June is a magical month of the year when you live on the Fraser Coast. With an average winter temperature of 23°C it’s hardly a harsh winter experience, but we still get the odd cold snap!
In the bay our creeks and estuaries have had something for everyone with plenty of mud crabs about, decent sized prawns being caught by the kilo and good numbers of bread and butter species keeping anglers busy. Squid have also been prevalent everywhere from the flats to our local reefs, jetties and rock walls and they should improve as they move in to feed and spawn during June and July.
Our local reefs will see an influx of baitfish during the winter months predominantly made up of yakkas and herring. This aggregation of bait coincides with many fish species’ spawning cycles, including our annual run of snapper in the bay. Local hotspots for snapper include the Artificial Reef, Moon Ledge, Arch Cliffs and Wathumba and further afield at the coral patch off Rooneys and the Southern Gutters.
Fish the tide changes with plastics, livies and fresh baits that can handle all the little picker fish without falling apart. Try local squid, pike, whiting, yakkas and tailor for the best results. You can also expect cod, blackall, trout, coral bream, nannygai and tuskies with the same approach, as they feed on the same bait schools.
Our local channel markers and beacons fish well through the cooler months for trevally, mackerel, tuna, tailor, cobia and the odd reef fish on micro-jigs and plastics worked vertically around the bait holding tight to the structure. Alternatively, a pilly on a gang or a live bait works fine as well.
Up at the island we had a good run of big longtails and a heap of mac tuna throughout the bay during autumn. There have been some big schoolies and spotties caught as well. As the water temperature drops the tuna slow down. There are still plenty of fish about, you just have to work harder for them. Trolling known tuna grounds has worked well for me in the past and having a live bait free swimming out the back while bottom bashing has accounted for some big longtails over the years.
There are still plenty of reasons to brave the cold mornings and chilly nights to wet a line this month in Hervey Bay.Reads: 1261