Report 22/5/19

Mal McKinlay
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Nicole Penfold
Posts: 3135
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:08 pm

Report 22/5/19

Post by Nicole Penfold » Wed May 22, 2019 1:34 pm

I’m back! After a month overseas touring Spain (amazing place) Morocco, Portugal and Ireland I really do believe THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME. My wallet was pinched in Portugal, with credit card, drivers licence etc. etc. which created a ripple effect for the whole trip. I’m going to write a travel guide for idiots called, ‘What NOT to do when travelling overseas.’

Any way back to the Maroochy. It sure felt good as my boat slid off the rollers at the Picnic Point boat ramp even though it was pouring with rain. Gilligan and I were targeting Eastern Sea Gar the day after the May full moon using yabbies and prawns for bait. With raincoats on and a Bunnings umbrella we hunkered down while the pouring rain filled up every bucket, tackle box, and crevice on the boat. Finally a break in the weather gave us hope and when Gilligan’s gar float disappeared under the choppy surface he lifted his rod tip and caught our first gar for the winter of 2019.

After a good session of about 30 minutes or so we had 18 nice sized gar in the bucket. As they quite often do, the gar moved off, so we had to search around Goat Island to find them again. We were looking for water about 2 metres in depth where the tide is running in over a sand bank and rippling back into the deep water. This is where gar love to congregate and using a burley bucket over the side you can bring them right up to the back of the boat. For my burley I use the pellets that you can buy in all the tackle shops. However these pellets dissolve very quickly in the burley cage and you have to keep filling the cage up so the gar stay on the trail. I used to make my own burley using pilchards, bran, bread and old bait crunched up in a food processor but got lazy when the new generation burleys came out in the shops a few years ago. However they have become so expensive I think I might have to go back to my old ways and make my own burley once again.

We persisted and found another patch of gar giving us 30 reasonable fish all up. When we could see another massive weather front heading our way, we upped anchor and hightailed it home. I went straight to BCF and bought a brand new raincoat and put it to very good use the next day when it rained for the first hour we were on the river. The river is carrying a lot of fresh from the last month of spasmodic showers. Gar do not like too much fresh in the water so and they hang outside the mouth of the river until the clean water pushes in from the ocean. As soon as the clean water reached my boat we were kept busy for an hour until the main school of garfish moved further upstream.

We moved around a bit trying different spots where I know the gar congregate without much luck. I decided to try one of my favourite bream spots and we were besieged by countless small yellow fin bream and butter bream working the burley trail. Some of the bream were just under keeper size and I reckon that in another month there will be some cracker jack bream to be caught in this river. Finally we went back to where we had started near the river mouth and were kept busy for an hour on some quality garfish. We finished up with 47 gar and 1 bream to 26cm which was gill hooked. The most encouraging aspect of the day was that the sun finally came out after weeks of miserable wet weather. In the May edition of Qld Fishing Monthly magazine there was an article about the QBFP Fisheries Officers intercepting 5 fishers with 150 undersize fish on Chambers Island. The local magistrate threw the book at them fining each $800. Great to see our local Fisheries Boys doing such a fantastic job. For more info about anything fishing, contact me on

Good Luck, Mal McKinlay


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