Weekly Report 19 Feb 09

Hervey Bay Fly and Sportfishing
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Weekly Report 19 Feb 09

Post by Brad » Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:27 am

Fraser Island Fishing report courtesy of Sailfish Apartments, Happy Valley: Ph (07) 4127 9494
Heavy weather and big surf a week ago stirred the ocean beach up and shut the fishing down for a while. Conditions have now settled and a few fish are making their way back. Dart are to be found in most decent gutters along the beach. Good whiting are again showing up in the smaller gutters and melon holes around low tide. Some bream have appeared in the gutters containing coffee rock, eg; around Poyungan or Yidney. The beach remains weed-free which is great news.

Hervey Bay
A nice spell of weather on the Fraser Coast over the past few days has enabled anglers to get out and wet a line. A few inches of rain early in the week has revitalised the river systems, whilst light winds and small tides have allowed bay waters to clear up. Water temperatures in the bay are constant at around 27-28C, with river temperatures rising from this mark later in the day. The good weather has enabled a few boats to head to the Southern/Northern Gutters areas 40+ miles north of Urangan. Coral trout and red emperor are the prime targets in this area, with a huge range of other reef fish like big grass sweetlip, cod, tuskfish and hussar amongst others. Being at the gutters for the first tide change of the day will see best results for trout on live bait. Reds can turn up at any time, with the period just after a tide change often being good, and late afternoon and during the night best.

Pike have to be the best possible live bait for the gutters (and most anywhere in the bay) for trout, cod or reds. Pike start to turn up in small numbers this time of year on the shallower (5-10m) reefs of the lower bay area. You will have to work hard for them for a couple of weeks until the bigger schools roll in. Herring, yakkas and other small fish make great alternative livies when pike are scarce. A lot of “life” is apparent on the Southern Gutters reefs, and with it are an unfortunate number of sharks. These big noahs can be totally devastating to catches of quality fish like trout and reds. Once sharks move in it is pointless fishing the same area as they will devour every fish raised from the bottom. A move to a totally different section of reef is required, as otherwise you will only kill numerous fish for no result. The sharks do tend to favour the gutter ledges, whilst rarely being a problem on the flatter hard country in the same region. Large school mackerel and small spanish mackerel are quite prolific in areas of the southern gutters, particularly where there are schools of yakkas. Mack tuna and a few mid-sized long-tail tuna are also working balls of tiny baitfish in the area. A few small schools of spotted mackerel can be found en-route to the gutters, north of the 25 fathom hole.

Boaties venturing outside, over the bar north of Fraser have a bit of current to contend with at present making bottom fishing a little difficult. These same currents are conducive to pelagic fish however, including the small black marlin and sailfish that have been consistent in the area east of the 13 mile crossing. When the current allows, bottom fishers are catching venus tuskfish, maori cod, coronation trout, red throat emperor and a mix of other tropical reef fish. Cobia of various sizes, together with a few spanish mackerel can be found over the shoals and closer to the bar. Some horse-sized GTs can be found around Spit Bombie for those with the gear to toss large poppers at them. The reefs in the northern Platypus Bay area and those south and west of Roonies are producing a mix of reef fish like grass sweetlip, scarlets, small snapper, painted sweetlip and moses perch. Good numbers of large golden trevally can be found in the same areas, with a few spanish mackerel, school mackerel and a mix of other trevally species. Soft plastics are a great option on the trevally, whilst high speed spinning with metal lures is a better option for the mackerel. Remember, it is illegal to keep a spanish mackerel caught east of a line drawn from Roonies Point to Coongul Point, due to the inherent risk of Ciguatera poisoning. Spotted mackerel are now quite scarce, with a few small schools being found well west of the island.

The Roy Rufus Artificial Reef has produced some good grass sweetlip, a few painted sweetlip and the odd legal snapper for those fishing baits of squid, hardiheads or flesh baits. Coral trout and estuary cod have become more prevalent, though mostly caught on live baits or soft plastics. This time of the year a number of over-size spanish mackerel turn up on the arti. Whilst smaller fish in the 7-15kg range are possible, the big spanish of 20-35kg are a real possibility on larger live baits. These bigger spanish are great fun, but should be released unharmed as they are a huge risk of Ciguatera. A few whaler sharks around the 6-9’ mark have moved in on the arti, so watch out for these guys when hauling fish over the side. The Channel Hole, Boges, Bogimba and other reefs from Kingfisher north to Moon are producing similar fish to the arti, with grass sweetlip, painted sweetlip and cod being most common. Smaller tides allow a longer fishing window over these reefs, with the run out tide generally fishing best.

