Written by Andrew Chorley
Recent rains have certainly changed the fishing this winter and long term it should be for the better. This time of year is fantastic on the Fraser Coast. We see many of our inshore bread and butter species fire. Please remember there is a snapper closure coming up from July 15 to August 15. All snapper must be released during this period. We will also start to see the humpback whale migration so stay safe on the water and keep a look out for the majestic mammals.
Burrum will see flathead and whiting catches increase in the river along with bream. Targeting these species can be done from shore with yabbies the best bait particularly for whiting and bream. Out the front, diver whiting have been reported along with a few prawns. Out wider snapper will be a target on the reefs with the Burrum 8-Mile a favourite for locals. Keep an eye out for tuna out wider as some nice longtails can be about sipping bait around the reefs.
Snapper are the main target this time of year on the wide grounds. Areas such as the 25 fathom and southern gutters offer some good snapper fishing at times along with mixed reef species such as coral trout, hussar, moses perch, cod, scarlets and more. Sharks can be savage so move about frequently and don’t let them take their bag limit as well.
As the water clears squid will be abundant this year with all the fresh making it ideal for baitfish. Squid can be targeted on the shallow reefs are great on the plate and equally make great bait for reef fish. Snapper have been reported on the Artificial Reef with bait and soft plastics doing well. Coral bream and painted sweetlip have been the other catches locally.
In Platypus Bay grunter, snapper, mac and longtail tuna have been the main catches. Berly is a great way to get the snapper up behind your boat up. Fish with lightly weighted sinkers when doing this. School mackerel have also been about with a cracker of a season this year.
In the strait, whiting, bream, flathead, tailor, grunter and threadfin salmon have been the main catches reported. On the ledges a few jew have been caught on live baits with cod a bycatch. Working the ledges with soft plastics has produced a few grunter and a few mac tuna can be found in small schools around Ungowa.