Winter species on the hit list

Written by Andrew Chorley

While most Aussies prefer to spend winter rugged up on the coach, local fishos will be braving the cool conditions to chase some top winter species.

The water will also begin to clear as we move to the dry season, so dropping your leader size down to make better presentations will be a must to tempt the bites.

Here’s where you can find your prize catch this month.

Mac tuna, golden trevally and queenfish have been taken around the markers in the mouth of the Burrum River.

Small slugs have worked well along with soft plastics. Whiting have been a target species for many with winter whiting gathering off Woodgate, and yellow fin whiting reported in the shallows around the mangrove islands.

Bream and flathead have been taken around black bank and the odd jew has made an appearance in Buxton hole.

Local Reefs
Winter whiting have been reported out off Point Vernon, Shelley Beach and the inside of Big Woody Island.

The reefs off Point Vernon have also produced the odd school mackerel for those dangling a pillie out the back while whiting fishing.

The deeper reefs have had a few snapper on them with fish around 65cm being reported.
Sharks have been a problem with the smaller reefs fishing better with less shark activity.

Grass sweetlip, cod, coral trout and blackall continue to be caught on the inshore reefs.

For squid anglers it has been slim pickings so far this season but keep looking with good numbers of squid in the lower straits they will turn up any week now.

If you are looking for some inshore tuna, mac tuna have been working in the shipping channels and have been responding to small slugs and saltwater flys.

The fish have been easier to tempt early in the morning and can be found from the fairway through to the channel hole in small patches.

Platypus Bay
Tuna have slowed in Platypus Bay but can be in good numbers one day and seem to almost vanish the next.

Looking around the known reefs in Platypus Bay usually turns up a few and is always a good starting point if you are looking for some speedsters.

Deeper in the water column, diamond trevally, golden trevally, snapper, grunter and blackall can be found taking soft plastics, soft vibes, cut and live baits.

With very little yakka showing up yet it looks like it will be a late snapper season again this year.

Sandy Strait
The Mary River system has been producing some blue salmon from 40cm up to the meter mark.

Blue salmon are a faster fighting fish then their cousins the threadfin and can really tear of some line on the first run.

Soft vibes are dynamite for the blues and work well on the threadfin which are often found with the blues.

Barra have slowed with the cool weather with anglers marking them on the sounder but just can’t tempt the bite.

Live baits have been the best way to get a bite with big GT’s, grunter, flathead also being caught as a bycatch while targeting barra and salmon on livies.

For winter whiting anglers, the grounds off Boonaroo and Poona have been producing some good whiting catches. Grey mackerel have also been reported down there and have been taking live whiting and pilchards floated out the back. Around the Islands of the strait, diamond trevally and queenfish have been taken on small soft plastics and vibes.

Urangan Pier
The Urangan Pier should have its annual winter longtail tuna run out the end with a few fish each day being caught already. Spanish mackerel have also been about, taking bigger live baits. Flathead, bream and whiting have been the main catches in the shallows.