The shallow reefs surrounding the lower bay islands are getting a bit quieter, with a lot of the fish moving to the deeper reefs. Reasonable catches can still be made during the low light periods and during the night. Gatakers Bay / Point Vernon reefs are producing coral trout, cod, painted sweetlip and grass sweetlip. Good grunter can be found at times in the same area. The Gatakers boat ramp is still under construction restricting access. The contractors building the ramp say they will be done in 5 weeks, then it is up to council to complete the finishing touches on the car parking areas before we will be allowed access. Pencil squid are starting to thin out in number, as expected this time of year. A few can still be caught from the Urangan Pier at night with the assistance of a gas lantern or similar to attract the squid. Boaties can catch the same squid by attracting them to the boat with a bright white light. Smaller squid jigs around 5cm in length work best for pencilies.

“Local squid” (southern calamari) start to turn up in the lower bay area and the straits during February. These larger squid prefer jigs in the larger 2.5 – 3.5 sizes. Like all squid they prefer cleaner water conditions. They can be found anywhere from a foot of water over weed or reef, to the deeper rubble/weedy reefs up to 25m deep. Localies can be caught day or night, and when sight-fished are a lot of fun. Always keep squid jigs handy in the boat, as you will often stumble over these tasty delicacies. The recent rainfall has added a bit of freshwater to the river systems which is likely to see some movement from the banana prawns. Recent conditions, coupled with an upcoming new moon suggest it is time to dust off the prawn nets and start prospecting. The upper reaches of the Burrum, the Isis, and the mid reaches of the Susan/Bunya system and associated feeder creeks would be good starting points. A run of tiger prawns can be expected in the upper straits at this time, though being scattered over the vast flats and channels they are rarely targeted.

The Mary/Susan system continues to produce threadfin salmon of varying sizes. Salmon can also be found working the creeks fringing the upper sandy straits. These fish can be very mobile, at times moving some miles with a tide. Target smaller creeks draining into the main body of water where jelly prawns are aggregated after being pushed out by the falling tide. Smaller soft plastic prawn imitations or curl-tail types can be a great option when these fish ignore larger lures. Due to the smaller jigheads required to fish these smaller presentations it is necessary to let the salmon run once hooked, and make sure your leader is 50lb+ to handle the abrasive nature of their mouths. Grunter, pikey bream, bream and whiting are also suitable targets in the river and the creeks of the straits. Yabbies are the best all-round bait. Some really good mangrove jacks can be found in the creeks on the western side of Fraser and in creeks further down the straits. Hot humid days, and better still, hot humid nights are best (if you can handle the mozzies).

The Burrum system is still producing good mangrove jacks throughout the mid-lower reaches. Live baits of poddy mullet, herring, hardiheads or prawns work well, as do fresh mullet fillets or small whole squid. Toss small hard-bodied lures like Tilsan Barras, Predatek Spoonbills or 14A/15A Bombers hard against the bank over rock bars or near major snag piles. Target the shady fringes during the day, or drop plastics into the deeper holes. The Burrum has a fair bit of fresh in it at present, so stark colours, whites or golds are suggested. Golden trevally and school mackerel are present around the mouth of the river, from the boat ramps to the beacons out front. Some good whiting can still be found in the lower reaches, together with the odd flathead. Bream, grunter and estuary cod round up the likely catches, mostly downstream where the water is more saline. Expect prawn catches to improve over the next week or two. The cleaner waters of late have again improved the fishing from the Urangan Pier. Broad-barred mackerel, school mackerel and golden trevally have been the main catches this week. Some huge giant trevally are again lurking under the pier for those that have tackle heavy enough to have a go at them.

Rainbow Beach Report courtesy Rainbow Beach Fishing Charters - http://www.rainbowbeachfishing.com.au Ph: 07 54868666
Welcome to another fishing report from Rainbow Beach, and again it should be short due to the windy conditions over the last week.
In rough conditions yesterday morning, (the bureau got it wrong again) our crew ended the day with a mxd bag of reef fish. Conditions calmed down during the day but the Northerly current made it very difficult to feel the bites.The main species landed were snapper & snappery squire, pearl & moses perch, parrot, & red emperor.The mackerel have again been quiet this week. What a beautiful day it is today and our vessel is tied to the Pontoon, anyway thats how the bookings are at this time of year. We are meant to be back out Friday & Saturday lets hope the weather holds. I have no Beach Fishing report this week, but be carefull with your Beach driving as I have heard of erosion this week and more swells on the way today.
Good luck till next week, and stay safe.
Tony Stewart. .

Freshwater Report-Lenthall’s Dam
No Report.

No Report.

No Report.

Fishing Report from Local Guide, Mark “Bargy” Bargenquast.
Queenie David Loh from Sydney recently spent two days fishing with me in Hervey Bay looking for some new species and some surface action, Dave raised two big GT’s on poppers but failed to stay connected, one missing the popper and the other straightening the 3/0 trebles on the strike. Dave caught this big queenfish on a popper as well as golden trevally and longtail tuna. If you would like to book a trip with Bargy just give him a ring on 0427 230 261 or visit http://www.fraserguidedfishing.com.au

Fishing Report from Local Guide, Pete Fry.
No Report. If you would like to book a trip with Pete just give him a ring on 0417 753 686 or visit http://www.petesflyfishing.com.au

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