AT THE time of writing the weather has been quite settled, which is typical now that my holidays are over and I’m back at work! The last few mornings have been calm and the boaties have been able to get outside.
The beach fishing in the Rainbow Beach area has been very good lately. Cedric Byrne and Gary Enkleman weighed in some sensational whiting at the last fishing club meeting, all over 500g. Cedric also weighed in some beautiful tarwhine and a large tailor. Whiting have been abundant in the surf, right along Teewah and Rainbow Beach. I’ve been taking my children fishing and they’ve had a ball catching them right at the water’s edge. Other fishermen nearby were casting over the whiting and only catching undersize dart.
During March last year local anglers caught some very good quality whiting, so there should be good fish around this month. Not large numbers, but quality fish of around 40cm. These larger fish are usually caught mid-week, as heavy weekend four-wheel-drive traffic seems to frighten them out of the shallow, low tide gutters. My family uses yabbies and worms as bait, but the worms are more successful. If you can’t pull your own worms, you can usually buy live ones in town.
During March you can also expect to catch plenty of dart, but you will need to target the deeper gutters to successfully catch larger fish. Bream and tarwhine seem to be around most of the year, so you should expect to encounter these species, particularly if you fish areas with some coffee rock.
Spanish mackerel are being taken at the ‘Pinnacles’, north east of ‘Wolf Rock’. Some days the commercial line fishermen get only a couple of fish, and other days a dozen or more, though the fish are quite small. The season so far hasn’t been exactly red hot, but the fishing will possible improve during March. Time will tell.
Catches of spotty and school mackerel have been patchy, and they’re here today gone tomorrow. The most reliable location to date seems to be the ‘Bar Reef’ which, as the name suggests, is not far outside the outer bank. Plenty of sharks also frequent this location, so you can usually be assured of latching onto something. If the ban on ring netting is enforced the numbers of fish will hopefully improve.
Bottom fishing out wider has been extremely difficult, with strong current and large numbers of undersized fish. Seems we will have to wait until the squire and pearlies make it past 35cm. Definitely a good thing, and hopefully the future will be brighter for these species, although I believe a minimum size of 40cm would have been more appropriate.
The fishing in closer has been much better, and some excellent catches are possible. Dave Tardrew and his crew recently boated some excellent Maori and estuary cod, along with sweetlip, parrot and moses perch. I would expect a similar situation during March and, if the weather allows access to offshore waters, I’m confident of a relaxing and successful day.
A few golden trevally have been entertaining anglers at Inskip Point, and these fish should still be around during March. Most successful anglers use small, live, legal sized sand whiting or winter whiting to catch these fish. At ‘Big Mick’, the large green beacon in from the bar, anglers have caught sharks, mackerel and tuna as baitfish are drawn to the vicinity. Remember that the minimum size of spotty mackerel is now 60cm; a lot of the fish in this area are undersized and should be returned safely to the water.
A few mangrove jack, flathead and whiting have been taken lately, and the fishing in March should be similar. Crabbing has been quiet and might need some more good rain to improve.
1) Stephanie, Gemma and Sam with some surf whiting. These fish are plentiful at the moment.Reads: 1916