Bay of Plenty
  |  First Published: October 2009

In the past month the bay has come alive with pelagic species of all descriptions. The key to the influx of predators is the baitfish, which are scattered throughout the bay and its reef systems.

On calm days vast schools of baitfish, ranging from tiny whitebait through to herring, yakkas and garfish, are clearly visible schooled up on the surface and the predators have been flocking to his easy meal. It’s quite a sight and not a place to put your hand in the water with all the wanted pelagics getting in on the action and some big, mean sharks scooping up their fare share.

In the estuaries flathead have been actively feeding in the lead up to spawn taking yabbies, live baits and artificial lures. Summer whiting have improved in the last few weeks and are taking yabbies and worms at Christies Gutter, Round Island, Torquay Beach and most of the creeks along Fraser Island. The best fishing times have been a few days before the full moon with a northerly breeze to help stir things up.


The reef fishing has been great with pearl perch to 6kg, parrots, green jobfish, cod and a few trout from the eastern side of the shoals. Trolling this area is a lucky dip at this time of year with yellowfin tuna, mackerel, cobia, trevally, wahoo and marlin all a real possibility.

Rooneys has been loaded with bait from the ledge along Shark Alley to the Coral Patch. School and spotted mackerel, mac tuna and longtails are all giving the bait a touch up, while golden trevally and small black marlin can be found working the edges. Bottom bashing has been a little slow for the bait soakers with only a few decent fish being caught amongst a carpet of undersize fish.


The Urangan Pier has been fishing well with schools of bonito, school mackerel, tuna, goldies and GT taking live baits, Flasha lures in the 35-50g sizes and plastics. There have been a few fish getting taxed by the resident groper so heavy tackle is a good option when chasing bigger fish. The first channel has been producing flathead on live bait, bream on prawns and yabbies and summer whiting on worms and yabbies.

Garfish have been around in good numbers taking small pieces of yabby and worm fished off quill floats and are easily berleyed up with a mixture of tuna oil and Weetbix. If intended for the table, garfish are a little work but their sweet little fillets are worth the trouble.

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