Scott Bradley is the President of the Hervey Bay Boat Fishing Club and has years of experience fishing in and around Hervey Bay. I’d like to welcome him to the Queensland Fishing Monthly team, and look forward to his monthly updates and predictions for the Hervey Bay area. – Ed
I’ve been living in Hervey Bay now for about 13 years and I honestly believe the versatility of fishing available here is second to none. On any given day you can go reef, estuary and creek fishing, in many instances all within 100m of each other!
The sport and game fishing is red hot here too. Fraser Island provides anglers with enough shelter to make it possible to fish with a southeasterly blowing better than 20 knots. Fraser’s vast expanses also allow trailerboats a chance to fish locations further afield (up to 60 nautical miles) while still only being a short distance from land. For this reason, tuna, mackerel and billfish are often caught in very shallow water.
I caught my first marlin in less than 10m of water and only 100m from the beach. I’ve since caught them in less than 3m on several occasions!
Recently I took my fiancée Diana to the Southern Gutters for a day/nighter fishing trip. Di has caught marlin that have become tail wrapped and subsequently died, and hooked sharks bigger than herself that didn’t fight much, so all she wanted to catch was a fish that would put up a decent fight!
We anchored just before sunset and couldn’t get past the catfish for the first hour or so. I managed a lovely snapper just under 6kg that had Di saying “That’s what I want”. Di then hooked something far bigger than any snapper I’ve seen. She hung on for grim death as it pulled her all around the boat. An hour later the biggest cobia I have ever seen materialised from the deep. I sunk the gaff and struggled to lift it in the boat.
The 25kg scales I had bottomed out just after I got the cobia’s head off the ground, so at a rough guess I called it 34kg. That’s one hell of a fish in anyone’s terms!
Out wide, the trout have been on the chew lately and some good numbers of Spanish mackerel have been caught. There are heaps of mack tuna throughout the bay and a few snapper are starting to turn up in the usual places. Prawns are starting to push down the Burrum and Mary rivers and mud crabs have been on the move lately too. So even with winter here, there are still plenty of good fishing options in and around Hervey Bay.Reads: 659