Report 23/9/19

Mal McKinlay
malcolmmckinlay0@gmail.com
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Nicole Penfold
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Report 23/9/19

Post by Nicole Penfold » Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:03 am

It’s amazing how those big whiting disappear come the cooler months, then just like someone flicked a switch…They’re Back!

With 3 days in a row of perfect spring weather on the September Full moon, I decided to target whiting specifically with soldier crabs. This was my first foray for the new season, and I thought it might still be a bit early in the crossover from winter into summer season. The river is crystal clear as we have not had significant rain for over 2 months. This was another reason I was not confident…those big whiting are very shy in clear water. I chose the run-out tide for 2 reasons…firstly to gather soldier crabs and because the runoff tide stirs the sand and mud into the clear water giving the big whiting a bit more camouflage.

Fishing with yabbies for a few minutes waiting for the soldier crabs to come out, I landed a small whiting at 25cm. The crabs soon revealed themselves at my favourite spot and before too long I was locked into my first big whiting for the season. Oh what a feeling! Tail thumps, head pulls, big runs when it reached the boat and all the time staying deep trying to throw the hook. The beauty of fishing with braid is you can feel every movement the fish makes. Pound for pound, these big whiting are the best sport you will ever get, on light tackle. Although I only landed 4 fish for this session they were excellent fish at 2 x 35cms and 2 around 30cms. I also dropped a couple of big fish after initial hook-up, which is quite common when using soldier crabs. Most hook-ups with crabs are in the mouth of the fish and they are experts in throwing that hook.

I went back for another session just after the Full moon, but the dreaded northerly came in at 40kms making it impossible to fish my normal spots. I fished some new whiting water that had formed nicely through winter and wasn’t so badly affected by the strong wind. I was pleasantly surprised with a pigeon pair of whiting at 34cms. One of my readers Troy, fished the night of the Full moon with blood worms and came away with a substantial catch of big fat whiting to 35cms. So there you have it, the whiting season is well and truly underway. All you need is the right moon phase, the right bait, an ounce of luck and you’re in business.

I guess by now most of you serious fishos would know about the new Queensland Govt. fishing regulations that came in on September 1. There are quite a few changes to offshore rec fishos and a few tweaks to estuary rules and regs. But overall I think they are close to the money in providing sustainable fishing for the future. You can download the Qld Recreation Fishing Guide App for free and everything you need to know is there. From what Fisheries have indicated, there will be a short transition period, then ignorance to the new rules will not be accepted.

On my last outing the birds were working furiously over a big school of pelagics down near the river mouth, possibly silver trevally. Now is prime time for flathead and I was talking to one of the workers from the dredge which has been cleaning the channels out around Picnic Point who said that he saw a school of elbow slapper whiting recently when he was snorkelling in the vicinity. This is my favourite time on the river and even though it is also the period when those howling northerlies make life very difficult in a small boat…I can’t wait for the next trip!

For more info about anything fishing, contact me on malcolmmckinlay0@gmail.com. Good luck!

Mal McKinlay

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