Written by Andrew Chorley
The winter season is in full swing with many winter species being on the hit list for local anglers.
Winter sees some of our best weather we get here on the Fraser Coast. With generally calm seas and blue skies it makes for some great boating conditions. Bread and butter species such as bream whiting and flathead are a great go to if you’re looking to head on the water and after some inshore fishing. For those looking to go further afield snapper is a favourite target species for the Bay and offshore anglers this time of year. We have a closed season starting from 14 July on snapper so get in early and make the most of the short season we now have.
Let’s take a look at what’s biting on the Fraser Coast.
Over the bigger tides sand whiting in the Burrum will be a great target species. The Burrum can produce big whiting year-round. Switched on anglers explore the night tides for the best results. Bream also will be active through July and are a regular capture when targeting whiting. Grunter, snapper, school mackerel and golden trevally have been reported out the front on the Burrum 8 mile and there has been winter whiting also out from Woodgate.
Winter is the best time for crews to head offshore. Lately some great captures have come from grounds further away from the popular areas. Up towards Lady Elliot has been popular for anglers chasing red emperor and mixed reef fish. While the weather needs to be kind the rewards can be worth the effort. Closer to home the gutters have fished okay for coral trout, sweetlip, cod and scarlets. Spanish mackerel are also a target species offshore with live baits being the most effective.
Recent years have seen less snapper than usual in Platypus Bay, but the trek up the island is still worth a look. Float lining baits for snapper in a burley trail is effective along with working yakka schools with soft plastics. Big longtail tuna can also be present gorging on yakka and are often a bycatch when chasing snapper. Golden trevally have also been present and can turn up anywhere up there at times, as the schools work through the bay. Keeping an eye on the sounder for big groups of fish is usually an indicator of a shoal of our famous goldens moving through.
Snapper are also worth targeting on the inshore reefs as they move into the bay. Soft plastics, live and dead baits all work on the local snapper population. Jew, blackall, sweetlip, cod and coral trout have also been caught on the local reefs.
The Sandy Straits can see ultra clear conditions through winter so dropping your line and leader class will give you the edge in the clear water. Bream, whiting and flathead are all abundant at present with the flats, creek mouths, and creeks the best areas to find these species at present. A few grunter have also been taken in the creeks along with blue and threadfin salmon. In the Mary River threadfin have been coming from the upper reaches on trolled minnows and vibes worked through the schools. In the lower reaches of the Mary, jew will be a good target particularly around River Heads.