Fish Large Through the Tough
  |  First Published: March 2011

The weather gods haven’t been nice to us lately and this makes the boat ramps and waterways extra busy when we do get a good day. However, bad weather is a great time to lock yourself in your shed and do some maintenance on your boat trailer, boat, reels, rods, cast nets, crab pots, sharpen your knives, learn and practice a few new knots, replace a few hooks on your hardbodies or build a new rod rack…

The fishing has been tough lately, so fishing the larger tides brings in clearer saltier water and some normality with it.

A decent fishing spot to try this month would be Red Beach. Head right around to the surf and north up the beach and fish the small surf gutters; these areas hold good numbers of large summer whiting this time of year.

You can also try the calm side of Bribie Island but I find the whiting are much smaller and have trouble going legal length.

Beach worms are a must and are the most popular proven performer on the beach.

The Bongaree jetty on Bribie Island is a great spot for a mixed bag of species like parrot, grassies, bream, squire and small mackerel. Although, the mackerel have been very thin in recent times due to the fresh water. The jetty can get very busy so I suggest getting in early and leaving early before the crowds. The facilities are great, it is very comfortable with plenty of space, but just be prepared to share with other keen anglers.

I don’t know many fishers that haven’t had a crack at catching a muddie lately, they are all over the passage. I said it last month and I will say it again, there’s some cracking crabs being caught with only the odd empty buck about. The majority of the crabs are well worth the effort and the quality will surprise most crabbers. Due to the recent flood of fresh water that has washed out the creeks, it is taking a lot less effort than normal to chase down the big full bucks. You can pretty much throw a pot out anywhere and get a feed.

The single easiest way to tell a full good quality crab from an empty one is to turn them over onto their back and take a look at their underbelly – if it’s white the crab is most likely empty; if it takes on a light brown through to a dark rusty brown you’ve got yourself a good full crab.

The flavour and eating quality from an empty crab to a full one is like chalk and cheese. Who would think that something that spends its whole life in the mud could taste so good, if cooked right the old muddie is hard to beat. They will keep running strong for at least another month yet. While the fishing conditions are not favourable, it is a great time to get amongst them.

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