Report 2/3/18

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

Report 2/3/18

Post by Nicole Penfold » Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:40 pm

With 250mls of rain falling in the Maroochy catchment in Feb, the lower reaches of the river have been producing quality fish of every species. Big bream, grunter bream, flathead, trevally and those most delicious of fishes, sand whiting, abound in the river at the moment. I have no doubt that the fishos who target mangrove jack up the creeks and Jew around the motor way bridge are having a ball as well.

After the rain the weather cleared for a couple of beautiful calm days in the week leading up to the Full moon on March 1. Four days before the full moon I gave the whiting a crack on the run back tide with yabbies and soldier crabs. I managed 4 whiting to 30cm and a nice grunter bream to 33cm. The river was still very murky and there was a fair bit of weed floating in the water making fishing just that little bit more difficult. I was surprised by the number of yellow fin bream I caught at legal size. If you are lucky enough to land a good size grunter bream the flesh is a little courser than the yellow fin bream but much sweeter, more like one of the reef species (grassy sweet lip).

On March 1, the day before the full moon, the tide was 2.1m, up among the biggest of the year. When I got to the boat ramp the tide was well and truly running back but the river’s clarity was 50% cleaner than it was on my previous trip. I could almost smell the whiting from the boat ramp. I pumped enough yabbies to last till the soldier crabs came out and tried a few different places that have been producing whiting over the last couple of weeks. At spot X, I was rewarded with 2 nice whiting on yabbies and a beautiful yellow fin bream at 32cm which I released. I moved to spot Y and gathered enough soldier crabs for a good session.

Starting at the top of the undulations I had no success until I got to the end of the run. Because the tide was running out with such force I decided that the whiting would probably hole up where the current wasn’t so bad. I chose a spot where the water flattened out into a small bay on the side of the main sand bank giving some relief to the fast-flowing water. There was nothing happening, so I decided to have some lunch and wait and see. After 20mins or so I had my first enquiry, that tell-tale nibble, unmistakeably a whiting. I was kept busy for the next hour or so with whiting, bream and nuisance, long-nosed trevally, in the mix. The whiting were beautiful fish all around the 30cm mark with a couple going 33cm. Although there were no arm slappers among them, but they were all a perfect eating size. Throw in a couple sting rays to add to the fun and you can see I had a very active session.

Those long-nosed trevally are a real nuisance as they seemed to be everywhere I went. For my afternoon’s effort I ended up with 10 quality whiting and a feeling of great satisfaction. As I cleaned my fish at the cleaning board at Picnic Point and looked out over the magnificent Maroochy river in late afternoon sunshine, I realized how lucky I am, to live and breath in this most beautiful part of the world.

If you are contemplating a trip on the river, you should do well over the next week on the back of the full moon. Make sure you target your species specifically, and hope that the weather gods are kind. Feel free to email me on

Good Luck, Mal McKinlay


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