The May day long weekend looked set to be another howler but the south-easterlies dropped out on the Sunday, which saw a full parking area at the 1770 boat ramp and plenty of fishers heading to the reef.
Congratulations to Agnes Water local Mark Cross on winning the best coral trout that weighed in at 7.5kg in the May Day weekend Boyne Tannum Hookup Fishing Competition.
Coral trout was the main catch in May, with some rippers landed around Boult and Fitzroy reefs. Trout love live bait and large fillets of hussar or iodine bream were the best baits.
Snapper can be caught all year round on the shelf off the Bunker group, but this time of the year sees them move inside the Islands. Some nice snapper were caught in May and will be around in numbers over the cooler months.
The 9-mile gutter, South Bustard Reef and the gravel grounds around 13-mile at 30° from the 1770 headland will carry snapper, especially at night. A floating bait with a light running sinker cast out after 10-15m of line has left the spool, will present more naturally to snapper, which can be feeding at any depth.
Deep water jigging over the Shannon and Barcoola trawler wrecks has produced a fish a lot of people will say are quite rare to our area. Yellowtail kingfish are pound for pound one of the best fighting fish you will catch. Jigging knife jigs above the wrecks will give you a fight to remember, and seeing that colourful fish break the surface with a couple of his mates tailing him gets the adrenaline flowing. Once they are on the surface large stick baits will catch them.
In New Zealand ‘kingies’ are revered as the country’s best fighting fish and grow a lot bigger than the local fish. Yellowtail kings bled on capture and placed on ice immediately make for great eating.
Josh Lunn gives us the lowdown on the local inshore action this month.
Fishing the estuary systems has been quite productive over the last month. Due to a lack of rain and subsequent run-off, the prawn season has lasted longer than it usually does with great catches continuing.
Schools are holding in the deeper holes and growing to an above average size. The abundance of prawns has in turn kept the predatory fish feeding with reports of big mangrove jack, estuary cod grunter and some quality barra still coming in despite the onset of cooler weather.
There have been catches of quality whiting reported as these fish also take advantage of the prawn run and can be found feeding on the prawns over the flats and drains on the outgoing tide. This presents a good opportunity to try something new, get out the light rods and target those fish using small poppers and stick baits in the shallows.
Mud crabs have been on the move with reports of good catches of above legal bucks in the mix, most are healthy, full, and holding good weight.
Flathead captures have been on the rise with nice fish over 60cm landed. The number of flathead will steadily increase with the cool months ahead of us. Schools of trevally have showed up around the river mouths and rocky outcrops and have provided some great sport when targeted on light gear.
Headlands have produced a mix of pelagic species with Spanish mackerel over 10kg harassing the herring schools out front, as well as spotted mackerel, school mackerel and longtail tuna working the bait into Bustard Bay.
In the coming month, beach fishing should start to see the annual return of cold-water species such as tailor and mulloway move up the coast. Other welcome by-catch here includes yellowfin bream, tarwhine and schools of dart. Early signs are all pointing to a productive season ahead.
Tight lines and happy fishing! – Josh Lunn (Agnes Water 1770 Bait & Tackle)
• Stay at 1770 Camping Ground right on the beach at 1770, and for your local fishing advice call Tony or Josh Lunn at Agnes Water 1770 Bait & Tackle, phone (07) 4974 9304.Reads: 337