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Report 6/2/19

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:42 am
by Nicole Penfold
Sometimes spur of the moment fishing trips can be the most rewarding. On Monday Feb 4, the exact day of the New Moon I succumbed to the Maroochy River itch and decided to give the whiting a go on the run back tide. With a low tide of 4.20pm at Picnic Point I hit the boat ramp at 12.30 (not one trailer in the car park) giving me 4 hours of the run back. There was a stiff easterly about 15kms which was fishable, but a nasty little front came through about 40kms an hour for 20 mins, so I sheltered on the west side of Goat Island waiting for it to pass. I pumped a few yabbies and flicked a 70mm Bassday Sugapen lure around the shallows as the tide came off the bank. So far, I have a perfect record on whiting with lures…Nil!

When the front passed, the wind died to nothing, the sun came out and river completely glassed off, conditions were perfect, how quickly that river can change. I moved to spot Y and managed 4 just keeper- whiting at 25cm on yabbies. As soon as the soldier crabs came out, I grabbed enough for a session (about 160, i.e. 4 crabs each bait X 40 baits). I only moved 10 metres from where I got the crabs and dropped anchor in 5 feet of water. I was fishing back to a couple of undulations and a small inlet on the side of the sand bank. I sat there for 20 mins without even a touch and was about to move when finally, a tell-tale whiting nibble. I set the hook on a lovely fish about 32cm and for the next hour or so, I was kept busy on 2 rods with whiting to 37cm and grunter bream to 35cm. In fact, the grunter were becoming a nuisance there was so many of them. For the session I finished with 13 whiting (9 were over 30cm) and 8 grunter bream, all released. I release my grunter bream because the last one I took home curled up in the pan and tasted like boot leather, anyone know what I’m doing wrong?

I had plenty of double hook-ups on whiting and grunter at the same time and the fish were biting right down to slack water. It was one of those sessions that keep you coming back time after time. One of my readers who is a regular whiting fisho on the Maroochy suggested that I may have come across a school of spawning whiting, so I did a Google and guess what? I think he’s right. Some of Mrs Google’s information stated that sand whiting spawn twice a year on the New moon and Monday Feb 4 was the exact day of the New moon (Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-almost Twilight Zone stuff isn’t it?) Anyhow, all I know is I’ve been putting in the hours in recent trips and coming up with all sorts of excuses for catching bugger all, then suddenly, bingo! Who can argue with such logic?

We place a lot of emphasis on the presentation of our bait, that it should look as natural as possible to fool a fish into swallowing it or at least attempting to. I have taken a photo of what my hook looks like when I am fishing for whiting with soldier crabs. It is the most unnatural looking thing you have ever seen. A big blob of soldier crab bodies and legs suspended under an inch-long piece of red plastic. If this doesn’t ring alarm bells if you are a whiting, then what does? Any way it works well for me. My good mate Gilligan sent me this lovely little Quote from Dixon Lanier Merritt which I would like to share with you. ‘A wonderful bird is the Pelican – His beak can hold more than his belly can – He can hold in his beak – Enough food for a week – But I’ll be darned if I know how the hellican.’

OK! There is obviously some good whiting in the river for you to target right now. Set some pots in the lower reaches for sand crabs and for muddies on the west side of the bridge. Saw some monster flathead lies on the sand bank on my last trip and there are still pelagics working the bait fish from the motorway bridge to the bar mouth.

For more info about anything fishing, contact me on any time.

Good Luck, Mal McKinlay