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Report 5/9/18

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:33 am
by Nicole Penfold
Its that time of the year again, the crossover from winter into summer species, in the Maroochy river. In my last report I wrote about a terrific session I had on bream and would you believe I went back to the same spot 5 days later and caught nothing but rat sized bream, not one keeper. The good news is that I caught a couple of nice whiting on yabbies up on the banks near the top of the tide. It is still very early in the whiting season yet and I don’t expect much action for at least another month.

People have asked me… Which tide is best for whiting? incoming or outgoing. To be honest I don’t think it matters, if you have the right bait. Best bait for whiting is without a doubt, blood worms. Unless you live somewhere where you can dig them yourself or you are a millionaire, they rule themselves out of the equation. The next best bait for big whiting in the Maroochy River is small soldier crabs. The average tide turns around every 6 hours, this can stretch to 7 and 5 hours either way depending on your moon phase at the time. Soldier crabs start to come out to feed and do whatever soldier crabs do, 3 to 4 hours after the run back starts (depending on how big the tide is).

Okay, so now you have your bucket of crabs in a nice cool place in the boat. Make sure they have just enough water in the bottom of the bucket to keep them moist or they will cark it very quickly (especially in the middle of summer). This leaves you at least 4 to 5 hours before the tide reaches its low point and starts to run back in. I have found this to be one of the most productive times to fish the Maroochy for whiting. As the water comes off the sand banks the whiting fall back with it into deeper water waiting for titbits to wash their way. Search for places where the tidal force of the water gouges out undulations on the sandy bottom. This is where those big whiting hole up on the outgoing tide. I have caught some of my biggest whiting up to 40cms in less than a metre of water, right down to an hour before low tide.

On the run-in tide I like to fish for whiting in reverse. No…I don’t mean reversing in my boat, Gilligan. Starting with the young flood tide I fish the undulations or melon holes until the water starts to creep up over the sand banks. Fish the channels close in along the banks and look for places where the water is starting to run over the bank. Once it is about 6 inches deep the big whiting will start to roam over this territory nosing the ground for yabbies or soldier crabs. Stealth plays an important part when fishing in shallow water especially when it is very clear. Anchor well back from your targeted fishing area and long cast into the shallower water and you will be rewarded with some of the biggest whiting the Maroochy can offer.

Over the past 11 years that I have fished for whiting in the Maroochy I have developed these patterns that I’ve mentioned above, and they produce results for me most of the time. I might not always go home with the most fish, but I nearly always go home with some fish.

I have observed some very big flathead on my last 2 trips and I predict that those willing to put the effort in on flathead over the next month or so will be well rewarded. This time last year there were big schools of silver trevally working the river so keep an eye out for birds working the surface.

The whiting are just around the corner…SO BRING IT ON!

For more info about anything fishing, contact me on

Good Luck, Mal McKinlay