Report 24/10/17

Mal McKinlay
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Nicole Penfold
Posts: 3112
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:08 pm

Report 24/10/17

Post by Nicole Penfold » Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:13 pm

In my last report I mentioned that we still needed more rain to stir things up a bit. Well, that was the understatement of the year. In the last week by my rain gauge at home we had over 220mls and some areas of the Sunny Coast received double that. This absolute drenching has flowed into the 4 main river estuary systems of the Sunshine Coast. Most of the estuary species like whiting, bream and flathead will head for the lower reaches of the river to escape the fresh. The bottom line is, that all of you who like fishing should be jumping for joy because this rain has set these river systems up for a bumper harvest for the next couple of months at least.

As soon as the wind and showers stopped the day before the New moon (Oct19) I had a crack at some whiting on the afternoon runout tide around Goat Island. The Maroochy was the colour of dark chocolate. The water was so fresh you could have watered your plants with it. You could not see the bottom at a depth of 4 inches. There was a lot of weed and grass and crap being washed down from upstream. But there was something else being washed down too. Whiting – great big fat whiting. Prawns (good sized ones) were jumping and skipping everywhere in the shallows as I searched for some yabby holes on the still submerged sand banks. Using my floating sieve, I pumped only a handful of yabbies. I know from experience that once they come out of the ground when the water is this fresh, they won’t stay alive long in the bait bucket. I was lucky enough to get about 8 small black soldier crabs as well with the yabby pump (enough for 2 baits).

My first stop was at spot X and I could not tell where the channel started and the sandbank finished because the water was so dirty. All I could do was hazard a guess where some whiting might be holed up. The first whiting I landed was a 38cm, beautiful dark-skinned fish that gulped down a yabby and 5 mins later I had another one at 36cm which engulfed some soldier crabs. I thought I had won the lotto but my next 4 fish were bream, some of them around the 28cm mark (all released). I was out of soldier crabs so I moved downstream to where the crabs had come out in number. As I chased the crabs I could see that they were feasting on the fine mud silt that had been deposited at high tide. They were having a soldier crab banquet. This really pointed out to me the true flow on effect that a heavy rain event has on the whole river eco system.

Loaded up with crabs I went back to the whiting and scored 2 lovely fish at 34cm. I also managed another half dozen bream from small size to 28cm. All the fish I caught were very hungry and were attacking the bait ferociously. This was the most bream I have caught for ages and I reckon they have come down-stream to get out of the fresh. I kept a 28cm tarwhine that was gill hooked because it would not have survived if I had of released it.
I went again next morning to fish the run-in tide but could only manage another 3 whiting around 28cm. They weren’t as dark as the big fish I caught the day before so I think they may have been local to Goat Island. Once again, I caught a half dozen pesky bream. The water at low tide was as black as treacle. There was a lot of white foam drifting by on the incoming tide, churned up by the big seas. You would wonder how any saltwater fish could ever survive let alone thrive in such conditions.

Once the river starts to clear a bit I’m sure that we are about to enjoy some of our best fishing for a long time. If I can assist you in any way, feel free to email me on

Good Luck, Mal McKinlay


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