Report 21/11/18

Mal McKinlay
malcolmmckinlay0@gmail.com
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Nicole Penfold
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Report 21/11/18

Post by Nicole Penfold » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:32 am

For one reason or another it’s been 3 weeks since I wet a line in the Maroochy. Finally, 3 days before the November Full moon I succumbed to the infamous Maroochy whiting itch and set off to doctor Maroochy for some temporary relief. The water has cleared right out after the early October deluge and when I arrived to a beautiful, sparkling, pristine river I knew I would have my work cut out to put a feed together. From my experience on the Maroochy, big whiting become very shy when the water is so clear. I could see whiting flashing in the morning sun, working in the shallows near Picnic Point but could only raise a few juveniles on yabbies. When the soldier crabs came out, I headed to spot X in the middle of the river but could not lose a bait. I had noticed old mate John pull a couple of decent whiting on the northern side of the river on my previous trip so headed there. Some very good whiting water (undulations) has developed here since the downpour but I still did not lose a bait. I did however log it in my near 70-year-old computer for next time.

With the northerly building to about 15kms it was becoming harder to observe a whiting bite on my rod tips. I use braid for my main line which floats more than it sinks, depending on the brand and when the breeze picks up it tends to get a big belly in it. This makes it very difficult to pick up a whiting bite, which is usually very soft, on soldier crabs. Anyhow things weren’t looking good because I still didn’t have a keeper in the esky yet, so headed downstream to spot Y as a last resort. Finally, I had some action with a couple of smaller fish but then landed a nice whiting at 38cm. My faith had been restored. The action was short lived though as the school moved on. I tried several different positions in the next hour, still without another fish. In frustration I went back to the spot where I had caught my only keepers. With a half an hour to go before low tide, I locked into 3 very good whiting around the 35 to 36cm mark which suddenly made my whole trip worthwhile. Patience and persistence are sometimes a prerequisite for whiting fishing. I must note that these 3 fish were all enticed to grab the bait by working it in the same fashion as a plastic lure i.e. flick, flick, wait and retrieve. I have found that as the water slows down towards the bottom of the tide, the more active you present your bait the more likely you are to have success. A good thing also about the last of the run back tide when the river is so clear, is that the water starts to get dirty, giving those bigger whiting a bit more camouflage and a better sense of security.

In my previous report I mentioned that I had changed to short shank hooks when using soldier crabs for bait. Well I can report that my strike rate on my last trip was 50-50. My No. 4 long shank hook accounted for 3 and my short shank No 2 accounted for 3. The difference being, the whiting on the short shank hook all swallowed the hook with no chance of ever spitting it out on the fight back to the boat. I did find the short shank hooks were a pain in the but when using yabbies, trying to thread them on the hook.

With the river being so clear night fishing will produce better results on all species. Over the next month expect big flathead, whiting and sand crabs around all the lower reach channels and gutters. Unfortunately, we now move into the Christmas Holiday period which will see the river busy with its heaviest traffic for the year. Time for me to catch a few beach worms and find a surf gutter somewhere away from mankind. For more info about anything fishing, contact me on malcolmmckinlay0@gmail.com any time.

Good Luck, Mal McKinlay
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