Winter fishing is upon us!

Written by Andrew Chorley

We are now seeing a change in season and May will start to see some cool mornings with south westerly winds. This cooling down of temps will bring the water down and our winter species will start to move around.

Burrum River
Out the front winter whiting can be found from Woodgate to Toogoom during May with the back end of the month producing better numbers. Live yabbies are a great bait but having some squid handy for when they come on thick is a great trick to save a few yabbies for when they get a little more fussy. A little wider longtail and mac tuna can be found around the 8 mile with live baits working well for those fishing the reef. If you are out casting zman streakz are always a great lure choice. In the river the jacks and barra have slowed up. Targeting species like bream, whiting and flathead will see best results in the river over the cooler months.

Wide Grounds
Coral trout, cod, squire, hussar, Moses perch and sweetlip will be likely targets through May with the coral trout usually being in good numbers. Tuna can still be found out wide along with some big Spanish mackerel.

Platypus Bay
Tuna has been the main game at present with longtail and mac tuna being caught right through Platypus Bay. The bottom fishing has been hard due to the constant presence of sharks. A few scarlets, squire, sweetlip and blackall can be found on the reefs with 1 or 2 fish off a reef being about all until the sharks turn up. Working under the tuna schools has produced golden trevally, bludger trevally and school mackerel.

Local Reefs
The local reef scene is seeing its usual seasonal changes. Broad bar and school mackerel have moved in and around some of the reefs particularly ones holding some bait. Spinning metal spoons has seen results. Squire have been active with mostly small stuff around so far with not many reports of snapper yet. For winter whiting fish all the grounds off Toogoom, Point Vernon and Dundowran have produced a few early season fish. We should see an increase in numbers as we get closer to winter. Tiger squid will be another option for those looking for a tasty feed. Working the rocky points and weed beds around the bay is the best way to find a few squid. Coral trout have still been about with anglers doing best on live pike and prawn imitation lures.

Sandy Strait
The straits this time of year can produce some good catches of bream. The creeks along the western side of Fraser Island can provide some fun luring for them on soft plastics and hard body lures. Sight fishing bream as they work the mangrove edges can be very rewarding. Other species like flathead and grunter are also a welcome by catch. For whiting anglers night time tides seem to be almost the only way to get a good feed at the moment. Whiting numbers have been down over the past few years and have become very wary on the flats. Live yabbies and worms have been the best baits and if you are going to do a night fish don’t forget the insect repellent. Mud crabs should be good even with the cooler temps after a few good wet seasons and may be well worth the effort. In the Mary River system blue and thredfin salmon have been reported coming from the Mary and Susan rivers along with grunter, bream, flathead and whiting.

Urangan Pier
The Pier has been fishing well at times with big longtail tuna, queenfish, broad bar mackerel and golden trevally reported. Live baits have been working well with the odd broad bar also falling to a metal spoon. In the first channel bream and flathead have been the main catches along with a few whiting.

Pic: Beau with a quality spin ish mackerel , Spanish mackerel will be on the chew right through may