Weekly Report 29 Oct 09

Hervey Bay Fly and Sportfishing
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Weekly Report 29 Oct 09

Post by Brad » Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:56 pm

Hervey Bay
Be aware, the annual east coast barramundi closure commences midday 1st November and concludes midday 1st February. Barramundi are not to be taken over this period, with the exception that one fish per angler is allowed from the 18 stocked impoundments, including Lenthalls and Monduran. According to Qld DPI “It is also prohibited to deliberately target barramundi for catch and release during these closed seasons, as the stress of capture may prevent fish from spawning.” Small windows of better weather over the past week have allowed anglers to sample the bay’s fishing potential. Pelagic activity throughout the bay from the Picnic Islands right through to Rooneys has been the main highlight. Schools of mack tuna, together with a small number of larger longtail tuna have been reported. As expected the tuna are feeding on tiny baitfish on the surface and are best targeted with small metal slugs spun at speed through or ahead of the schools. A few guys have found the tuna frustratingly hard to tempt, so if unsuccessful with the smaller slugs then try the tried and proven Slider Grub plastics.

School and broadbarred mackerel are also in good numbers throughout the bay. The beacons are a great option, particularly the fairway and S4. Spinning 35 gram flashas or other metal lures in the 30-50 gram range is the most successful technique. Trolling spoons or diving minnows through the shipping channel or over reefs is also a worthy option. Suitable livebait can be a bit scarce this time of year, however, if located, can almost guarantee success on mackerel. The Arch Cliffs 6 mile, the outer banks, maringa bombie, the arti and sammies also abound with mackerel at times. There seems to be plenty of herring at the 6 mile, but near impossible to get them to the boat through the mackerel. The shallow reefs should again fire over the bigger tides associated with the full moon period. Very early starts are recommended as the shallows are at their best with the sun low in the sky. Expect to catch grass sweetlip, painted sweetlip, tuskfish, small snapper, cod or maybe a coral trout.

The Urangan Pier has a healthy aggregation of baitfish which continues to attract a mixture of pelagics. School mackerel, golden trevally and queenfish have been caught over the past week. Flathead are an option on live bait, with bream also on offer. Good numbers of garfish are being taken from the first channel on appropriate light tackle. Shelley beach is still the place in town to catch a whiting. Larger rising tides will see the whiting feeding up the beach in this area, together with the first channel of the pier. Reports this week from local game fishermen suggest the northern reaches of the bay and offshore are ready to fire. The waters around Rooneys are loaded with large bait such as finny scad, tiny tuna and bonito which should in turn attract the billfish. Most active birdlife appears to be inside the bar at present where the waters are still “green”. Blue water to 24 degrees can be found wider of the bar, with green water still found in the Spit Bombie area. A couple of small black marlin were caught outside along the 40m contour last weekend. In the blue water beyond the shelf larger blue marlin have been reported together with very small yellowfin tuna. A couple of sailfish have been sighted beyond the 13 mile crossing recently, though none captured as yet.

Bigger tides will see the Great Sandy Straits produce good numbers of quality sand whiting. Yabbies or worms are best fished over the banks or inside small creeks as the tide rises. Great reports from customers using the Dynabait dried tube worms suggest these are also a good convenient option. As the big tides drain from these same creeks and flats expect to find numbers of flathead waiting in ambush. Grass sweetlip, painted sweetlip, cod, grunter and tuskfish are likely from the ledges and deeper reefs south from Kingfisher. A few mackerel have filtered through into the straits and are likely around areas such as Kingfisher, Ungowa and the deep-set beacons in the main shipping channel further south. The Mary/Susan system is improving for the likes of threadfin salmon and grunter. Seems the salmon are widespread with a report of plenty of fish right up in Maryborough at the barrage, and other reports of fish right down the front around River Heads itself. The full moon tides will again produce ideal feeding conditions for the salmon with plenty of run in the tide and bait being pushed out of the feeder creeks as the tide drains. The grunter can be expected in the deeper holes of the Susan, Bunya or Bengstons, usually only feeding in shallower water over the top of the tide.

Whilst yabbies, prawns or herring are suitable baits for the grunter, for a bit more fun and likely more success try GULP baits on appropriate jig heads. Flathead, whiting and bream can be expected from the lower reaches of the Mary and Susan. Best whiting are to be found inside Burtenshaw Bank, the first 2 miles of the Susan, Shoulder Point south east of the heads or the gutters adjacent to the heads. Flathead can be caught from River Heads itself and the rocky surrounds. Bream are scattering, but are possible anywhere over rock/gravel from the heads upstream. Last October saw reasonable catches of prawns in local rivers due to rains that fell prior. This year is much drier, however, small catches of very large prawns have been reported over the past week or so. Due to relative salinity levels, the upstream reaches of the Susan, Bunya or associated feeder creeks are best bets.

