If you’re into catching pelagics, such as queenfish and trevally, this month should suit you well. These aggressive, muscular fish have been around in large numbers, throughout the islands and surrounding Whitsunday Coast.
A big, hungry, wolf-like pack of queenfish weaving and darting after your lure always excites. As far as sportsfishing goes, it’s hard to beat! An effective technique for catching them is to use metal vibration baits or blades in deep water. The 1 1/2oz or 2oz TT Switchblade works well on fish in the 70cm to 1m+ size.
However, remember that you need to find fish to catch them. You need to present these lures over fish-holding locations, and in the Whitsundays there are many different spots to try.
Steep rocky ledges, deep drop-offs and isolated bottom structure are suitable areas for blading the depths. This type of fishing relies heavily on having a quality depth sounder. A high quality unit allows you to know the location of the fish, the depth they’re holding and how many are down there.
When we’re fishing blades in deep water, we don’t usually drop in unless there is a sign of fish on the sounder screen. Small, solid wavy lines are a common indicator of a school of tightly packed queenfish or trevally.
When you find these lines, simply free-spool the blade to the bottom and then work it back up with a series or erratic jigs and pulses. Don’t work it too hard as the hooks can easily foul around your leader line. Keep working around the fish showings and eventually you’ll feel the solid knock down the rod of a hefty pelagic.
The estuary fishing options throughout May should also be worth looking into. Species such as flathead, fingermark and bream are best targeted with light gear and finesse tactics. If you’re bait fishing, try a freshly caught prawn, mullet or herring bait rigged on light gear.
When fishing lures for estuary fish, use 3-4’’ size crustacean imitations or shad type plastics rigged on light jigheads. Retrieve the plastics with a delicate hopping motion over fish-holding structure such as boulders, rock-walls, sandy drop-offs and anywhere there is plenty of baitfish lingering around the vicinity.
A recent incident at a local beach shows the dangers of driving along coastal beaches, especially below the high tide line. Recently, someone was driving a 4WD vehicle along Conway Beach at low tide and became stuck in the boggy sand. With the tide quickly coming in, the driver must have been relieved when a large Komatsu WA320 front end loader came to the rescue and attempted to pull the car out.
However, any feelings of relief were quickly diminished as the loaders large tyres started to sink into the wet sand. Before long, the loader itself was severely bogged. The tide rose swiftly and both the 4WD and the Komatsu loader, which was believed to be recently purchased for $100,000, were completed submerged by seawater.
The 4WD was retrieved on the next low tide however the loader was more of a difficult task, which after enduring a few tide changes, was covered halfway in sand.
A large barge with a crane on the front was organised to try to heave the loader out of the bog hole. After lots of work the Komatsu was eventually rescued and taken away on the barge. An expensive lesson in being cautious when driving on beaches!Reads: 1326