Report 2/1/19

Mal McKinlay
malcolmmckinlay0@gmail.com
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Nicole Penfold
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Report 2/1/19

Post by Nicole Penfold » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:31 am

You just don’t realize how busy the Maroochy River gets during the Christmas holiday period until you wet a line. I tried for whiting a couple of times before Christmas but was driven off the water by strong northerlies, 38-degree heat, and humans. On my first trip I dropped my first 4 fish after hooking up because of the belly in my line caused by the wind. They all felt like reasonable sized fish. On my second attempt I was so desperate for a fish I went in the middle of the December neap tides. With a low tide at 9am the soldier crabs came out at 7am so that gave me 2 hours to the bottom of the tide – time enough to catch a couple of good ones if they were there.

After boating a few small whiting at 24cm (returned to the water) we finally managed our first keeper at 30cms, all seemed well. And then it happened – the low but unmistakeable drone of an incoming squadron of Jet Ski Zombies who had been let out of their cages at 8 o’clock to wreak havoc and destruction on anything and everything floating on the Maroochy river. Soon the river was a vast arena of donuts, flip flops, circles, manoeuvres and drag racing idiots. Then there was an armada of kayakers, stand up paddle boarders and happy holiday makers – more people than soldier crabs – it was enough to make a grown fisho cry. Ah well! In a month’s time they will all be gone but I can tell you – no fish in it’s right mind would be within a cooee of that river right now.

The good news is that the Jan 21 Full moon is also a Super moon. Tides occurring at that time will be just about the biggest of the year. This will all come about because of a thing called the Perigee – when the point of the moon’s orbit is closest to earth. This should give those big whiting a boost and hopefully increase their appetite. On these huge tides whiting range up over the high sand banks foraging in places that they normally can’t reach. During the day you can target them with yabbies or soldier crabs fishing right up into water as shallow as 6 inches. Of a night you should do well with mud worms or yabbies, once again working in shallow water with the tide as it covers the sand banks. The bad news apart from the influx of humanity we are currently experiencing, is that the Maroochy river is crystal clear and until we get a good drenching of rain from Mother Nature, fishing is going to be hard work, trying to put a feed together.

One of my New Year resolutions for 2019 is to try and target different species in the river and have a crack at some lures for species like whiting and flathead. The boys on UTube make those whiting lures work so well I think I would like to give it a go myself – just for something different. One thing that really stood out on my last trip was the number of small flathead just under legal size we caught and released. They were taking both yabbies and soldier crabs. Anybody who is serious about fishing for flatties with lures or baits would do well once the river settles down after the holiday rush.

So basically, I think you might be betting my gist by now, that no matter what species you are going to target the volume of traffic on the Maroochy river is going to make it almost impossible to achieve a good result. There have been some reasonable gutters form on the Kawana beach over the past few weeks, chewed out by consistent 4 to 5-foot surf. There are also plenty of user-friendly beach worms to be pulled around low tide, so I think I’ll be trying for a few dart around the Jan 6 new moon. To all of you ardent fishos who follow this blurb of mine I wish you all a great 2019 and for more info about anything fishing, contact me on malcolmmckinlay0@gmail.com any time.

Good Luck, Mal McKinlay

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