Report 17/12/17

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

Report 17/12/17

Post by Nicole Penfold » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:13 am

The river has cleaned up a lot in the last week or so. While there is still a bit of fresh coming down the river it is remarkably clean towards the top of the tide in the lower reaches. I decided to sneak out just before the Dec new moon and test the waters.

With a high tide at 7.30am I waited till 9.30 to pump a few yabbies, just as the water was coming off the high sand banks. Another reason to get to the ramp early over the next 6 weeks is to get a parking spot, because it just gets too busy with all the holiday makers (and need I say it) jet skiers about.

I usually pump my yabbies over near the 6 knots sign on the high-rise side of Goat Island. The water looked good here for whiting with the ripples coming off the sand bank. I motored out about 25 metres into 4 feet of water, anchored, and started casting back to the shallows. I was into whiting straight away. I was working the yabby like a lure, flick- flick- retrieve - stop. At first, they were only small fish just under legal size. I started casting a little bit deeper and hooked a nice 28cm whiting. I then caught another 5 keepers in the same spot, from 25cm to 27cm. For 30mins I had a hook-up every throw…it was great fun. Just the right thing to keep the kids amused over the school holidays. Then it was like somebody flicked the off switch and they were gone.

I moved around to my usual haunts, using yabbies – waiting for the soldier crabs to come out. I caught another 2 whiting to 34cm. While I was fishing at spot X there was a fisho walking around the sand bank near me with a bucket trying to get soldier crabs. He said he had caught some whiting the day before to 40cm on crabs, and I don’t doubt him one bit. Finally, I got some crabs and I managed a grunter bream just over legal size. All in all, for 3 hours on the water, I had a nice feed of whiting and grunter, ready to be washed down with an icy cold bottle of unwooded chardonnay.

I mentioned last report that I had recently left my esky at home with the ice in. Well you could have knocked me down with a feather when I landed my first keeper whiting on this trip and you guessed it …no bloody esky to put it in. I couldn’t contact my missus on the phone, so I constructed an esky with my live bait tank, freezer blocks from my lunch box, life jackets, towels and rain gear. It worked well, considering it was 33degrees in the boat. It’s a worry!

The river now approaches its busiest time of the year with thousands of people flocking here from near and far. Unfortunately, it is a necessary side effect of living in such a beautiful part of the world. Now is a good time to catch up on that boat maintenance and spoil yourself with some new fishing gear. You’ve earned it…I’m sure.

If you can get out early or fish at night when the river is quiet, you will be rewarded. There are plenty of quality whiting, grunter bream, flathead and trevally in the lower reaches, from the Motorway bridge to the river mouth. Target them specifically with live baits and lures and you will do well. Sand crabs have been robbing my baits on recent trips, so a few pots placed in the deeper channels, on the run-in tide, should yield you good returns.

I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a wonderful fishing New Year.

If you want to share some of your fishing adventures or photos, feel free to email me on

Good Luck

Mal McKinlay


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