Report 14/6/19

Mal McKinlay
malcolmmckinlay0@gmail.com
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Nicole Penfold
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Report 14/6/19

Post by Nicole Penfold » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:36 pm

The last week of glorious cold nights and balmy sunny days has set the Sunshine Coast up for an absolute bumper winter on all species both offshore and in the rivers. The Maroochy has finally started to clear after persistent rain showers continued right into May.

The annual run of Eastern Australian sea gar is well and truly under way and I have been rewarded with some big fat gar to 35cm on my last couple of trips leading up to the June full moon. While I wouldn’t say that they are anywhere near their peak yet, with a good burley stream behind the boat you will be almost guaranteed a great feed of these delectable delicacies. I am not joking; this species must be the most underrated eating fish in Australia. I just cant believe that I am one of the few fisho’s on the Maroochy who target them as an eating fish. Preparation is everything. Because they usually come on the bite and then disappear with a rush I have a 20-litre bucket with a lid on that I fill with clean saltwater. As I land one, I drop it in to the bucket, rebait my hook and get it back into the burley stream as quickly as possible. When I have 10 or so in the bucket I transfer them to an ice-cold saltwater slurry in my esky. Sure, they are finnicky fish to fillet and bone out, but practice makes perfect and after you clean a couple of thousand they are easier to fillet and bone than any other species. From 35 gar, I recently filled a 2-litre ice cream container with sweet, white completely bone free fillets.

Try this recipe for 2 people…12 good sized, boned out gar fillets…dust them with self-raising flour…dip them in a tempura style batter (I cup self-raising flour salt and pepper to taste, add your favourite beer until it is a runny consistency) drop the battered fillets into hot virgin olive oil…shallow or deep fry for a couple of minutes until golden brown…place on a bed of fluffy white rice…cover with a good brand of sweet and sour mix ( Kan Tong is excellent)…sprinkle heaps of sesame seeds over the whole lot and you just won the Grand Final of MKR.

Okay…so much for the gar, what else is happening in the Maroochy? Well let me tell you. Just a few days before the June full moon while travelling from Picnic Point boat ramp towards Goat Island I saw more yellow fin bream in the main channel at half tide than I have ever seen in the river before. I’m talking about serious numbers of bream from small tackers up to quality 30cm plus. I have honestly never seen so many fish congregated in such a small area before in my life. I personally don’t target bream but for those of you who don’t mind a feed of these finny fish there are some exceptional specimens in the Maroochy right now. Some good spots to try are the deeper channels and drop offs around Goat Island and the pontoons and structures along the high-rise section from Cotton Tree to Picnic Point. The pylons of the Motorway bridge are also home to very big bream and a host of other species including big tailor on live baits. Top baits for bream are fresh flesh baits such as gar or herrings, pilchards or the best all- rounder, live yabbies. There were quite a few boats targeting bream during the day but best results for big bream will be achieved fishing after dark.

One thing that I did notice this week was the absence of sea mullet in the river. They normally have started their annual migration up the East Coast by now and the river is usually full of them in June. Hopefully they haven’t been cleaned up by the pro netters on the beaches south of us. While I was fishing for gar 2 butcher birds dropped in for a chat and a feed of pancake and yabbies (check out photo). They were so tame they were taking the treats from my fingers.

For more info about anything fishing, contact me on malcolmmckinlay0@gmail.com. Good Luck, Mal McKinlay

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