This time of year is great with all the monster pelagics biting their heads off. We just finished fishing the Hervey Bay Game Fishing Tournament and the water was really alive with fish. It was our slowest year with billfish but with so many other fish around like cobia, wahoo, yellowtail king, dolphinfish (mahi-mahi), yellow fin tuna and almost every other species of tuna as well the catch rates were well up.
The waters off Bundaberg have been full of large schools of mack tuna and bait and with a recent trip to the Gold Coast we saw evidence of these schools right down through the Sandy Straits, Mooloolaba, Moreton Bay and off Stradbroke Island. I guess that’s why so many people come to Queensland to fish! Everybody seems to know about this except for the government who still insist on protecting every corner of Queensland’s waters from us horrible fisherman.
A great thing that I have noticed with the tightening up of bag limits and the reduction in netting in our waters, is that the fishing has picked up. There also seems to be a new breed of angler coming through the ranks that can understand the benefits of releasing fish and at times tagging. This gives full credit to our education system that is obviously getting through to the kids of today. I have seen a noticeable change in the customers we have on our boat with the difference in thinking between the adults and the children.
Large schools along our coast are coming closer and closer to shore and are within reach of the many small boat anglers that frequent our shores. The bigger fish are on the inshore reefs and this month have seen monster fish caught such as Spanish mackerel, big barracuda, marlin, sailfish, tuna, cobia, trevally and the list goes on.
On a recent trip from Hervey Bay I caught a Spanish mackerel of 10kg plus and a barracuda of around 40kg just trolling home.
The shelf is at its best at the moment and I don’t understand why people travel all over Australia trying to hit the premier fishing spots when we’ve got it all here in Bundaberg. We have sailfish, marlin and light tackle gamefishing that would rival places like Rowley Shoals in WA.
On a recent trip to the shelf we were running heavy tackle hoping for a good marlin. We crossed the spit at 7.00am we had our first hook-up at 8.00am, we managed to hook-up six marlin around the 100kg mark with the biggest being about 170kg. We also caught some massive wahoo over 40kg and dolphinfish around the 10kg mark.
The dams are fishing a little slower due to recent rains but this time last year is when we caught our 1m+ fish.
This time of year is a great time to catch reefies, we usually do a trip with the family to catch some Christmas dinner Queensland style. We usually have an abundance of red emperor and coral trout biting through December and January.
The rivers are at there best also over Christmas with warm water temps turning on the big jacks and barra in the creeks.
If you would like to experience some of Bundaberg’s fishing or would like some info on where to go and what to do call me on 0427 590 995.www.bundabergfishing