Holiday Goers in for a Treat
  |  First Published: December 2011

School holidays are here again and the fishing this month isn’t usually brilliant but consistent.

Up the northern area is Five Rocks and Nine Mile, which is where the best beach fishing of the whole area takes place. Whiting, bream, blue salmon, flathead, dart and queenfish comb the waters right along the beach searching for a meal. Just like fishing down south by working the gutters you will find the fish.

Five Rocks heads drops off into deepwater where it’s almost normal for the land based gamers to score spanish, doggies, spotties, big queenies, several varieties of trevally, barracuda, northern blues, mac tuna and cobia on any different day. The big currents starting at the mouth of Corio Bay attract huge bait schools, which bring in everything else. We never take bait with us because of the easily accessible livies right where we fish. The beaches here hold some awesome beachworms, some of them over 1.5m long - even I can get them at low tide. The best whiting are right at your feet feeding the worm beds on the tides.

This area is controlled by The National Parks, which means camping fees apply and is only accessible by four wheel drive or boat. If you haven’t been to Five Rocks you are missing out on one of the prettiest spots anywhere. It’s the perfect place to take the family.

Corio Bay is the next stop south and is a meeting place for a number of small creeks such as Deep Creek, Sandfly and Fishing Creek - the biggest being Waterpark Creek. Corio Heads holds our best black jew spot where a few days either side of the moon massive schools circle the small rock cove. When conditions allow, the small tinny fishers come out from Sandy Point and almost tie up in a line. As the big jewies pass each boat in line, you can hear all the drags going off closer and closer until it’s your turn. Bonito and school mackerel often pull in here on the way past.

The water inside Corio is nearly always gin clear making sight fishing a real option. Bream, whiting, flathead, king salmon, fingermark, mangrove jack, barramundi, and mud crabs are caught in Corio or the feeder creeks depending on the season. The big sand banks in the bay and the creek mouths are whiting and flathead heaven with walking the edges or fishing from a boat working equally well. Waterpark Creek runs fresh a lot of the time giving another dimension to the fishing.

Corio can be entered from either Sandy Point via the surf beach, which is 4WD only, from Bangalee or the resort track to Fishing Creek, which is also very rough with corrugations but a normal car can still use the road. Both these spots need a 4WD to launch a boat. It’s also wise to have another 4WD ready to pull you out because it’s very easy to get stuck. Kellies Landing is a tide dependant boat launching, sand fly ridden spot over a rough track that isn’t worth the effort, particularly with Corbett’s Landing not much further from Yeppoon. Corbett’s is a concrete all tide ramp running into Waterpark Creek, which holds all sorts of quality fish and runs down into Corio Bay providing entry to all the smaller creeks in most conditions. There is no end to the different fish and different spots in Corio, and I find that you rarely get to your desired location because the spots on the way are just too good. Corio is another great spot for the family except there is the odd croc in the main creeks so keep an eye out.

The beaches heading back to Yeppoon are amazing over the warmer months and fish well with nice sized dart and whiting with the occasional school of blue salmon running up to Corio. Spots like the Barwells Creek mouth can be accessed from the main road and the various accesses from the Sandy Point track. The 4WD beach access at Bangalee is the best option and is only a 10 minute drive North to the stacks of gutters and stretches at Corio with nobody else in sight.

Ross Creek in the heart of Yeppoon is only a little creek but fishes well. The best part of Ross Creek is that you can drive right to the water’s edge and catch a fish leaning against your car. Lots of families come down after work or school and fish for bream, whiting, flathead or salmon. It has big yabby beds and plenty of spots to use a cast net so bait is never a problem.

Roslyn Bay Harbour is the same as harbours everywhere holding a great amount of fish that you can get to from the car parks. Any morning there is a glass off there is a chance of a mackerel or any other pelagic on the outside wall. Fingermark, salmon, bream and ribbonfish are on offer inside until the big schools of yorkies flood into the harbour bringing in the predators. Whenever prawns are around near the full moon the boat ramps and the old fuel wharf are among the best spots anywhere. Statue Bay on the outside is prawn central and it often has wall to wall cast nets filling buckets with big ones.

The Causeway Lake is a pretty special spot holding a great abundance of mangrove jack. Any tide over 3.6m pushes over the causeway and all the fish in the lake fire up. Plenty of brag quality fish come right down to the road side to smash bait fish as the current rushes them under the bridge. This is by far the most family friendly spot with a shop, boat hire and various other water activities right at hand. Lots of Yeppoon and Rocky kids have caught their first fish in the Causeway Lake. Bream, whiting, grunter, salmon, trevally, flathead and cod are available pretty much all year.

Coorooman Creek is another creek with some outstanding catches expected in December. It has good access from all sides and is only minutes from Emu Park and Zilzie or Keppel Sands. Coorooman holds a lot of quality crabs at times, which in turn brings out the share farmers so watch your pots. The sand banks in the mouth are probably our most productive whiting grounds locally, which also bring in the big flathead and blue salmon. Fingermark, grunter and bream are always on hand and the sheltered areas of the creek give plenty of protection out of the elements where you can take the family fishing even in foul weather.

The Fitzroy River has had an all time high this year with previous record barramundi and king salmon numbers being smashed. Now barras are off the menu for a couple of months it leaves king salmon and grunter as the target with fingermark, bream, black jew, cod and muddies. Whiting are thick at present at Long Beach and Rundels but access is 4WD only and not for the inexperienced. The beach in some places can swallow a car no worries, so if you don’t know don’t go.

Have a great Christmas, make sure you leave a few for next break.

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