Bream on the Deluge
  |  First Published: July 2008

Wild weather lashed the east coast from Fraser Island right down to the border during the beginning of June and put an immediate stop to most fishing pursuits. However, there were plenty of options before the rain began and as soon as the dirty weather settles there will be many more opportunities to catch a feed.

Lake Macdonald is once again overtopping. Hopefully the resident bass, or what is left of them, wont have that spawning urge just yet and will remain in the lake. If the lake spills over into Six Mile Creek next month, the mature bass that remain will go with the flow in the hope of spawning downstream in the brackish water of the Mary River. This occurred last winter and we lost many of our famous big bass that have kept us all coming back for more.

The fishing in Gympie, Maryborough and Hervey Bay was instantly transformed with thousands of big bass following the big fresh downstream. Hopefully some of those fish will have spawned and lifted the natural recruitment in the Mary catchment. If the Traveston Dam proceeds the fish will be unable to run to the brackish water to spawn in the future, and those at that end of the system will be unable to return to the upper reaches. It’s a no win situation as far as future fishing opportunities are concerned.

The Noosa River was just starting to clear when the latest deluge began. A few good flathead, plenty of bream and some excellent whiting were being caught in the lower reaches. The bream numbers will increase over the next month and will keep everyone entertained until the water clears. Also consider targeting flathead, jew and in a few more months, jacks.

Weyba Creek has been the place to go for a feed of tasty whiting. Small live prawns and pink nippers are the gun baits for these fish. Towards the end of May, the fish averaged 30cm on some outings with plenty over 35cm, which is good going. Please remember to take enough for a feed and leave the others where they belong.

Flathead have been only an occasional catch of late, but this will improve as we head towards the end of winter. Trolling small minnow lures is a pretty good way to find a few fish, as is drifting with frogmouth pilchards, a live herring or poddy mullet. If there are a few flatties about you are sure to connect to one with quality live bait. A bunch of lively clicking prawns will do the job also and bring the fish from far and wide.

Bream have been a good target in the lower reaches. Small plastics have accounted for plenty with a few flathead and estuary cod thrown in for good measure. A few quality tailor and trevally have also been hunting in the lower reaches, particularly at dawn and dusk. Slugs or poppers are a good way to target these fish.

The beaches have delivered consistently for the past few weeks, however the big wet accompanied by a big blow may have put a stop to that. North of the river mouth, whiting, dart and a few bream have been worth pursuing with tailor in the deeper gutters.

Offshore there has been plenty of activity with some excellent bottom fishing and plenty of pelagics taken on the surface with slugs and on the troll. Most reefs have delivered quality fish, with night sessions around the full moon the best bet. Snapper, pearl perch and the odd stray coral trout have kept most hopefuls happy.

With plenty of dirty water running down the Noosa River after the rains, sweetlip will once again become a good target on the close inshore reefs. Pilchards or squid will get the job done and a feed of tasty sweetlip is very hard to beat.

Whilst the pelagics seem to still be around they are no longer gorging on bait schools on the surface. Bottom bashers are catching a few and there are encouraging reports of trollers getting into them as well. Unweighted live yakka have also accounted for some quality tuna and Spanish mackerel.

I recently fulfilled a long-term dream and saw myself on a heli-fishing trip up on Cape York. Brazakka Wallace runs Cape York Helicopters and he specialises in fishing and hunting safaris, exiting Cairns. This is truly a sensational way to explore remote coastline and fish the most inaccessible creeks, rivers and billabongs in Australia. Trips can be tailor made to suit the individual and can include sensational destinations such as Haggerstone Island, which is a fisho’s paradise. Besides the ever-present supply of trevally all around the island that cannot resist a quickly worked popper, the fishing options are numerous and anglers, divers and snorkelers are well catered for with the islands custom 40ft plate alloy jet boat at the ready.

Dropping into rarely fished destinations after shooting up the coast only 300ft off the sand at 180km/h is something else! On the way you will see plenty of crocodiles as well as pigs and magnificent scenery. And yes, you’ll catch plenty of fish too!

So, if you are keen on experiencing the trip of a lifetime drop me an e-mail and I will give you a run down and contact details.

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