Over the Moon
  |  First Published: July 2010

This month should see Fraser Island’s tailor season in full swing.

Even in June there were encouraging reports coming in from along the ocean beach with good catches of tailor coming in from Poyungan Rocks and beaches as far south as Eurong. Quality has been extremely good for such an early stage of the season.

While Fraser Island enjoys its ocean beach season, it is common to see a run of somewhat smaller tailor throughout Sandy Straits and the southern parts of Hervey Bay. This has been the case again this year with a much better class of fish than usual being taken.

Just a reminder that the annual closures are now in effect. From 400m south of Indian Head to 400m north of Waddy Point, fishing is totally prohibited. The northern face of Indian Head is certainly the most popular and crowded tailor spot on the island when the season is open. Anglers will have to wait until noon on the opening day at the end of September before they will be able to access this headland.

Moon point

Previously I looked at the first of the viable options on the eastern side of the island that are accessible by 4WD from the eastern beach. From there, we took the sandy road from the ocean beach near the Maheno across to Woralie Creek. About 11km to the south, Moon Point protrudes into the lower Hervey Bay. It is possible to reach Moon Point from Woralie Creek but crossing the fickle mouth of Coungul Creek at low tide is not recommended, particularly for a lone vehicle.

August and September are certainly the best months to visit Moon Point for two very good reasons; firstly, there is almost certainly a good run of sand whiting and, secondly, the annual invasion of weed has probably not begun. It is important to remember that the weed infestation on the western beaches is not related to that of the eastern beach, Thankfully we haven’t seen the weed on the eastern beach for a number of years.

The recommended road to Moon Point leaves the ocean beach at Happy Valley, and there is plenty of signage to keep you on the right track. This route takes you through Yidney Scrub, what I believe to be one of the best examples of Fraser Island rainforest. It is worth a brief stop just to listen to the birds and appreciate the beauty of the place.

Further west, the terrain is more open and the track can become more difficult, particularly in prolonged dry conditions. The reduced canopy allows the sand to dry out, become powdery and churned up. This is not a good place for a low clearance vehicle! As it is the main route from the Moon Point barge landing to the ocean beach it sees a reasonable number of vehicles, including tourist buses, between 9.30am and 10.30am. The trip across the island can be expected to be about an hour. Towards the end of the drive there are turn-offs to the old logging dump at Puthoo and to the inside of Moon Creek.

On reaching the coast, there is a track straight onto the beach and one to the left that follows the beach to the Moon Point barge landing. Both drops onto the beach can be quite steep and very soft and, particularly at high tide, there is very little opportunity to take a run at getting back off the beach.

Once on the beach it is possible to travel north almost as far as Coungul Creek and south to the northern mouth of Moon Creek over the lower half of the tide range. If intending to drive onto the beach, I would advise checking out beach and tide conditions and the state of the drop for the return. You don’t need to leave solid ground to enjoy good fishing.

For the beach fishing, whiting are the main target. Not surprisingly worms are in a class of their own and can be caught along the beach at about the mid-tide level; I prefer to take some from the ocean beach and leave more time for fishing. Preserved worms also work well, as do some of the new artificial ones, yabbies, small peeled prawns and fine squid strips.

Whiting are available right along the beach but the spot I always head for is a few hundred metres north of the first track towards Coungul Creek where the beach protrudes. This protrusion results in a good run of water on flood and ebb tides; conditions that work well. Fishing the last of the ebb and the first half of the flood usually brings best results.

Bream, flathead and dart can also be expected. To the south, between the two beach drops, the water is quieter but still capable of producing fish. In fact some of the better class of fish are taken in these conditions.

South of the barge landing, the beach soon becomes quite steep but still able to turn on some good whiting fishing. Further south again, the complexities of the creek mouths become evident, which we’ll look at next month.

One of the most interesting spots along this beach is the barge hole, a depression churned out by the visits of the Fraser Dawn from Urangan. The barge does not run as regularly these days so the hole is not as pronounced as it used to be. The best time to fish the hole from the beach is low tide as it becomes a little too far out at high tide. You should never be surprised by what you might catch here. Bream, dart, tailor, school mackerel, tuna, flathead and golden trevally are all on the cards.

Next month we will venture a little further south to the Moon creeks and onto the flats inside the point.

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