Report 17/7/18

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

Report 17/7/18

Post by Nicole Penfold » Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:09 pm

Idyllic, balmy cold winter days followed the July new moon creating perfect conditions for fishos, especially off shore. The 3 main boat ramps of the Mooloola River were worked beyond their capacity with every available parking bay claimed. Cars and trailers were parked up side streets on parkland, footpaths, grass verges and in fact on every piece of land within walking distance of the boat ramps. The locals must curse every time the bureau gives a light wind weather forecast for the weekend. But if these people who live near the ramps have a problem, spare a thought for the reef species which must get absolutely hammered every time we have a good winter weather pattern that coincides with a weekend. Thank goodness most of these offshore boaties are terrified of the Maroochy River bar mouth crossing.

For those of you who are content with estuary fishing the Maroochy River is in it’s prime right now. The best tides to fish are around the new and full moons, so plan your trip accordingly. Even around these moon phases there can be a difference of a metre between the two high tide levels on the day. Try to fish the biggest of the two tides. The bigger volumes of water moving through the river systems stimulate the fish feeding habits.
On my last trip right after the July new moon I teamed up with Heppy, an old surf club mate from way back. Hep wanted to have a crack at some garfish so we hit the water very early in freezing conditions and fished the run-up tide using yabbies for bait. The river still has colour from recent rain, so we had to wait once again for clean water to come through the bar. As I’ve explained previously, gar don’t like dirty water. Conditions for gar were perfect but we only managed a dozen and I put this down to the smaller tide factor. Slow tide – slow bite. However, I did manage to pull a couple of very healthy bream @30cm each, on my gar float. We moved further upstream and tried at spot X where a very large tree has been washed down in the recent heavy rains.

I was hoping that we might entice a couple of nice bream out from this structure with our burley trail. I positioned the boat away from the snag so that the burley floated back into it. We had picked up a few more gar here when Hep’s float disappeared and he was locked into a solid fish for 5 minutes or so. This turned out to be the fish of the day…a beautiful bream @ 35cms. The look of satisfaction on his face said it all.

For 3 hours angling on a beautiful calm winters morning we ended up with enough fillets to feed two families (see attached photos). I have no doubt that if we had targeted bream specifically, we could have come home with a boat load. It really is a great time of the year to be fishing on the river, without that merciless sun burning you to a crisp and the northerlies covering your sunnies in salt spray. For all you gunners reading this column all I can say is if you don’t give it a crack now while the river is firing…you will always be a gunner.

Target tailor on the run-in tide near the bar mouth and luderick on the upstream end of Goat Island. Bream will peak on the August full moon so work all your favourite snags and structure leading up to this event. Gar will just about be finished come the end of August and the live bait and lure fishos will have a ball around the Motorway bridge over the next month on big tailor, jew and trevally.

For more info about anything fishing, contact me on

Good Luck, Mal McKinlay


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