Report 26/10/18

Mal McKinlay
malcolmmckinlay0@gmail.com
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Nicole Penfold
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Report 26/10/18

Post by Nicole Penfold » Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:48 pm

WOW! Wotta wonderful whopper whiting week that was. Well I guess it was more like a fortnight of sheer whiting lunacy. I cannot even guesstimate how many whiting came out of the Maroochy River from the October half moon to the October full moon. Many fishos took advantage of the big flush of fresh water that washed so many big fish down into the lower reaches. In 3 trips over this period I managed 33 whiting (all on soldier crabs), which may not seem like a lot of fish but at least half of them were over the magic 35cm mark. Only a hand full were under 30cm in length. It was consistently the best whiting fishing I have had for a couple of years with my best measuring in at 40cm. On one occasion when I went to the cleaning table at Picnic Point a fisho and his two kids were in the process of cleaning their catch of 14 of the biggest, fattest whiting I have ever seen.

Reports from a couple of my readers indicate that they all caught substantial quantities and quality whiting during this period also. One, who fishes the night tides with mud worms for bait said that there were 7 boats anchored in one spot all busy landing quality fish. Old mate John who fishes the day time tides with soldier crabs also bagged out in one session on big whiting. After such a huge start to the summer whiting season lets hope there are still enough left to see us through to Christmas. The river is clearing out very quickly after the early October deluge and the big whiting will once again spread throughout the river system doing what they do until the next flush brings them back down near the bar mouth, out of the fresh water.

Speaking of Picnic Point, the ramp has been recently rebuilt by the Sunshine Coast Council and they have done a mighty job except that in the section below low tide the builders in their wisdom have dumped a million loose rocks around the preformed slab base so that when you come in at low tide you have to wrestle your boat against the current and the prevailing wind across a million loose sharp rocks. Make sure you have your water shoes on if you use this ramp at low tide. They didn’t allow for cranky old pensioners.

I have changed my whiting rig slightly and it has been working a treat, especially on those recent big, hungry elbow slappers. For years I have used a Mustad Ex-Long Shank Size 4 Bloodworm hook for my whiting in the river. This hook allows for a yabby to be easily threaded up the hook onto the line to sit naturally. Four soldier crabs also fit easily on the hook. One of the annoying things when using crabs is that the whiting quite often sit there and pick each crab off individually without taking the hook in their mouth. I decided to use a shorter shank hook and changed to a Mustad Beak Size 2 Red Baitholder. The hook has 2 barbs on the back of it which helps to secure the soldier crab a bit better. You can only use 3 crabs each bait but the bonus has been (especially on the big fish) that they tend to gulp it rather than chew it, giving a much better hook up rate. So far, I have been very pleased with the new hook and will keep you posted on future results.

As we move closer to summer, normally I would say that the whiting bite will improve as the water warms up, but it will be hard to beat the performance of the past couple of weeks. I saw plenty of bait fish exploding from the water on my last trip indicating the pelagics have also been stirred up by the recent wet. I would hazard a guess to say that this summer will also see some monster flathead pulled from the lower reaches of the Maroochy River. For more info about anything fishing, contact me on malcolmmckinlay0@gmail.com.

Good Luck, Mal McKinlay

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