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Flat calm conditions for flat fish
  |  First Published: July 2016



The mornings are pretty crisp now, but it’s well worth getting out of bed to chase the plethora of species available on the Fraser Coast at the moment.

Winter whiting are on the move with plenty of boats catching their bag limit off Gatakers Bay and south of Round Island.

Grunter have continued to be a familiar catch up the creeks, in the estuaries and on our local reefs. The Fairway Buoy has been another hotspot for grunter with quality fish being caught at dawn and dusk.

Some good catches of squid have being reported lately in the bay, and just about everytime I’m on the flats I spook a few. Big Woody Island has produced the better local squid and there have been a lot of coral trout being caught on lures in close on the shallow reefs.

OUT WIDE

The Southern Gutters have had plenty of action lately, but the problem is the sharks are making it near impossible to get a decent fish back to the boat. Normally when the sharks are thick, you just move on to the next spot, but at the moment, as soon as you start to catch a few fish at a new location, they’re back mooching under the boat waiting for their next feed. It’s crazy to think we have strict bag limits we have to abide by to maintain fish stocks, and we can’t fill them half the time because of the sharks!

ON THE FLATS

Flathead numbers haven’t dwindled, with double figure catches being the norm. I even went down before daylight the other day to catch the tide and caught a couple of 50-60cm fish on lures in total darkness. Usually their stomach has a mixture of crabs and varied baitfish, but the last few have been full of baby whiting and that’s the profile of lure we’ve been catching them on.

They have been woofing them down too, and it’s definitely not the subtle takes we’re used to with flathead. I’ve been using shallow diving hardbodies around 50-100mm and at least 10lb fluorocarbon leader to handle their gill rakers and head shakes during the fight.

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