Quality fish off the beaches
  |  First Published: June 2003

EASTER at Rainbow Beach was extremely busy, despite the poor weather. There were hundreds of cars on the beach and the rough weather exposed the Mudlo Rocks; not a good combination.

Many four-wheel-drives got stuck on rocks or swamped in the surf, and needed to be professionally recovered. Every one of these mishaps could have been prevented if people were prepared to get out of their vehicles and walk through first. Literally hundreds of others made it through the rocks but totally drenched every square centimetre of their vehicles by travelling too fast. I wouldn’t like to be in the market for a second hand four-wheel-drive! Please be aware that if the rocks are impassable there is the ‘Freshwater Track’ that links Teewah Beach with the Rainbow Beach Road. It’s a pleasant drive through the rainforest and is a better option than losing your vehicle.

Beach Fishing

Despite the poor weather and the constant stream of travelling vehicles there were some good fish caught over Easter. The Rainbow Fishing Club met on Easter Saturday and weighed some outstanding tailor to 3.5kg, whiting to 650g, 1kg-plus bream and quality dart. The vast majority of these fish were caught during the night on Teewah Beach.

Fish of this quality will be more common this month and easier to catch, with prevailing westerly winds and calm seas. If you want to catch the really good fish you should fish at night, particularly the first hour after sundown and the last hour before sunrise. Your bait should be the best possible, either live worms for bream, dart and whiting or fresh bonito or small tuna for bream and tailor.

Sandy Straits

The fishing in the Straits has been steady, with only the odd bream, golden trevally and summer whiting being taken. A few winter whiting are starting to make an appearance and should be more plentiful during June. Mud crabs have been quite abundant and active, which is probably due to the plentiful rain we’ve been experiencing. I’ve always read that you should chase crabs only in the months that contain the letter ‘R’, but I know several locals who catch muddies throughout winter.

Offshore Fishing

The Spanish mackerel season has been very good, with plenty of fish hitting baits and lures when the weather allows. As the season progresses the average size of the fish seems to increasing. I have heard reports of plenty of 14–18kg fish being taken when the weather allows. One of these fish goes a long way for a recreational angler, so please keep only enough for a feed. Bottom fishing for the usual target species will improve dramatically as the weather cools and the current eases, and I expect June to be prime time to visit the offshore grounds. Some light winds should see boaties heading to the wider grounds to seek large pearlies, snapper and red emperor. I’m looking forward to it!

1) Cedric Burne with a whiting and bream. The beaches have been delivering quality fish lately.

2) The fishing in the Sandy Straits has been producing the occasional bream, summer whiting and golden trevally like this one.

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