Whale of a time around Hervey Bay
  |  First Published: October 2012


While the fishing gods have been in hibernation, Mother Nature has been busy working her magic putting on a spectacular whale show for locals and visitors alike. Whales are being reported in the hundreds this season so we have been particularly cautious on our offshore adventures.

At this time of year for the safety of whales and boaties alike; there are some pretty good rules to remember, so please check them and, like any well planned fishing adventure, use plenty of common sense.

Two weeks ago my great mate Ron and I hit the whiting off Toogoom in the morning before we went offshore to the 6 and 8 Mile reefs to see what we could find. As I pulled up an undersized snapper on a running ball 20lb rig, I alerted Ron to the dark shadow moving alongside his 4.7m centre console that had caught the corner of my eye and my full attention.

Both of us froze for a moment until Ron exercised his trained eye of experience and casually exclaimed we were witnessing one of the cool moments, a mother dolphin and her pup playing alongside us. They both got a great feed of pilchards on what turned out to be a quiet afternoon.

It left us wondering if the influx of whales and dolphins this time of year was having an impact on our angling experiences offshore. Nevertheless, school mackerel are being trawled up on spoons. They are undersized and in small numbers at this stage of their season with anglers focussing near schools of whiting.

This is a good sign of things to come along the drop-offs and deeper waters around the 8 Mile, especially for Spaniards.

River Action

Winter whiting have been the stars of the river action over last month with good numbers being caught off the bar from Toogoom and out front of Woodgate Beach.

Summer whiting are making a strong appearance up in the Burrum River with good numbers, and sizes up to 43cm populating several hot spots. This has also drawn the tailor through the upper reaches providing for some great family fun.

Bream have been strong with average sizes between 36-42cm being caught from the banks of the river, with boaties hitting the Swirls off Walkers Point being rewarded with good specimens.

The Burrum River surrounds should continue to produce opportunities for all anglers with flathead, cod, whiting, flounder, grunter, and tailor on hand to keep all anglers entertained. With Mother Nature going through her ‘cycle’ we should also be in for some great mangrove jack over the next few weeks as well.

Burrum Heads enjoys the privilege of hosting many wonderful visitors year in, year out. With so many people enjoying the village atmosphere, the fishing, great weather and hospitality there is usually some interesting and humorous moments to be had sat on one of the many benches along the foreshore. We were sat watching three mates launch their tinny, they looked like they had done this a hundred times, with the boat at the water’s edge, all the gear on board, and the boys dressed like they meant business; a strong shove had the tinny off the trailer and on the water and they were set. Or so you would like to think...

When launching your vessel remember the bow rope, or at least hold onto it, as this prevents your boat from heading out to sea. I wonder if these mates will tell their friends!

The Fishing Ahead

With some of the best all-round fishing on the east coast right here at Burrum Heads a great snapper season is now at its close. We are obviously looking forward to a busy pelagic and whale season with a return to the southern gutters, the drop-off and the 8 Mile, just to name a few.

The anticipation of the fishing gods returning from hibernation will see early season mackerel moving in for September/October. There will also be some great pelagic action from the trevally family, and cobia moving in for some fun.

Expect to get great hook ups just fishing off the banks of the Burrum River with pilchards or herring.

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