January is always very productive for chasing pelagic species in Hervey Bay.
Casting lead slugs to surface feeding fish is the best way to catch most species, especially tuna and mackerel. Live baiting and trolling are alternative methods and both are good ways to find the fish when they are feeding deeper or are too scattered to bother chasing.
The Wathumba Creek area has fished very well lately for spotty mackerel and there have been a few pick handle sized specimens amongst them. Longtail tuna have been a little hot and cold but should fish well for the next couple of months, until the water temperature starts to drop. The washing machine has produced a few blackall and coral bream, while the silver trevally have been hard to get bait past when they turn up.
Rooneys Point always fires at this time of year and along with the usual tuna, mackerel and marlin there have been a few odd-ball species taking trolled lures over the ledge. We watched a wahoo come from a couple of metres of water to smash the closest lure to the back of the boat during the recent gamefishing tournament. At around 10kg it wasn’t a bad fish and was the last thing I expected to see inside Rooneys. It just goes to show what the Bay can turn up!
Sixty-two anglers fished from 19 boats in weather that ranged from 10 knots to 30+ knots in the Hervey Bay Game Fishing Classic. 101 fish were tagged, with only 1 black marlin and 1 sailfish being tagged over the tournament.
The Champion Team for boats 7.5m and over went to Wet Spot, while the Champion Team under 7.5m went to Nag Free who also took out Champion Team Overall. Nag Free also had Champion Angler Luke Whybrow aboard.
The Heavy Tackle Champion Team was taken out by Freedom, Champion Fly Angler by Justin Nye and Sarah Postan won Champion Junior Angler.
While the billfish were very shy the other species kept everyone busy and it was a great weekend. Many thanks to Shimano, WIN television, Penn, Anglers Den, Tropic Lures, Wellsy’s Tackle and everyone who supported the tournament.
Dave Campbell with a wahoo caught at Rooneys Point.Reads: 972