Written by Andrew Chorley
Let’s hope winter provides some afternoon glass outs on the bay with those nice still warm days that our winter is famous for! Winter on the Fraser Coast is something special particularly for offshore fisherman as the gentler conditions see anglers head far and wide searching for that trophy fish.
Mac tuna, bludger trevally, grey and school mackerel have been reported coming from the mouth of the river. The odd snapper has been reported from the 8-Mile with live baits fished on the night tides producing the goods.
Prawns have been a little more active out the front with a few reports coming in out the front of Woodgate. In the river the mid-reaches should produce some nice bream, whiting and flathead.
The local reefs in the shipping channels will be worth a look for a snapper. The full moon tides will give plenty of run and should fire them up. Other species on the local reef shave been coral trout, cod, blackall, spanish mackerel, grey mackerel and school mackerel. In the channels mac tuna can be found from the Fairway right through to Ungowa in the Sandy Strait.
They are only small schools and require a stealthy approach. Flicking soft plastics and small slugs into the schools has been successful.
Diamond trevally, giant herring and queenfish have been caught on small soft plastics around the region’s islands. Squid have been a bit hit and miss of late with a few reported coming off the flats and along the shallow reefs.
Diver whiting have been reported off Dundowran, Point Vernon, Toogoom and inside Big Woody Island.
Snapper will be more of a target now things have cooled off a bit with the 25 fathom a likely spot to kick off the season. Out wider coral trout, cod, scarlets and parrot have been reported. Outside there has been a great run of small black marlin. Working in close off Sandy Cape saw crews hook up to 20 fish a day. Wahoo, spanish mackerel and tuna have also been other catches outside while trolling.
Tuna have been about but very flighty and in small schools. Mac tuna mostly but a few longtails still can be found on the surface. The tuna will also be found deep through winter with rolling paddle tail soft plastics around the yakka schools a deadly technique. Golden trevally, queenfish and mackerel have also been reported from Platypus Bay.
Longtail tuna can still be found out towards the end of the pier. Live baits are best floated under a balloon. Bottom set baits have seen attention from golden trevally and queenfish. For night anglers Jew will be active now we have had some cold weather and the mullet may have now started to run. The night tides will be best using live baits. In the first channel gar, whiting and fathead have been reported.
Grunter have been the main catches in the Mary River, with flathead and cod also in the mix. These colder conditions are generally not good for barra but the deep holes have been still producing. Blue salmon have been reported in the Susan River and have been taking soft vibes and soft plastics. In the strait, mac tuna can be found in the shipping channels along with the odd longtail tuna.
Small tailor has been reported along with some good size grey mackerel. Bream fisherman will be out looking on the full moon around River Heads with fish up to 1kg being reported.
Fishing the night tides for bream can be very effective with baits such as mullet strips, small herring and pilchards floated over the rock bars a deadly technique.
For lure angers fishing the daytime tides in the creeks along Frasers west coast with small soft plastics, hard bodie lures and surface poppers can be great fun.