More than just bills in the bay
  |  First Published: February 2016

February is one of those months that can be boom or bust for anglers on the Fraser Coast. Some years we have weeks of stinking hot weather and glassy calm seas and other years it’s pouring rain and blowing 30 knots for the whole month.

The possibility of cyclonic weather patterns moving down the coast always keeps you on your toes but if you get a window in the weather, there is usually a bay full of pelagic species to chase in Platypus Bay. The bait arrived just before Christmas and there were mac tuna from Rooneys Point to Moon Point, feeding on tiny bait about 10mm long.

It can get frustrating when they are locked in on bait that small and aren’t responding to anything you throw at them. When this happens, the key is to keep moving to the next school in the hope of finding a school of fish feeding on bigger bait.

Billfish are still a real possibility for the next few months and into winter, but once the water temperature drops below 20°C they tend to thin out on the inside of Fraser until it starts to warm up again.


Schools of golden trevally, queenfish, tuna and mackerel are a prime target for the high-speed spinners, both livebaiting and on the fly. Work the ledges, creek mouths and adjacent flats either in the boat or wading the shallows sight casting for best results.

Summer whiting, bream, grunter and flathead are other options in the shallows for those either baitfishing or flicking small hardbodies, plastics and poppers.


In the lead up to Christmas I fished the new and full moons in November and December chasing marlin in Platypus Bay. Last year we caught most of our billfish around Ronneys with a few strikes around Wathumba and Station Hill, but this year all except one marlin was caught in close to Wathumba Creek.

On the first trip on the November new moon we went straight to Rooneys and worked from there to Porpoise Shoals after landing one marlin in the first 15 minutes. We worked all the way back to Wathumba until we had our next shot and after a few missed, strikes finally kept the hooks in one.

From then on we always started fishing at Wathumba and never went any further because the fish were there. We averaged 8-12 shots at marlin a day and with numbers like that, why go any further?

Among the marlin strikes we caught a few Spanish and spotted mackerel and even caught a 110cm wahoo just north of Wathumba Creek, which you don’t see every day!

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