Wreck and roll
  |  First Published: August 2016

1770 wrecks are fishing great. The deep water trawler wrecks, Shannon and Barcoola, are on fire with large cobia and yellowtail kingfish pulling your arms off in the winter months, if you can get through the schools of trevally. The wreck of the Spirit of 1770 cruise boat is still on the bottom with talk of salvage non-existent, but it could become another excellent place to fish.

Looking at a video of the wreck, the boat is sitting upright on the sand, with the tunnel between the cat hulls. This would be an obvious lurk for gold-spot cod. Get some live yakkas at the 2-mile bait grounds, drop them on the wrecks and hang on. Anchoring is the only way you will fish these wrecks. Achieve this without losing your pick and expensive chain, get yourself a regular house brick and 60m of light cord attached to two round foam crab pot floats. If the brick fouls in the wreck you won’t lose an expensive anchor and should get your cord back.

Sound out the hull of the wreck and drop your brick right on top of it. This will achieve two things: it will give you the direction of the current by lining up the two floats, and show you where to place your boat anchor safely upstream from the wreck. Drift backwards, lining up your floats, so your boat is over part of the wreck where the fish are. When the tide turns, move accordingly. This way, your valuable sand anchor and chain are away from the wreck and you can let out rope until you’re in position. Use a sand pick instead of a reef pick, as the surrounds of our wrecks are all sand.

Wayne said the secret is hightide with no run in the water and a good quality Asari, Yamashita or Yo Zuri jig. Wayne did well on an Asari EGI King 3.0 on light spin gear with a 12lb fluorocarbon leader. Squid jigging is a revered art in Japan and they make the best lures with state-of-the-art technology. For catch technique, use a long cast, let the jig sink to the bottom and then walk-the-dog with rod flicks. Let it sink again and repeat.


Cooler weather has seen a change of species in our estuaries and coastal waters. Flathead have been arriving in good numbers with reports of fish size in excess of 70cm, both in the estuaries and in beach gutters. To target these fish, look for areas where the dropping tide channels baitfish off the flats and into deeper water, where these ambush predators can lay in wait. Flathead are somewhat lazy, preferring to lie in a good location and let the bait come to them. Covering lots of likely ground with soft plastic shads, grubs and small hardbody minnows can be very productive.

Some nice captures of whiting have been up to 40cm, and there are heaps of them. Bait is usually the preferred option for these fish. Pippies, beach worms or fresh yabbies work a treat. For more adventurous anglers, try targeting them on the flats using light line and extra small poppers, in natural or clear colour patterns. They are great fun on the surface and you’ll find a few flathead in the process too. 

Beach fishing has produced good results. Mulloway have been common captures of late, and will hang around for the duration of the cooler months. With a slow start to the season, good numbers of tailor have come through, and they’re decently sized. Target these in the deeper beach gutters and close to rocky headlands using whole pilchards or garfish. Spinning metal slugs and surface lures can also be very productive.

When camping in 1770 stay at the boaties’ paradise, 1770 Camping Ground. – Josh Lunn

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.


Chris Carnell scored this great blue maori.


Laura Byrant has a huge tiger squid.

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