Weekly Report 17 Sep 10

Hervey Bay Fly and Sportfishing
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Weekly Report 17 Sep 10

Post by Brad » Fri Sep 17, 2010 5:37 pm

Anglers have enjoyed some excellent fishing for a range of species around the bay this past week. The onset of our typical spring northerly winds has fired up a range of estuary species and pelagics, but done little to inspire local reef fishermen. As expected for this time of year, excellent catches of sand whiting have been taken from Shelley Beach, the beach end of the Urangan Pier and Dundowran Beach over the recent bigger tides. Quite a few anglers achieved their bag limits of 30 fish quite easily as the schools of whiting gathered in numbers. The bigger tides certainly offer the better opportunities to tangle with the whiting, as the rising tide covers more beach offering better feeding opportunities than a smaller tide. Combine a big tide and a bit of northerly wind and you have the perfect scenario for a feed of whiting from local beaches.

Whiting are also being taken in good numbers and size from the western side of Fraser, from the creeks, flats and channels of the Straits and from the lower reaches of the Susan River. Anglers using small poppers on light graphite rods are having a great time catching big whiting in shallow water. Small "critter" style soft plastics will also account for a few if you want to try something different. Flathead continue to be a great target for soft plastic fishos targeting the creeks, banks and drains of the Straits or the lower sections of our bigger river systems. Tailor are about in good numbers in similar areas, particularly the lower Burrum and areas like Ungowa.

Queenfish have turned up in a number of spots, including the Burrum, the Pier, along the beach north of Moon Point and over local reefs such as the bait grounds north of Woody. These are a very mobile fish and terrific sport, but are not a great table fish. Indeed, the larger specimens are a significant enough risk of ciguatera poisoning to be deemed a catch and release species by most locals. Mangrove Jack and barra are great targets this time of year, particularly in the Burrum system. A few have already been caught on lures and livebaits, together with trevally, flathead, cod and queenies. We don't see many jack from the Mary system, but barra are a different story. Threadfin salmon won't be far away, with a couple already caught down the Straits and some sighted in the lower Mary.

Good catches of school mackerel are being reported from a number of locations throughout the bay, including the gravelly areas off Toogoom, Gatakers, offshore of the Burrum, the beacons and local reefs. A few are now showing up over reefs off Platypus Bay and Coongul where you should also encounter golden trevally. Anglers fishing from Urangan Pier have encountered school mackerel, a few broad-bar mackerel, queenfish, bonito, bream, whiting and flathead. A real mix of fish that will likely be joined by a few longtail tuna over coming days. Reef fishermen have had to work hard for a feed lately. Estuary cod, blackall and squire are the main contenders locally, particularly at night. Few reports of any decent winter whiting catches suggest they are done for another year. A few stragglers can still be taken this month, particularly down the Straits, but expect them to disappear soon. For the latest on what's biting and for all the gear and tips on how to catch them, drop in and see the guys at Fishermans Corner.

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