Bay fishing buffet
  |  First Published: September 2011

At the moment the bay is jam packed full of life, with everything from large schools of baitfish and prawns right up to the majestic humpback whales. You don’t have to be a tree hugging hippie to appreciate the sheer size and power of these amazing mammals; they make a pretty impressive backdrop to a day out on the water.

In the bay pelagic species are hammering the vast array of bait present from Arch to Rooneys. Casting slugs and plastics is usually the most productive way to get a bite on the days when the fish are staying up for long periods. On the slower days when the fish surface briefly and go deep as soon as you get close, try trolling lures and fishing live bait to help improve results and save burning fuel chasing fish.

The addition of a downrigger can improve the strike rate when the baitfish are too small to replicate and cast a decent distance. Small baitfish profiles or ‘lead slugs’ and the smaller squid skirts fished 3-5m beneath the surface towards the back of the spread can work wonders.

The reefs around the Gutters and Rooneys are fishing well with a mixture of snapper, coral bream, cod, trout and red emperor. All fish are taking cut baits, livies and plastics. Spanish mackerel, cobia, yellowtail kingfish and tuna have been working the edges of these reefs taking jigs and live bait.

The closer reefs such as Arch, Moon, the Arty and Bagimba are still fishing well for cod, blackall, sweetlip, snapper and trout on the bottom and trevally, mackerel, tuna and queenfish on the surface.


Whiting have improved in size and numbers taking yabbies, worms and squid. Bream are belting baits of prawn, crab and mullet fillets and also taking blades, poppers and plastics around rock bars, creek mouths and most other forms of structure.

Flathead have fished well throughout winter and will only improve as the water warms. Trolling minnows, and casting plastics is not only successful but also a quick way to work an area before moving on to greener pastures. It usually only takes a few casts or a couple of passes to establish if there are fish there or not. Alternatively a live mullet is hard to beat if lure fishing is not your thing. So once again plenty of angling options on the Fraser Coast this month.

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