BNB Fishing mag | July 2021

Page 1

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From the Bush ‘n Beach Fishing editor

A

S the nights start to get cold and the doonas make an appearance, it looks as though our week or so of winter is here in southeast Queensland. This also means winter species such as bream, pearlies, jewfish and snapper are on the chew. While these species can be caught all year, they are more prolific at this time as they are getting ready to spawn, which makes them more active and hence hungrier and easier to catch. However, as anglers we need to be aware of bag and size limits and closures. In Queensland, snapper and peal perch have a closed season from July 15 (12.01am) to August 15 (11.59pm) where no snapper or pearl perch can be kept. The closure is for all Queensland waters and has been established to assist stocks rebuild to a sustainable level. By not targeting them during this time they should be able to produce young and increase the overall biomass of the stock. If you do catch a

snapper or pearl perch during the closure, it is important to handle the fish carefully, unhook it appropriately, and release as soon as possible. Snapper may also need to be treated for barotrauma. It is also worth noting outside of this closure that there is a boat limit of eight snapper, which came into effect in 2020. That means even if you have three or four people on board you can still only keep eight snapper. While it is great to get a feed of snapper, I do encourage fishers to change their fishing efforts, especially during the closure. Plenty of other species are out there to keep you busy and you will be paying it forward for future generations and the fish stocks in general. And yes, I know you may be thinking ‘why put a snapper on the cover’ – well they are still a top-quality table fish and are also caught and released outside of the closure, so education is the aim here. BNB Fishing Club I’m sure many of you

are aware of our Facebook page Bush ‘n Beach Fishing Maga zine (it has almost 50K followers), however, Facebook is continually making it hard for us to reach you so you can see our posts. To combat this, we have made a new group called BNB Fishing Club. Make sure to check it out online and join or if you get an invite, please accept it. By having a group, it allows you the reader to post pictures, ask questions and chat to each other. This format will enable us to provide more fishing and boating information, which is what BNB Fishing is all about. It is also part of a larger plan, which should come to fruition before the end of the year. Queensland trip By the time you are reading this I should be somewhere near Longreach or Winton checking out the dinosaur trail. The Collins and Bock families are embarking on a four-week lap of Queensland with caravans in tow. While mainly sticking

to the blacktop for this adventure, I am excited to get out of the city and hit the bush and show the kids more of this great state we live in. I will pen a series of articles on the adventure to give you tips if you plan to embark on a similar journey. Unfortunately, four

weeks will only grant a glimpse of the state, but it will give us an idea of how the crew go at touring – we have mainly done our camping and caravanning to a set location previously. Tight lines and safe travels if you are getting away for the school holidays. Ben Collins

OUR COVER

MITCH is on the money with an early morning prize. Picture by Heath Zygnerski. You can read his article about targeting these fish on page PAGE 38.

NEXT EDITION: August edition will be on sale in news­agents from July 31. JULY SUBSCRIPTION PRIZE: See the subscription form on Page 81 to go in the draw to win 1 of 2 pairs of Blundstone boots valued at $225 RRP. MAY PRIZE WINNERS: Congratulations to J Jackston, Bundamba who has won a Toadfish Outfitters pack valued at $350 RRP.

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Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 5


July 2021 contents

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A midyear mixed bag in the bay. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Mark Templeton . . . . . . . . . . . . . P8 Introducing the Blundstone #984. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P10 Brisbane River revisited after a long hiatus. . . . . . . . . . . . . by Paul ‘Chief’ Graveson . . . . . . . P12 Winter species move into Moreton Bay. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Sean Conlon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P13 Grinning about grunter in July. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Keith Stratford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P17 Winter breamin’ in Moreton Bay. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Brian Webb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P20 Trolling for flathead Part 2: Hard-bodies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Sean Thompson . . . . . . . . . . . . P22 Fishing for your mental health. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Ben Smith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P26 GOAT Fishing with ZMan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Justin Willmer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P30

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Gold Coast squidding sessions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Clint Ansell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P34 Winter means Gold Coast snapper. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Heath Zygnerski . . . . . . . . . . . . P38 Deepwater jigging secrets. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Brad Smith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P40 Plenty of north coast action post-mackerel. . . . . . . . . . . . . by Gavin Dobson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P41 Tide Times. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P44 Ballina beaches produce big bream. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Brett Hyde . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P45 Vale Ted McLean. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Tye Porter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P46 Product News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P47 Winter kicks off on Sunny Coast. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Grant Budd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P48 Rainbow Beach trip on rare weather window. . . . . . . . . . by Mick Clutterbuck . . . . . . . . . . . P50

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Recipe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Melissa Frohloff . . . . . . . . . . . . P51 Targeting arrow squid in the Strait. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Melissa Frohloff . . . . . . . . . . . . P52 Chilling out in Hervey Bay. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Tri Ton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P53 Chasing Murray cod with paddler lures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by James Jones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P54 Two days aboard with a commercial licence holder . . . . by Bill Corten . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P56 Muddies make last run and reefies fire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Brad Young . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P60 Readers’ Forum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P61 Midwinter on Capricorn Coast. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by John Boon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P62 Run-off goodies in Cape York . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Dave Donald . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P64 Late season sweetwater sensations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Brett Parks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P67 Product News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P68 Yamaha launches next generation V6 Offshore outboard range . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P69 Insights into boat insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P70 Charter Directory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P72 Magic in the Queensland outback. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by ‘Billabong’ Bazz Lyon . . . . . . . . P74

