Let’s take a look around Mackay to see where the hotspots have been.
Down in the saltwater the barra are almost everyone’s first choice target since the opening of the season. There have been plenty of fish around in the usual hotspots like Constant Creek at the barra hole, Murray Creek near twin gullies and Victor Creek upstream of the boat ramp. Most of the fish I have heard of have been caught on livies.
In the Pioneer River large tides thwarted most anglers efforts at the opening of the season but once the tides start to settle barra will be around the rocks at the Bridge and near the Vee down near the mouth. Use shallow diving lures around the rocks and live baits like prawns or small fish at the Vee.
There were quite a few jacks around in late January. Steve Palmer had a nice jack chopped in two by a small shark when fishing from the Forgan Bridge in the centre of town. It’s not uncommon to see sharks around 1m in the river.
Depending on the rain (if we ever get a real wet season again!), whiting and flathead will be around the beaches and creek mouths. It’s worth putting in the effort if you want a nice feed. Yabbies have been the best bait and visitors should check with the local tackle shops for info on where to pump them.
At this time of year Mackay’s beaches traditionally fish very well for golden trevally and snub-nosed dart. Use yabbies for your best chance. Good spots to try on the run up tide include Lamberts, McEwans, Blacks and Bucasia beaches. Keep an eye out for a few anglers working one area, that’s a reasonable indicator that a school of golden trevally or dart might be around. Check out the weight of the gear they are using and you will soon work out if they are chasing whiting or something much bigger.
Prawns and crabs are about, but have been a bit hit and miss. If there is a lot of freshwater about, try crabbing on the flats out either side of the creek mouths as crabs are often flushed down the systems. Look for prawns at low tide in the mouths of small gullies and under overhanging mangroves. Remember to limit your catch and take enough for a feed or two only.Reads: 1015