The lure of Spring

Written by Andrew Chorley

The seasons are changing and the water temps are on the rise!

Spring is one of the best times of the year as a fisho with some of our summer species becoming more active.

Barramundi and mangrove jack fishos certainly get excited this time of year and hit the estuaries in search of their prized catch. Flathead will be another favourite with September seeing good numbers of fish around the creek mouths, rocky outcrops, weed beds and local Jetty’s gather as the feed up to spawn. Let’s look around the bay to see what’s biting …

Sand whiting have been in good numbers and will continue through September. Hitting the beaches on the big tides has been the most productive with live yabbies. Grunter can be found up the river in the deeper holes, along with some solid bream. Barra will start to be more active with the rising water temps. Working the rock bars and snags with lures will see the best results. Out the front the Burrum 8-Mile has produced a few snappers with grunter and school mackerel also reported.

Southern Gutters
The southern gutters will see a rise in shark numbers in Spring as we lose our 2-degree window of shark-free fishing. As the water temps creep over 20c Sharks will move in and be waiting for anglers to feed them with their catch. Moving about frequently helps avoid the sharks. Coral trout ,snapper, sweetlip, hussar, parrot, red emperor and sweetlip will be the main catches. When out the middle keep an eye out for little black marlin often seen milling around on the surface on calm days in September as they make their way into the bay.

Platypus Bay
Snapper are still about in Platypus Bay with some great fish to 80cm being present up there. Working the yakka schools can turn up some big snapper along with longtail tuna and golden trevally for the sport fishos. Grunter can be fount wide of Wathumba along with a few sweetlip. School mackerel should move in any day now and offer a bit of fun for those that are after a feed of schoolies. Dropping small slugs from 20g to 40g with a fast retrieve will get results.

Local Reefs
Coral trout will begin to become active again as the temps rise inshore. Working the ledges and reefs with live baits and soft plastics will see results. Sweetlip and black spot tuskfish will also be about and will become more active through spring. Snapper have had a good run this season inshore and there still should be a few about through September. Soft plastics are dynamite fished light and for bait fishos, live herring have been working best.

Sandy Strait
Flathead are one of the go to species in September as we see them gather to spawn. Working the western side of Fraser Island concentrating around the creek mouths, gutters and weed beds will see some great results. The mouth of the Mary River is also a great location fished with soft plastics. The flathead love the rocky cover as it creates perfect camouflage for their ambush style feeding. On the ledges, Jew, grunter and barra can be found. Whiting have been on the chew on the flats with yabbies a gun bait. Working the bigger tides has seen the best results with night being the most productive particularly over the full moon.

Hervey Bay locals Shane Cob and Terry Flux didn’t go home empty handed after a top day out on the water with Hervey Bay Fly and Sportfishing.