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New for the winter cod season . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Neil Schultz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P76 Carp Diem: pest seizes on post flood conditions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P77 Murray cod start breeding at Glenlyon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Brian Dare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P78 Trading Post. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P80 Subscription Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P81 Page 6 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

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14 Like us on Facebook (Bush ’n Beach Fishing Magazine), post your photos, share in the laughs and win prizes!

Check out our YouTube channel BNBFTV for boat tests, product reviews and other interesting videos.

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Our website bnbfishing.com.au is updated several times a day with the latest news and handy fishing articles.

The Team

EDITOR: Ben Collins ADVERTISING: Tiffany Brown PRODUCTION: Adrian Cardaci, Lisa Jones, Bob Thornton

Bush ‘n Beach Fishing magazine is published monthly by Collins Media Pty Ltd ABN 43 159 051 500 ACN 159 051 500 trading as Collins Media. Phone 07 3286 1833 Email: ben@collins.media PO Box 162, Wynnum, Qld 4178 PRINTER: Spotpress DISTRIBUTION BY: Fairfax CORRESPONDENTS: Editorial contributions are welcome, as is news from clubs, associations or individuals; and new product news from manufacturers. Entire contents copyright. Nothing may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. It is the responsibility of advertisers and contributors to ensure the correctness of their claims and statements. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher.

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Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 7


While fishing up a local creek, Julia nailed this solid metre-plus threadfin.

A midyear mixed bag in the bay W INTER days are certainly bringing out the very best in northern Moreton Bay. With the colder days and nights, we are seeing flathead caught in both good numbers and sizes.

Northern Moreton Bay

by MARK TEMPLETON

It has been a mixed bag, with people getting a feed by using bait, soft plastics and even trolling or casting shal-

Sang managed to land this fantastic longtail from the Shorncliffe Pier. Page 8 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

low and deep divers. ZMan Curl TailZ, Squidgies Wriggler 120mm in Bloodworm and RT Shads seem to be the plastics of choice. Nomad 70mm Styx Minnows and 68mm Maverick along the flats have been highly effective. From Nudgee to the small creeks in Pumicestone Passage, everybody seems to be doing well. If you’re not a lure fisho, white bait on a set of No. 4 gangs and a 000 sinker cast against the current and allowed to float back past has been a favourite technique of mine when chasing lizards.

Hardyheads and small blue bait also picks up a few as well. Boaties have also been cleaning up on good-sized flathead when drifting or slow trolling over sandbanks and weed beds. There have been quite a few tagged flathead showing up too. With tagged fish it is important to take the time to collect the information specified on the tag and give these details by calling the phone number, which will also be written on the tag. A lot of people release tagged fish so they can continue providing useful data. Of course, these fish make a great table fish as well, and you’re allowed to keep them if you wish; just make sure you report the capture.

When you venture out on the flats during low tide, take a minute and look around you to see how many flathead lies there are, as the number of lies seen at low tide can be quite significant. We have inspected about 150m of the foreshore and counted at least 60-70 lies in various sizes. Tammy decided to give Baxters Jetty a crack with Raesha. They snagged a discarded soft plastic and decided to have a go for laughs. Well, the laughs turned serious when she landed a cracking little flathead. Plenty of other species were caught and released as well. Glenn has been at it again on the Shorncliffe Pier and catching * continued P9

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A midyear mixed bag in the bay * from P8

plenty of quality bream and flathead. Glenn is traditionally a bait fisho when on the pier and is very successful. He catches bream in the mid to high 30s, mainly by fishing under the pier with 000 sinkers or no sinker at all. If you are out on the pier and see Glenn wetting a line, stop and he will happily show you his technique for pulling the bruisers out from underneath. The best thing about flathead fishing is that people of all ages can get out there, soak a line or flick a lure in a few feet of water and come home with a feed. They are a reasonably easy fish to catch and

certainly satisfy at the dinner table. Winter whiting have shown up, with some great numbers taken from around the Caboolture River mouth, Pumicestone Passage, Skirmish Point and the Sandhills. Quite a few other areas are also firing, with good numbers and sizes being recorded. Live bloodworms, preserved beach worms, squid strips and peeled prawns are the baits of choice, and don’t forget to add on a piece of old pink or red tubing for better results. The weather has been a bit hit and miss lately. So on the perfect days, boaties have been making the most of small windows and getting out there, clearing the

cobwebs from their boats and getting their arms stretched. Talking about getting the old arms stretched again, Sang Trinh got the blood running when he hooked up with a cracker of a longtail tuna. He had a massive battle on his hands, but managed to land the beast from the Shorncliffe Pier. A well-deserved rest was taken after he landed this one, so a huge well done Sang and hopefully you will get more before they take off. While on the subject of great fights and awesome outcomes, Julia starred when fishing up a storm in one of our local creeks. * continued P10

This fringefin trevally was a surprise for Tammy.

