Report 19/2/19

Mal McKinlay
malcolmmckinlay0@gmail.com
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Nicole Penfold
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Report 19/2/19

Post by Nicole Penfold » Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:43 pm

The headlines of the Sunday Mail Feb 17 read OMA God, a Category 3 cyclone OMA, situated in the Coral Sea is bearing down on Brisbane. Within one week there will be gale force winds, killer waves and coastal flooding. Save your women and children…head for higher ground. The wind was already blowing from the south east at 40kms because an eastern high was jammed up against the cyclone which was situated 1500kms off-shore. With a Full moon coming up in a couple of days it was looking like my planned trip was going to be a wash out. Without thought for life or limb I sprang into action…I would have to take on the dreaded Sunday jet skiers and weekend family boaters. Low tide was at 3pm so I hit the water at 11.30am.

Fishing the run off from the centre bank near Picnic Point I landed a nice whiting at 30cm, but had my work cut out because the wind was gusting to 35kms. I headed for spot Y to wait for the soldier crabs to come out and I was besieged by endless jet skis weekend fishing boats and had the crap frightened out of me when a 16 foot Hobie cat decided to use me for tacking practice. But persistence has its just rewards and soon the wind began easing back to 30kms an hour. With enough crabs for the session, I had to throw out a stern anchor because the wind was stronger than the current. Stern anchors can be a real pain in the butt because those big whiting spook when they catch sight of the boat and they always seem to head for that anchor rope. While I wouldn’t say that the whiting were biting their heads off, they were fairly consistent. The strong wind into my face, pushed a big belly into my 6lb braid main line making it very difficult to see a whiting bite on the rod tip. I still ended up with 6 quality fish to 36cms (see photo) for the session but dropped just as many on the retrieve when they spat the hook, because it wasn’t set right. I lost one very big fish on the rear anchor rope and I had a years’ worth of tangles on my braid lines caused by the strong wind. All in all, considering the conditions, I went home satisfied with my afternoon on the water.

Next day the wind had dropped back to 15kms (HUH! where’s the cyclone gone that made page 5 headlines 2 days ago?). In company with one of the boys from Kawana surf club I hit the river just after lunch, to once again fish the run-back tide. What a difference a day makes! (that was a good song way back). We had the whole river to ourselves and saw only 3 jet skis all afternoon. My mate persisted with yabbies and landed a nice whiting at 28cms. He soon switched to crabs though, when I hauled a pigeon pair of whiting aboard at 35cm each. We still had to use a stern anchor, but conditions were so much easier to handle. The wind dropped away to 10kms and a beautiful afternoon’s fishing produced 8 whiting in top condition (see photo).

There are definitely some quality whiting in the lower reaches, you just have to keep moving until you find them. Give them a few minutes to settle (especially after you’ve just hurled a stern anchor at them) then move to the next spot. I saw quite a few trevally (I think they were) working the lower reaches and on one occasion half a dozen 5 inch prawns burst from the water near my boat, being pursued by something hungry. Unfortunately most of the big whiting were females all in early stages of roe so I don’t begrudge losing a few after hook up, at all. I will be away in the van for a couple of weeks but should be back for the March New moon. On the back of the Full moon give the trevally a go on lures and I reckon there are plenty of big flathead around waiting for a lure or live bait. Of course, there are some elbow slapper whiting just waiting with your name on them.

For more info about anything fishing, contact me on malcolmmckinlay0@gmail.com. Good Luck, Mal McKinlay

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