Prepare for the island invasion!
  |  First Published: September 2013

This month will see Fraser Island's tailor season in full swing and all indicators are suggesting more great catches.  Early season catches have included a big proportion of small fish, but this is much the same pattern that was encountered last year.

Tailor certainly take the limelight at this time of the year but there will be plenty of opportunities on the ocean beach for other species. Whiting have continued to show the improvements noted earlier in the year. Dart will be keeping company with the tailor while bream and tarwhine will be found in the bigger gutters and over the coffee rocks. 

Throughout the early months of the year I have been reporting on the state of the eastern beach following the severe weather conditions of the first half of the year. The latest news is mostly encouraging with extensive rebuilding of most of the beach. Some of the coffee rocks that have caused disruption along the beach are now completely covered while others, remaining exposed, are being negotiated with less difficulty.

Access to the island

With school holidays coming up this month, the island's biggest people invasion will take place. Easter and Christmas holidays might be serious rivals to this claim but the expected ideal weather conditions during this month are hard to resist. Of course the peak of the tailor season adds to the popularity, not just for those who target this species, but for other family members using light gear for dart, whiting, bream and flathead.  

While many of the families set up camp in the popular fishing zones on the ocean beach, others make the trip across to the island’s western beach. Here they are more isolated from amenities, but this is part of the deal. Only on the western beach, there is the opportunity to camp close to one of the creeks. This month we can expect to see a tent city develop along the narrow isthmus between Awinya Creek and the bay. With the barge service from Urangan to Moon Point having been discontinued for many years, the only access to the western beach is either by the Happy Valley to Moon Point track or the Woralie Road from Kgari (north of the Maheno). The former was the access road from the barge service but now it is the road to a fairly limited stretch of beach, from Moon Point to Coongul Creek. Certainly crossing this creek is possible, but likely to be hazardous so for destinations north of here, the Woralie track is the better option. The western section of the Moon Point track is not in good condition with a number of vehicles needing to be recovered in recent months. I’m not sure how long it can remain viable. On the other hand, the Woralie track is in fair condition being rough and soft in places, but watch out for the ‘deep puddle’ and take care on the bypass track around it. From Woralie Creek it is possible to drive with caution as far south as Coongul Creek and as far north as Towoi Creek, about 5km south of Wathumba Creek.

The fishing

In Hervey Bay winter species continue to dominate with snapper coming in from the Artificial Reef and the reefs of Platypus Bay where catches have been spasmodic. On a recent trip to one of the more popular spots, I noted 8 boats in attendance, with not one snapper taken but anglers were kept busy with GTs, golden and tealeaf trevally as well as a number of javelin.

Both yellowfin and pikey bream are still plentiful in the lower reaches of the Mary and Susan rivers. The rivers are still producing both king and blue salmon as well as trumpeter (javelin) in the Susan River and estuary cod on the deep ledges just off the green beacon at North Head.

This chunky GT couldn't resist an Atomic Plazos Prong 4” Radioactive Rooster!

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