Report 28/6/17

Mal McKinlay
malcolmmckinlay0@gmail.com
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Nicole Penfold
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Report 28/6/17

Post by Nicole Penfold » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:39 am

It would appear that the great run on Sand Whiting that I have been enjoying since January has finally come to an end. With a bucket of soldier crabs and yabbies my deckie and I fished the last 3 hours on the run out tides 2 days leading up to the New Moon. We ended up with only a half dozen whiting. Two of these went 32cm the rest were just keepers over the 25cm mark (25cm is my benchmark for a keeper whiting). We were fishing into the teeth of a 25km breeze most of the time which didn’t help a lot. When its blowing like this it makes it difficult to know when a fish is helping itself to the bait. You have to watch your rod tip all the time when fishing with soldier crabs, always looking for a nibble. The whiting can suck or munch your crabs of the hook in a couple of seconds. You have to make a decision whether to strike to set the hook or whether the fish has outsmarted you once again and taken the bait. Fifty percent of the time it’s the latter. Whiting don’t always gulp a soldier crab bait down like they do a nice piece of blood worm unless they are really hungry.

When I arrive at a likely spot I will start with 3 rods until I can find some action then reduce to 2 rods and then 1 rod when they are on thick and fast (which doesn’t happen too often but when it does it’s like dying and going to heaven). I always have 1 rod in my hand working the bait just like a plastic lure. Twitch, twitch, retrieve stop. This aggravates those big whiting to a point where they can no longer resist and so they pounce – and then the battle begins. Anyhow we tried all the likely places where we have had success over the last few months but it looks like they have finally shut up shop for the winter.

The good news is that they have been replaced by lots and lots of bream and boy, do they love soldier crabs. We managed to boat at least 20 bream over the legal size of 25cm over the 2 days and Lord knows how many under 25cm we threw back. I won’t keep bream under 27cm (unless they have been damaged by the hook) so our take home catch was reduced to 10 fish. Some of these were over 30cm and in prime condition. Unfortunately they were all in melt or row which is the norm for this time of the year. We also managed a few gar and a couple of lizards around the 45cm mark on yabbies.

For the past week the river has been the home of big Sea Mullet, having a spell whilst on their annual migration up the East Coast. They were constantly raiding our berley trail behind the boat but always staying just out of reach. It is a shame they won’t take a bait because they would be great fun on the whiting gear as some of them are huge fish. It breaks your heart to see the Pro fisherman pulling them up on local beaches by the Ton, mostly to end up as cat food. What a calamitous waste of such a wonderful natural resource. All of these beautiful mullet are rowed up and every haul of a net destroys yet another generation of fish – just so a few fishermen can justify their own existence. It doesn’t take rocket science to work out what the eventual outcome will be. When will we ever learn?

Three days after the New Moon on June 27 I took my 2 young granddaughters gar fishing near the mouth of the river and they caught some of the best gar I have seen this winter. For an hour and a half they had an absolute ball and I could not bait their hooks quick enough. We were using yabbies cut into small pieces on a No 10 long shank Mustad Bloodworm hook. Our bycatch for the morning were 4 bream between 27cm and 31cm in prime winter condition.

If you want to entertain the kids during the school holidays and give them a break from their Intelligent Technology Appliances you dead set cannot beat a hot session on the Garfish.

My deckie and I and our lovely Brides will be doing the Grey Nomad thing in our caravans for the next 5 or 6 weeks heading into the cold country of Victoria and NSW (Brrrrr!). For all you lucky fisho’s we leave behind, the Maroochy is now in its prime fishing time for all winter species including Tailor, Bream, Garfish, Luderick, Trevally and Flathead. So no more excuses get out there and get into them. See you in August sometime.

If you would like to share some advice or ask me any questions please feel free to email me on malcolmmckinlay0@gmail.com any time.
Good Luck, Mal McKinlay

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