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Cracker billfish season
  |  First Published: December 2013



Just like the weather, the fishing keeps getting hotter on the Fraser Coast. It seems fitting that as 2014 goes off with a bang we are smack bang in the middle of another cracker of a billfish and pelagic season.

IN THE BAY

The local reefs are producing sweetlip, blackall (morwong) and squire on strip baits and squid. Anglers are also catching cod, golden trevally and mackerel on live baits and plastics, and blue parrot on crabs. Hot spots include the Arti, Moon Ledge, Maringa bommie and Bagimba ledge.

The flats and creeks of Fraser Island are fishing well, with whiting numbers improving on the bigger tides. Stalking the shallows with hardbodies, plastics and live baits will get you connected to golden trevally, queenfish and large flathead and jacks. Cod, king threadfin salmon and flathead are taking trolled hardbodies, plastics and mullet fished tight in to structure.

PLATYPUS BAY

The quality of the fishing over the Christmas period never fails to amaze me. This year it has been world class. Even on the slow days when nothing is working the surface, you can find pelagics by sight casting the shallows or trolling a spread of lures.

The Wathumba, Station Hill and Rooneys grounds are currently loaded with bait, and trolling a mixture of skirted lures, hardbodies and swimming gars has kept the ratchets howling. Recent catches have included both longtail and mac tuna, spotted mackerel to 7kg and Spanish mackerel to over 15kg.

Black marlin are the major drawcard when I head up the Island, and with multiple shots a day at fish between 10- 40kg it's not hard to spend a day or 2 on the troll. The last 5 days trolling we have seen and hooked billfish every time, with free jumpers a common sight.

If you want to catch a marlin, just work the bait schools and ledges between Wathumba and Rooneys trolling at 6-8 knots – it's that easy. The build up to the full moon and the week after and around the new moon are the pick of the lunar cycle, as the fish tend to feed harder around those times. However, any time is worth trying if you are in the area and keen to catch a marlin.

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