Prawns in the Burrum system are still scratchy at best, though certainly worth taking a cast net if venturing up that way over the bigger tides. Hard to beat large prawns for livebait. If we get some decent rains in the near future this will likely bring on the prawns. The Burrum system continues to produce a mixed bag, with whiting, flathead, bream and cod on offer in the lower reaches of the Burrum and Gregory. Grunter are to be found in the mid reaches from Buxton Hole upstream, together with the Isis and Gregory. This year has seen some fantastic mangrove jacks taken from the mid reaches of all four rivers. Mullet strips or small whole mullet are proving the easiest option, particularly at night. Live baits are also likely to produce, as are plastic prawn imitations dropped into and twitched through the snags and over rock bars.

Rainbow Beach Report courtesy Rainbow Beach Fishing Charters - http://www.rainbowbeachfishing.com.au Ph: 07 54868666
Just 3 trips were managed for the week till Sunday , when the winds increased and they don't look like abating in the near future .Most trips of late have been to the closer reefs due to the strong current further offshore. The current did abate last Friday for a while and some nice snapper were landed. The closer reefs have produced the goods bar one day last Saturday when conditions weren't favorable as the wind picked up early. Late last week in very good conditions snapper to 5 1/2 kgs were landed along with parrot, pearl & moses perch, coral cod, trag jew, & maori cod. Closer to shore snapper are still about, and should be for a while yet. Cobia, mulloway, trag jew, moses & pearl perch, with sweet lip have made up the catch. Beach Fishing has been blown out, with East-Soueast winds and there has been little to report from the Sandy Straits. There have been a few mackerel in the straits, so hopefully before Xmas they will make an appearance on the offshore reefs. Thats it so good Fishing till next week. Tony Stewart

Freshwater Report-Lake Lenthalls Report
Rob the ranger from Lenthalls has kindly agreed to provide us with up to date fishing reports from the dam on a regular basis. Rob confirmed that the dam is now open from 6am till 8pm, still with the same horse power and speed restrictions as always. There is still no camping allowed at the dam, as refurbishment works on the camping grounds are yet to be completed. Bass fishing at the dam has continued to improve of late. Many lure options are working, including slow-twitched or rolled diving hard-bodies, lipless crankbaits, plastics such as Slider Grubs or Squidgy Fish, or slow-rolled spinnerbaits. Small poppers and walk-the-dog presentations should also do the trick late afternoon into early evening. Barra are proving a little difficult by comparison. Try the same techniques as the larger dams, ie; fishing windward shores and small bays/points with weedy fringes.

If not successful, then shifting to ledges and submerged logpiles and rip-twitching hardbodies such as X-Raps, B52s, Tilsan Barras or Predatek Spoonbills could annoy a dormant fish into striking. Rob said a chap caught a yellowbelly amongst a few bass. Seems yellowbelly are a scarce catch at the dam nowadays compared to 5 years ago. Apparently further restocking of the lake is planned for next month, with a further 15,000 barra and 60,000 bass to be stocked. This is again excellent news for the future of this great little fishery, and all credit to the tireless volunteers of the Fraser Coast Fishstocking Association for their efforts.

Other Freshwater
The Tiaro Landcare Fishing competition was held last weekend on the Mary River at Petrie Park. A good contingent of “fishntales.com” fishos happened to be there and entered the comp to take out a number of prizes for their efforts. Catches included a large number of bass averaging about 35cm, with best measuring 53cm. Quite a number of eel-tailed and fork-tailed catfish were caught, together with a few silver perch, a couple of bream up to 990 grams and a lone sooty grunter of 50cm.

Lake Monduran Report
Last weekend at Monduran proved to be a pearler, with significant numbers of barra boated. An excellent weather pattern developed with stable weather during the week turning to the NE/NW over the weekend. A lot of fish came from the front end of the dam adjacent to the main basin, with Bird Bay again featuring heavily. Trollers did quite well during the week as well in the same areas. Hard-bodied lures such as RMG scorpions, Arafura barras, Barra Classics and Predatek Vipers did a lot of the damage for those trolling. The best bite period coincided with dusk (as usual) with the barra using the low light period to smash the baitfish that are disorientated by the varying light levels. Again, slick rigs, hollowbellies and storm bait’n’twitch are the main producers. It is often found that barra in an area can tune out to the vibration of a particular plastic if the area has been fished previously, so be prepared to change to an alternative. Boofing after dark increased dramatically recently making surface presentations more appealing During the day a shift to fringing tree lines, drop offs and horizontal timber can be effective in finding more dormant barra. Whilst the same plastics will work in these scenarios, Rapala X-Raps and B52’s are great alternatives. Major points leading into bays fringing the main river sections of the lake are also worth a look during the day. Using your sounder to locate fish can often offer an option as to where fish may feed nearby come dark.

Fishing Report from Local Guide, Mark “Bargy” Bargenquast.
Hervey Bays annual run of mac tuna has finally arrived with big numbers of fish around 5-7kg in big numbers in the bay, the fish are everywhere from the top of woody to Rooneys and make for some great action on lure and fly. Geoff Donkin took a 7kg fish on a 9 weight sage rod. The fly was one of Geoffs own surf candys he tied and several more fell to the fly during the day.

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