Weekly Report 9 Jul 09

Hervey Bay Fly and Sportfishing
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Weekly Report 9 Jul 09

Post by Brad » Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:21 pm

Great news for local anglers, with the new boat ramp at Gatakers Bay finally open to the public. This excellent free two lane facility will enable all-tide access to trailered vessels, and will give us access to the local reefs and whiting grounds in that area. Skippers of larger vessels (say 5m or more) should be cautious of shallow bombies in the channel entrance on lower tides. Launching around low tide may still be a little hazardous for these larger vessels as there is not a lot of water on the ramp at low tide. This ramp is a credit to the contractors, council and our local Sunfish organisation. Further works to be completed include a fish cleaning station, BBQ facilities and line marking of parking areas.

Wintery weather of late has brought water temperatures in the bay down below 20 degrees, with average temperatures of 18-19 degrees locally and around 20 degrees further north around Roonies. Further drops in temperature can be expected in coming weeks, which will further activate our winter species and trigger the spawning aggregations to do their thing for future fish stocks. Shore-based anglers have reported some reasonable catches of bream, whiting, flathead, tailor, jew and squid over the past week or so. The Urangan Pier is producing some good bream, with the best quantity and quality being caught at night over the high tide. Whilst mullet fillets, squid, yabbies and gut baits are working well for some, slow twitched plastics and blades worked back towards the pylons with the tide are also working for lure fishermen during the day.

There are no herring in the first channel of the pier, which is a little frustrating for those who like to target bigger fish on live bait. However, there are plenty of pike available, which are excellent livies for flathead and any pelagics that may turn up. Pike can be difficult to catch on bait jigs at times, but are a reliable catch on smaller 2-3 inch plastics and small hard-bodied minnows. Flathead are quite common at present, best caught over the neap tides on live baits, blades or plastics like D.O.A. Shrimps. A few decent sand whiting have been caught from the pier over the larger flood tides on yabbies and worms. There have been quite a few tailor at the pier, though most are congregating around the deep end where they are inaccessible to pier-based anglers. They offer a good option for boaties anchoring up near the end. As always during winter, it is a good idea to take a squid jig with you to the pier, as good sized local squid can turn up at any time.

The rocky foreshores from Pialba to Gatakers Bay are producing decent bream, flathead in adjacent sandy pockets, tailor, pike and the odd painted sweetlip and small snapper for rock-hoppers. Best fished at dawn or dusk, particularly if coinciding with a low tide, these rocky foreshores are an opportunity to avoid the crowds with the chance of better quality fish. If bait fishing, keep weight to a minimum and be prepared to crank the drag up a bit to extract fish from this harsh environment. Again, squid are available in these areas, so don’t forget the jigs. River Heads has produced some good tailor, bream, estuary cod, flathead and the occasional jewfish recently. The rocky terrain and fast-flowing currents can be hard on tackle, so again, fish baits lightly or floating, or even better, target these fish with lures. A number of shallow diving hard-bodied lures can work, though plastics matching the local bait sources of hardiheads, mullet, pike or prawns should be even more effective.

If heading up the Susan or Mary River, expect to find bream, tailor and flathead in the lower reaches and jew in the deeper holes. Good whiting will gather in better numbers throughout the lower reaches right up to the Bunya or Beaver Rock and are a good target for the next couple of months. The Great Sandy Straits continues to fish extremely well for a range of species. Tailor are available almost throughout the strait, with floating pillies on gangs, metals lures and plastics like snapbacks working well. Threadfin salmon are an option around the major creek mouths south of Wanggoolba/River Heads and are slightly easier to catch on livies or lures as they are no longer hunting jelly prawns.

Jewfish have been reported from some of the deeper holes and major structures in the upper straits, like the Ungowa area and under Kingfisher Jetty. Very few jew are caught during the day, but are a great option at night on live baits of squid, mullet, herring or pike, or with paddle-tailed soft plastics like Squidgy Fish. Good quality grunter are also available for those that know where to find them. Great sand whiting are available in numerous locations in the straits, from the sand banks and channels around River Heads, to the smaller creeks and adjacent banks further south. Whiting are best over the larger tides around the full and new moon phases if targeted over sandbanks and in smaller creeks. They can be taken in the adjacent channels over the neap moon phases, though not usually in as good a number. Live yabbies or worms work best if bait fishing, whilst using tiny poppers on light flick sticks on a rising tide over the shallows is probably still the most fun.

Flathead are at their best this time of year and are an easy target in or near any of our creek systems, particularly down the straits. Bigger tides drain the creeks pushing the baitfish out. The flathead sit in ambush and are too easy on soft plastics. Apart from the jewies, the Kingfisher jetty is also producing good quality bream (day and night), tailor, squid and excellent flathead on locally caught livies. Walking the beaches in the Kingfisher area targeting flathead, whiting and squid is also a good option on bigger tides. For boaties, the Picnic Islands are a great option for families to take the kids for a bit of fun on trevally of various species and sizes, tailor, small snapper, bream and flathead. Boges Hole, the Channel Hole and Bogimbah Ledge are worth a try for cod, grass sweetlip, painted sweetlip, and smallish snapper over the turn of the tide.

