Hervey Bay is full of life at the moment with baitfish, crabs, prawns and squid all competing for food while at the same time trying not to become food themself.
Our local reefs have continued to fish well, so well in fact that if we haven’t come with a feed of coral bream, blackall, or cod, then the trip has been below par by current standards.
Platypus Bay has been a bit up and down for pelagic action, mack tuna however have been the exception and have delivered plenty of entertainment. My last trip was a couple of weeks ago and while we couldn’t find a longtail we couldn’t get away from the mack tuna. Spotted mackerel have been about and trolling has given us the most success due to scattered nature of the fish. We also recently managed to raise a marlin north of Wathumba Creek, but unfortunately pulled the hooks on it to miss our chance to capture one of these iconic fish. Sharks are still causing grief in the bay, with a 3m tiger shark hovering around our boat during breakfast during a recent overnight trip to Rooneys. While it’s exciting to see a predator like this up close they can have a tendency to shutdown the fishing.
Threadfin salmon and barramundi are the main draw card with plenty of fish still being caught. Working the drains, rock bars, and banks looking for fleeing baitfish, or swirls of water from feeding fish is an effective way to locate, and catch fish. Catfish have been a prolific nuisance for bait anglers and are really only good for crab bait if you can't find anything else.
The variety and amount of bait around at the moment is staggering. On the flats and beaches on the mainland and the many islands in the Sandy Straits mullet, hardyheads, herring and prawns are flicking and breaking the surface in abundance as the move in and out with the tide. Be careful when walking the flats as stingrays, mud crabs, sharks, turtles and shovel nose sharks are there to look out for, and also get the heart racing. Fishing plastics and small hardbodies will attract a wide variety of species with flathead and bream the two most common species to catch. Trevally, grunter and cod are a regular catch when I chase flathead and bream on the flats, with whiting more common when throwing poppers in ultra shallow water. Walking the flats on low tide to identify structure and features such as rocks, oysters, gutters and weed beds will help you find the best areas to fish a high tide, and is a great approach to maximise angling success.Reads: 394