear up with a selection of slow-pitch jigs or appropriately-weighted plastics and drift the reef edges looking for signs of trevors, cobes, snapper and scarlets on your sounder.

Reef fishos will again get a crack at our reef fish next week and we hope that the sharks have finally started to back off. Time will tell, but as always be prepared to drive away from a spot if the sharks move in. Live baiting or tea-bagging heavily-weighted plastics will score the usual cod, trout, jacks and others, whilst dead baitfish, squid and cut baits will produce sweeties, squire, scarlets, parrot and others.

Inshore

The wind is too strong for even the more sheltered inshore waters at present. It may ease earlier than expected, but till then your only real chance at a fish is to head out super early in the morning when the winds are at their lightest and get home before it freshens. Take extra care and watch out for the enhanced seas caused by wind-against-tide and high tide scenarios.

Gatakers Bay ramp will be popular till the wind drops. The winter whiting have been quite close to the ramp there recently. Their numbers have tapered off, but few have been able to venture beyond the most sheltered water lately. Once the winds ease, look further afield for fresh schools of fish. The high winds will certainly stir up plenty of food items for the winteries over our vast shallow flats, so expect to see schools move into these areas.

Bream are finally making a long-awaited appearance elsewhere locally, so look for them up over the fringing reefs off Gatakers Bay. Simply anchor up (perhaps with two anchors to alleviate yawing) and establish a berley trail. Fish lightly weighted cut baits down the trail and if you tease the bait away from the “happy moments” you should entice a few big bream. About 10-15 feet of water is about right, and you might be blown away a few times on the light gear as the bigger (42cm+) bream and the odd reefie get in on the act.

Snapper inshore and generally throughout the bay have been largely a non-event so far this season. We trust this latest blow on the back of the new moon will see some schools move in. Time will tell. Snapper love to feed up into the shallow margins when seas are rough, so don’t be surprised if a few better models are hooked by those fishing the shallow fringes of the bay islands immediately after the winds ease.

Mary/Susan Rivers & the Great Sandy Straits

Take due care if launching from River Heads in the current strong winds. It will be okay much of the time but wind-against-tide and the last of the ebb tide will be testing for some. Those fishing from the pontoon out there have been scoring plenty of pencil squid at night and deploying them live for jewfish. No doubt the pontoon will be crowded at times, though the wind will keep all but the die-hards away.

Bream numbers have finally exploded around the heads. We have been awaiting their arrival for 2 months now, but they have finally turned up in numbers. Boaties can anchor up over at South Head, out of the wind, and set up a berley trail that will keep the kids hauling in bream after bream.

Boaties will also find jewfish, blue salmon and mackerel around the heads. The turn of tide is the go for the jewies, with either live baits from an anchored boat or tea-bagged plastics and vibes from a drifting boat. Trolling will be probably the better option for both the blue salmon and mackerel till the winds settle.

Head upstream into the rivers and you will find sheltered spots out of the wind if you are keen enough. Those in small, under-powered tinnies should be wary of the return journey to the heads though. Threadies, blues, grunter, GTs, flatties, bream, cod and whiting are all possible. Until the winds ease, bait fishos will find the going easier than those using lures.

Urangan Pier, Local Beaches and Creeks

The bream have finally turned up under the Urangan Pier in better numbers. The big “pilot” males have arrived and are staking out their territory. They so often turn up by Anzac Day that it has been extraordinary to see them arrive so late this year.

Bream numbers should continue to swell over coming weeks as the larger schools of female fish arrive en-masse. Day and night sessions will be possible for those soaking herring or cut baits between the pylons. A few squire are likely to gather off the pier in the present rough conditions too, but most will be too small to keep so handle them carefully and send them back to grow.

Flathead will take a live pike or herring, but they normally don’t like the shallow waters in the stronger winds. Once the winds and tides ease, the flatties will be a major target in the first channel or on the slope out the deep end.

Pelagic activity has slowed out the pier this week apparently. Recent weeks saw cobia, longtail tuna, mack tuna, mackerel, bonito and golden trevally all turn up at some stage. There have been mackerel gathered just off the town beaches this week so we would expect a run on them to make their way past the pier some time soon.

Our town beaches have produced some more nice hauls of “summer” whiting. Whilst the diminishing tides falling away to the impending neaps are less than favourable for whiting, the stirred up foreshore waters should overcome the tide issue and see a few whiting hang around to feed.

You can also take the kids for a wander along the banks of our local creeks out of the wind. Eli Creek and Beelbi Creek are the two more easily accessible systems. Eli should give up the odd flattie, some whiting, bream and cod. Beelbi can be a little more exciting, with the same species above as well as mini GTs and queenies offering a bit more sport on the light gear.

Good luck out there y’all.

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