The Roy Rufus Artificial Reef continues to produce a few snapper for those in the know, though it has been a bit hot and cold of late. Larger schools of baitfish, mainly pike, herring and yakkas are aggregating in bigger numbers, likely to attract further schools of snapper in coming weeks. With so much boat traffic on the arti nowadays, those confident to do so might consider hitting the arti in less than perfect weather to avoid those periods when numerous boats and anchors spook the fish. Painted sweetlip are on offer at night if using squid, and a few estuary cod are still biting on livies over the turn of the tide.

Moon Ledge, Sammies, Mickeys, Maringa Bombie, the Outer Banks and the Arch Cliffs Six Mile should produce a few snapper and squiry snapper at night, together with painted sweetlip and cod. Watsons Leaping Bonito are about in great numbers in these areas and are a bit of fun and excellent fresh bait. Gatakers Bay and the rocky reefs south from there to Pialba are worth a try for bream, small snapper, painted sweetlip and tailor. Anchoring up and getting a good steady berley trail going will bring the bream on the chew during the day. You will have to put up with a lot of ‘happy moments’ coming into your berley trail. Best to use hard baits like mullet fillets, tailor or pike fillets to withstand the picking from the happies. Fish very lightly and cast back into the trail away from your boat. Squid respond to this berley also, so keep an eye out for them. Snapper are best at dawn on small lightly weighted GULP plastics, D.O.A. Shrimps, or at night on baits.

Winter whiting continue to be caught from the grounds out from Toogoom and Dundowran, though lately the fish have been a little scattered. Similar results for winter whiting fishos heading south over the banks west of Big Woody. Local snapper fishermen must be busting to get into the usual runs of fish in the Wathumba/Platypus Bay area. This is the time of year when they should move in. Most have been disappointed with results in that area of late, though that should now change as the water temp drops and the bigger schools of bait move in. Some of the deeper reefs in the area produce snapper during the day, particularly on GULP or SLAM plasics, however, the best results can be expected at night. There have been reports of a few whales (not many) in the area, so keep a good eye out.

Trevally of various types, including golden, giant, diamond, long-nose and turrum are already common off Wathumba and are a bit of fun on plastic. A few large toadfish are causing havoc, so drive away from them if found. Roonies continues to produce snapper, squirey snapper, grass sweetlip, painted sweetlip, cod and large cobia. A few school-sized yellowfin tuna were caught in the 4 mile area lately as well. The Gutters are giving up some great snapper, very large grass sweetlip up to 6kg, red emperor, scarlet seaperch, hussar, venus tuskfish and cod. Coral trout are still an option on livies, but are a bit slow due to the cold. Some huge cobia are lurking along the ledges or where bait is gathered. Trevally are quite common on the more prominent ledges of the Southern Gutter.

Offshore, a few locals have had success on pearl perch, snapper and rosy jobfish on the shelf. Prevailing currents outside will dictate whether or not the shelf is fishable, and if not, the shallower shoals are always a good bet. The shoals are producing snapper, tuskfish, maori cod, coronation trout, redthroat emperor, occasional red emperor and spangled emperor, together with an array of other smaller reef fish. Spanish mackerel, cobia and GTs can be found over the shallower shoals towards the northern end of the bar.

Rainbow Beach Report courtesy Rainbow Beach Fishing Charters - http://www.rainbowbeachfishing.com.au Ph: 07 54868666
Well another week gone and 4 Charters fitted in between the wind, and as I write it is about 40 knots at DI Point, so next weeks report could be very short. To have this Summer weather pattern this week is very disappointing as we were booked all week and it is the prime time of year to fish. However the last few trips have been good ,especially to the wider grounds. Some nice reds and trout were landed and this species may be coming more prolific in this area. Again the main species landed were snapper, parrot, hussar, gold spot wrasse, pearl & moses perch, with the odd maori cod, longtail, and cobia.

On the beach scene alot of sand has returned makeing access to the south much easier. Wayne at Rainbow Beach Tackle has reported some great tailor fishing up at Middle Rock area this last week so good luck. Last week I mentioned about an old Fishing log from my Great uncle about his early fishing days at Portland (1935) where he made all his own Indian cane rods and they used gut line for all there snapper fishing. He actually caught the first Tuna on Rod & Reel in 1936(19.5lb) tuna were then also known as tunny and had been caught in nets by local fishermen who called them bonito. If you want to see some real tuna log onto wild blue.com (Portland) where some of my old mates have had 30kg rods smashed like matchsticks trying to land big tuna,and the biggest this year was 126kgs on rod & reel.
Till next week, good luck & may the wind go away.

Freshwater Report-Lake Lenthalls Report
No Report.

Lake Monduran Report Courtesy of Rob at Lake Monduran Holiday Park Ph: 1800 228 754
No Report.

Report from Local Guide, Mark “Bargy” Bargenquast.
Brenton Hodges and his partner Theresa came from Melbourne for a days fishing and caught some nice yellowtail kings on cordell poppers and plastics. We had schools of 30 chasing poppers in the shallows with only 3 meters of water under the boat, great fishing guys!

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