Report 18/4/18

Mal McKinlay
malcolmmckinlay0@gmail.com
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Nicole Penfold
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Report 18/4/18

Post by Nicole Penfold » Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:52 am

Big seas have again created havoc on the beaches of the Sunshine Coast in the past couple of weeks. The waves have caused bad erosion on the sand dunes along the stretch of beach between Point Cartwright and Currimundi. A lot of the dune grasses and vegetation that was stabilizing the dunes in this area was swept north into the Maroochy River. This has made it almost impossible to fish for whiting in my normal spots. Every cast with any sort of rig that rolls along the bottom is instantly tangled up with grass and vines etc. My anchor looked like a Bali Pergola roof every time I pulled it up. Hopefully it will soon disperse naturally.

My last trip was on the April 16 new moon and because I needed some sweet fish fillets for an upcoming lunch I was hosting, I decided to give the Garfish a go. I had been catching the odd one recently on my whiting rigs with yabbies, so I reckoned it was time to give them a crack. I like to fish for gar on the incoming tide when the clean water from the ocean starts to push upstream from the mouth of the river. The garfish tend to follow the clean water in and out of the river with the tide. Select a spot where there is a bold bank with a channel beside it. As the incoming tide pushes up and over the bank it causes ripples on the surface as it slides off into deeper water. The gar love to congregate in these places. I like to nose my boat right up to the sandbank and fish back in to the channel. You need a berley bucket or cage with a good commercial berley in it, hanging over the side, to keep them schooled up behind the boat. I prefer the berleys with aniseed in them, which you can buy at any of your local tackle shops. It is important to top up your berley cage regularly because if it runs out, the gar will disperse.

I use a vertical float rig, like a luderick rig. Because I use braid I have a 3 or 4 metre leader of 6lb fluoro carbon connected to a size 10 Mustad long shank hook (red in colour). Gar love yabbies or prawn. A yabby will cut into 2 or 3 baits depending on their size. Start your hook down about a metre from the float then adjust it to suit the depth the gar may be at. Let your float drift away from the boat in the berley trail until you get a downer then lift the tip and hang on. Once you get them schooled up they can provide hours of fun for the whole family and when they are filleted and boned correctly they are a delectable delight. For a couple of hours fishing I landed 30 gars of quite reasonable size. At least half of them were around 30cm measured tip of the beak to fork of the tail (see photo). This is pretty good for so early in their season, which runs right through our winter to the end of August.

On my last trip (April 16) the river was alive with a huge school of pelagic working the baitfish down towards the river mouth. There was one boat working lures or plastics among them and he did hook up at least once that I saw, but I couldn’t what species it was. They are big fish, going by the swirls they were making on the surface. I think they may have been silver trevally. With the hot weather persisting well into autumn I think the whiting season may extend for the next month or so. All reports say that there is still some quality flathead being caught on lures and live baits and next month should see the bream season start to kick in.

For all of you readers out there who have kids or grandkids I have just self-published a children’s fantasy book set in medieval times called Perils of Netherworld. It is an action-packed story that has a mixture of everything that kids love in fairy tales. It would appeal to kids 7 years and older. For more info email me on malcolmmckinlay0@gmail.com any time.

Good Luck, Mal McKinlay

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