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Barra means business and business is booming
  |  First Published: March 2016



The weather looks set to turn in March, and there should be a nice change in conditions if the long-range forecasts are anything to go by. As a continuation to last month’s report, I will feature some brief overviews of areas that the land-based, smaller boaties can access on good weather days and alternatives to the outer reef hotspots.

LillEYS Beach

Lilleys Beach is located north of Wyndham Park and is accessed to the right of the Boyne Island Sewerage Treatment Plant, via Handley Drive. The beach spans approximately 1.7km and should only be accessed at low tide. I suggest the incoming tide if you want to put in a few hours here, as you can see the structure and holes more clearly. Until you get to know the area this is the best way to plan your fishing strategy. Target fish along this stretch of beach include whiting, dart, flathead, solid GT and other pelagics.

For flathead use 3-4” ZMan PaddletailZ in pearl, or Zerek Prawns. There is a sand patch between the Lilleys 4WD track and Boyne mouth that usually produces a few decent fish on high tide – use poppers or peeled prawns lightly weighted to catch whiting around the mouth of the river.

SEAL ROCKS

Seal Rocks is approximately 12km southeast from the mouth of the Boyne River. If you don’t know the area very well, please seek local advice before launching from any point along the Boyne as there are some rocky outcrops that can be hazardous.

Seal Rocks has one large rock formation, and separate formations at the end of the larger one. The area fishes well for pelagic species. If you are in pursuit of Spanish mackerel, fish for some yakkas or yellowfin barracuda, which are abundant in this spot. Troll these or use as live bait as the Spanish just love them.

School mackerel also troll this area for food, so float a pilchard to bring up the goods. Species such as coral trout, coral cod, yellowfin bream and especially sweetlip are popular catches among anglers. Plastics weighted accordingly to be slow-retrieved to the top, bottom bouncing or strip baiting are all great options here.

Jenny Lind Banks

Jenny Lind Banks is a small area where the ground elevates a few kilometres southeast of Seal Rocks. It’s very small but does fish well in the right conditions. The Jenny holds the usual suspects and fishes similarly to Seal Rocks. Bottom bounce here for reef species such as trout and Spanish. Troll, float or live-bait for pelagics like trevally, mac tuna and similar.

I will continue to feature some more areas in the coming months further south and north of Gladstone to inspire you to try somewhere new.

Reefs

With all the rain and wind that comes with this time of year, there have been better opportunities to head out of the harbour. March will see an influx of pelagics closer to the coast in areas such as Rundle Island and Bass Shoals. Snapper will also start to show in small numbers from now until July/August unless we get an influx of hot weather. They may start to show in the deeper water as the weeks progress. Currently they love the shallower inshore waters, around 12 Mile is a great place to target them, and there are lots of marks on the internet to get you going, then move your target areas closer to the coast.

Cabbage Patch fishes very well, but watch the run, the bite seems to fire on the incoming tide around three hours out but if that wind picks up then the bite will be over unless it’s a northerly. If this is the case then change tactics and surface lure around bommies and you’ll find yourself some nice Spanish.

Out wider through Masthead and Sykes the bommies seem to fish well for trout, however into the evening and pre-dawn they tend to fire in deeper waters as well. Reds have shown up sporadically as have blue tuskfish, caught on weighted bait on the drift, strip baits and or scented plastics.

Calliope River and Boyne River

The upper reaches are my go-to tip, I’ve seen many jack and barra caught further upstream than down, ZMan in pearl is my preferred choice for the jacks, however live bait thrown toward the snags will do the trick. Calliope River Bridges and Causeway are getting plenty of jack action along with bream and barr. Heading a bit further north out of the Calliope toward Port Alma, Grahams Creek and Targinnie have had enviable catches of king threadfin salmon and barra.

The mud crabs are feeding again, live bait is the go all round.

Barra Boyne, that’s how we should all know the river, has produced great numbers of barramundi, and social media has been flooded with pictures since the start of open season. Live mullet and white plastics get the most attention. Pikes Crossing fishes extremely well in the early hours of the morning.

That’s it from me; if you would like any further information or want to share photos and stories of any catches please email me on --e-mail address hidden-- Feel free to join our Facebook group Gladstone Fishing Network.

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