Bait huddles, pelagics feast
  |  First Published: July 2012

Things are starting to heat up as the water cools down with prawns, crabs, bream and snapper catches all improving lately.

Baitfish in the form of yakkas, herring and pike are congregating around most reefs, beacons and jetties, attracting the winter pelagics such as golden trevally, mackerel, tuna and cobia.


The Gutters and Rooney’s Reefs have produced quality coral trout, cod, sweetlip and a few snapper. The next couple of moon phases should see snapper numbers improve and expect some big cobia to move in on the reef.

The 25 fathom hole has had hussar, blackall, in the past few weeks some good snapper have been caught. The local reefs have had tuskfish, Moses perch, cod, trout and sweetlip responding to baits of squid, pilchard, prawns and plastics. When using whole baits, a two hook rig can improve success and keeps the pickers from stealing all your bait.


The Pier has fished well for the bread and butter species with flathead, whiting and some cracker bream being caught in the first channel and around the pylons. Off the deep end the pelagics have been patchy, but when they are on quality fish have been landed. Golden trevally, mac tuna, Spanish mackerel to 20kg are all on the cards, with a longtail tuna weighed in recently that went 19.5kg. The groper have been quiet lately but it can’t be long before they make their presence felt too.


The good news is banana prawns have started to turn up along Fraser Island and in the Mary and Susan river systems. Mud crabs are potting in good numbers with some big bucks being caught; you just have to sift through all the jennys to get to them.

Barra, jacks and threadfin are prolific in both the Mary, Susan and Burrum rivers. They are taking plastics, hardbodies and livebait. The Gregory River has been a stand out with multiple barra catches, the biggest measuring 127cm.

Flathead have been consistent throughout the transition into winter and have been all over plastics on the flats. Look for creek mouths, yabbie beds and rocks covered in oysters. It’s tuff terrain to fish but the results are worth it. The creeks and estuaries have had grunter, jew and cod and bream numbers have increased in the lead up to spawning.

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