Fishing for a feast

Written by Andrew Chorley

After recent flooding, the Bay should fire up over the coming months particularly the inshore reef fishing around Big Woody north.

It will take a little longer for the fishing to come online down the strait and Mary River system, with many creeks still running fresh. Let’s take a look at what’s biting around the Fraser Coast.

Local Reefs

The Reefs from Little Woody Island north have been fishing well for coral bream taking the bait.

Other catches have been scarlets, cod, coral trout and the odd GT. Fishing with a range of cut baits and whole herring has seen the best results. Good areas to start looking are the channel hole, Roy Rufus Artificial Reef, the outer banks and moon ledge.

Wild Grounds

The southern gutters have been producing a great range of reef fish of late. Coral trout, cod, sweetlip, red emperor and more have been in good numbers but sharks can move in.

When the sharks come in, move away from the area and find new ground. Pre-flood we had a few sailfish and black marlin out wide I would suspect that they have moved out of the bay by now with the recent flood waters.

Tuna can be found through the central bay with mostly mac tuna around at the moment. As we move closer to March, we should see more longtail tuna move in.

Platypus Bay

It’s been tough fishing of late in Platypus Bay but Autumn is when it comes alive so it will not be long until we see it fill up with pelagic activity. School mackerel are the most common catch at the moment for lure fisherman with grunter also coming in on jigs along the reef.

For bait fisherman, a few scarlets have been caught soaking cut baits on the reefs from Arch Cliffs north.

Sandy Strait

The northern end of the Sandy Strait is the best place to look for some fish at the moment as we move through the month and if we don’t have any more rain events it should start to fish better right through the system.

Concentrate your efforts along the island side and target species like grunter, sweetlip, whiting and mangrove jacks. The Barramundi season opens on February 1, so barra will be in the minds of many. Working areas along Fraser’s western side will be a good option along with the mouth of the Mary River.  


Barramundi will be a target for many out at the Burrum with black bank, the ramps and deep snags in the lower reaches of the system good starting locations.

Working vibes, soft plastics and hard body lures will be a great option. Grunter will also be about with yabbies, mullet strips and live herring great baits. Out the front the Burrum 8-Mile should produce a few sweetlip, school mackerel and grunter.

and miss but some good crabbing is still on offer if you put in the time.

Gilbert caught this solid cod while out on the water with Hervey Bay Fly and Sportfishing guides.