Cyclone Debbie caused havoc in QLD and NSW. Luckily for the Fraser Coast, we missed the worst of it. What Debbie did bring us was some much needed relief from the hottest, driest summer I’ve ever experienced. Since the rain, things have gone back to the lush, green coastal town we are used to. The bay seems alive again after all the creeks and rivers had a good flush out.
In the bay expect local reefs to fire up after the rain. As we head into the cooler weather, look for cod, blackall, coral bream, tuskies and squire. Places like the Arty, Moon Ledge, Bagimba and McKenzies are worth a try using squid, prawns, herring and live baits. Micro-jigs and plastics work great on our shallow reefs, especially after an influx of rain.
Patterns that replicate local baitfish, squid and prawns are all worth a go. I usually fish baits and plastics together to cover all options. Sharks are a constant problem in Hervey Bay, but they go into overdrive after a decent downpour. Throw some dirty old catfish into the mix – we can expect plenty of rubbish fish to be around for a while.
On the flats flathead, bream, cod and grunter will be prime targets on plastics and small hardbodies with all the nutrients and baitfish around. There have also been threadfin and barra working the flats in the sandy straits and adjacent to our rivers and creeks. I spooked a threadfin the other day that was well over a metre and it sure gets the blood pumping when you see a fish like that in knee deep water!
Taking stock, the local lakes and ponds littered amongst housing developments are home to many freshwater and brackish species. Unfortunately we lost many fish during the drought and the first influx of water due to degraded water quality. We lost some big fish too with barra up to 1.2m found floating, which was heartbreaking forlocal residents.
Having lived there for years unaware of the healthy fisheries on their back door step, it shocked many people to see what actually lived in these waterways. Locals in the know have enjoyed catch and release fishing for metre plus fish right in their backyard and are working with the council to replace what was lost.Reads: 140