Best yet to come for tailor
  |  First Published: November 2012

Don’t give up on Fraser Island tailor just yet. The way they have been firing, there will be plenty to come in November. In fact it is usual for the very best class of fish to be taken this month.

Although tailor will be available right along the beach, it is likely that the better fish will come from Indian Head and points north.

Other species have also been quite active along most of the eastern beach. Trying very hard not to be over optimistic, there have been some promising catches of sand whiting. They are best targeted on the last of the ebb and early flood in the blind-ended low water gutters. Here they wait for food being washed off neighbouring spits.

Towards the southern end of the island there is a profusion of suitable gutters, almost too many, for the whiting that are available. I prefer to pick out the odd good gutters separated by long stretches of flat beach.

Since the arrival of this season’s tailor, dart have been plentiful right along the beach. Their preference has been for the white water under breaking waves along the edges of the deeper gutters. Having said that, they are likely to turn up just about anywhere, even accompanying whiting in those shallow blind gutters.

Coffee rock structures at Poyungan, Yidney and Ngkala have been producing plenty of bream, jew and tarwhine as well as the occasional reef fish. With the exception of tailor, all of Fraser Island’s beach and coffee rock species respond very well to pipi and worm baits. Bream and jew are also very partial to pilchards and tailor fillet baits.

Recent reports certainly underline how prolific flathead have been along our southern coast. This is vindication of the current management of the fishery through size and bag limits, but it must also point to the quality of the habitat as well as the fish’s ability to reproduce in big numbers.

Hervey Bay and the coasts of Fraser Island have also been enjoying some great flathead fishing, although a little down on the bumper season a year ago. The flats adjacent to Bogimbah and Moon creeks as well as those either side of Wathumba Creek have been well known for targeting tailing golden trevally taken on fly.

Over many of these flats, flathead are also targeted by fly fishers, particularly where the smallest features of timber or rock can be worked.

Seasonal northerly and northwesterly winds have already made their presence felt and we can expect no less this month. One of the few positives is that they tend to keep Fraser’s ocean beach waters reasonably flat, and therefore easily fished. The western beach, however, is almost totally exposed and fished with difficulty, often exacerbated by the presence of inshore and beach weed.

Next month will see the annual Christmas human invasion of the island. Hopefully we will be able to point to some good prospects for visiting fishing families.

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