It’s that time of year again when the banana prawns show up in big numbers. This year is going to be no exception with heaps of big bananas about during the early part of February. They should stick around for a few more weeks and the numbers will start to drop off later in the month.
You can find schools of them by using your sounder. Look for dark puffs that indicate the prawns are balled up together. Sometimes when there are plenty about, you can see them showering across the surface of the water as you drive past. If you find yourself in amongst a run of prawns and there are heaps of boats casting, be respectful and keep a safe distance from other boats.
You should be able to find banana prawns in the deeper water off Karragarra right down the main channel past Browns Bay and to Cabbage Tree Point, amongst the boats around Steiglitz and Rudy Maas, out the front of Behms Creek down to the boats at Jacobs Well.
You can use a standard cast net to catch prawns. However, I find they don’t sink fast enough and the majority of prawns have time to escape. For the best results, use a proper prawning net with chain mesh as weights. These are heavier and harder to cast but they sink twice as quick and you will catch a heap more prawns. A proper prawning net will set you back about $250-$350. It’s well worth it if you love your prawns. Remember, the bag limit is 10L per person.
Mud crabs should be showing up in good numbers from Browns Bay to Cabbage Tree Point along the mangrove-lined banks and drop-offs. Try using fish frames, chicken frames or old meat as bait as they have proven to work the best. Some other good spots to try are between Tabby Tabby and Mosquito islands, Cobby Passage, behind Woogoompah Island and in the Pimpama River. Sandies should be on the march in Canaipa Passage, Tiger Mullet Channel, Pandannus Bank and in the main channel from Rocky Point to the top of Macleay Island.
If you love a feed of whiting, as we all do, this month is a great time to fish for them. The water temperature is just right and there are some big tides, which is when they feed the hardest. The faster the water is moving, the better the fishing is. Use an appropriate sinker to make sure your bait gets to the bottom where the fish are. I use up to a 6 ball sinker when the tide is really ripping in. Try around the sand flats across from Rocky Point, Tiger Mullet Channel, Fishermans Channel, Tipplers Island and the Never Fail Islands.
If you are going to chase flathead, head out to the deeper water around Kalinga Bank, off Swan Bay and out the front of the lagoon that has formed at the top of South Straddie early in the day before the wind gets up. I recommend 5-7” plastics or vibes. Try to time that time of day with the turn of the tide when the water slows down so you can get your plastics or vibes to the bottom. When the tide starts running too hard, make your way back to shallower waters and have a flick or troll. Try around the Pandannus weed banks, the mouth of Whalley Gutter, the sandy shallows near Slipping Sands and along Mosquito Island.
• Thanks for all your reports and keep those fish coming in. If you’d like any advice or up to date fishing information drop us a line at Gem Bait & Tackle on (07) 3287 3868 or email --e-mail address hidden--Reads: 732