May Mixed Bay
  |  First Published: April 2009

The first schools of baitfish that move on to the bays reefs during the cooler months have started to arrive indicating winter is on our doorstep. Here’s what you can expect on the water this month.


There are still some mackerel and tuna carving up bait schools around Wathumba. A few cobia are also on the prowl taking live bait and plastics around the gutters, the coral patch and the Fairway Bouy. Golden trevally, cod, trout and blackall have all been boated off Maringa bommie on squid and live bait. Bagimba Ledge is starting to fire as well, with plenty of little cod (and a few big ones), blackall, squire and coral bream.

Down the straits whiting, bream and flathead have fished well on tiny surface poppers fished amongst the jelly prawns in 100mm of water. Ultra light braid is the best way to get the most out of small poppers and they are deadly on most estuarine species.


Extension has finally kicked off with the first barge load of concrete pipes being dumped. The original reef has degraded over the years and was a shadow of its former self. Local businesses donated the pipes and now the council has jumped on board too so the future looks good for one of the most popular spots in the bay.

The Arti meanwhile has fished well for cod, blackall, coral bream and there have been a couple of jacks being pulled from the three ships on live yakkas. Squiry snapper are starting to move in on the Arti and should improve in size and numbers as the water temperature drops.

Moon Ledge has been producing similar results with cod, blackall, squire, golden trevally and a few mackerel on unweighted pillies fed back through the current.

Blackall carry ciguatera

I received a report recently that a family had got a dose of ciguatera from a blackall about 6kg caught off Moon Point, which is a bit of a worry as blackall are a stable part of many Hervey Bay anglers mixed bag.

Ciguatera is a very localized problem for the Bay and over the years I have heard many different techniques to detect ciguatera but nothing has been failsafe. Staying away from species that are known carriers and releasing the bigger fish will certainly cut down the risk but who really wants to let all their bigger fish go? The approach I have adopted is to have a small portion of each fish first and see how you feel the next day. At least if you do become ill it is only a small dose.

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