Tammy caught this nice flathead from Baxters Jetty.

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Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 9


Introducing the Blundstone #984

M

ARKET leaders for safety footwear in Australia Blundstone has expanded its selection of durable and premium boots with the launch of the #984. With new research undertaken by Blundstone revealing that young workers are looking for colour variations in their safety footwear, Blundstone’s #984 in a stone colour nubuck leather is on trend for today’s wearers. An extension of the hugely successful XFOOT rubber range, the new boot is packed

with all the benefits of Blundstone’s legendary safety and comfort features, to suit even the toughest environment. Some distinct features include the water-resistant nubuck leather, YKK heavy-duty zip and thermal regulating bamboo lining for allday breathability. The #984 boot leads the way in underfoot comfort with its inclusion of XRD Technology for serious underfoot cushioning, as well as Electrical Hazard Resistance and a TPU bump cap for additional durability.

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• 7-eyelet lace with lace locking device • Convenient heavyduty zip with zip fastener • Moulded TPU bump cap for added leather protection • Padded tongue and collar • Thermal regulating bamboo lining • Low density shock absorbing PU midsole with anti-bacterial agent • Rubber outsole designed to specifically increase slip resistance in varied environments • Excellent cut and slip resistance, highly resistant to hydrolysis and microbial attack • Heat resistant to 300C • Oil, acid and organic fat resistant • SPS Max—XRD Technology in the heel and forepart strike zones for increased im-

pact protection • Removable Comfort Arch footbed with XRD Extreme Impact Protection forepart insert for greater impact absorption and comfort • Footbed is antibacterial, washable and breathable • Steel shank ensures correct step flex point and assists with torsional stability • Electrical hazard resistant • Broad fitting 200 joule impact resistant steel toe cap. Blundstone boots are available online and in stores via select retailers throughout Australia, and are backed by a 30-day comfort and six-month manufacturing guarantee. For further information, visit blundstone. com.au

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A midyear mixed bag in the bay

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* from P9

With 102cm of pure fight coming Julia’s way in the form of a cracking king threadfin, she dealt with it in short time. Once the photos were taken it was released to fight another day. Epic performance there Julia, well done and keep up the great work.

If you are chasing a good feed of tailor this season, they can be found in most of the popular haunts, from the surf side of Bribie through to the bottom end of Stradbroke. Reports have come of large tailor around Brighton, Redcliffe, Woody Point and Sandgate. Moreton and Strad-

die are not only great places to take the family and have a break, but some quality fish in good numbers are there for those putting in the hard yards. We have unbelievable resources within Moreton Bay, with many, many more stories to be written, so get out on the water and start your own chapter!

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ESTABLISHED IN 1946 Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 11


Brisbane River revisited after a long hiatus

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The author’s first Brisbane River bream in ages.

The author with a nice plastic-caught tailor.

A fantastic pan size river squire. Page 12 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

IVING on the Discovery Coast offers a diverse range of fishing options and I feel I’m blessed, but it was good to find myself back in Brisbane and flicking a lure around my old haunt on the Brisbane River. Unfortunately, I only had a small window of time to reminisce and try my luck, so I launched my tinnie at the Colmslie boat ramp. The river is looking fantastic and my Garmin sounder was soon showing the reason why four trawlers were working the area around the Gateway Bridge for prawns. As much as I was out to enjoy the day’s experience, I was also on a mission to put together a feed of fillets for my mother while I was in town. Clarity in the water around the Gateway area was impressive, with bream clearly visible around the pylons. The first dozen casts around the structure using small deep diving cranks only provided the occasional half-hearted bump and not an aggressive hit. I thought the bream might have been gorged on prawns and the bump is more territorial than feeding. I was beginning to vary my retrieve and using a few stalls on the wind, trying to entice a strike, when suddenly a smile appeared as the first

Outdoors by PAUL ‘CHIEF’ GRAVESON

proper hit resulted in a nice 35cm bream sliding into the net. Casting the lure to the back of the pylon where the fish were escaping the tidal flow was proving the important ingredient. The strike zone appeared to be closer to the pylon, and if the offering passed in open water there was no attempt to chase. Why bother when your belly is full? Part of the joy of fishing is matching the hatch or having your own theories on success and I believe fishing artificial structures accentuates the need to think about what’s going on. Now that’s the Brissy River I remember so fondly. I continued to pull a few fish out of the pylons, but overall size was down, with only one of them stretching to 30cm. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard to beat quietly drifting and flicking a lure into those tight little areas while filled with anticipation, hoping one of those 40cm-plus bruisers would just maul it. Every fish hooked on the day was in brilliant physical condition and fat due to the abundant food source on offer. As the run in the tide increased, I began fishing the more

open water where the sounder was showing massive schools of bait hugging the bottom. There were plenty of arches around the packed balls, so I switched over to plastics to fish the bottom column of water in about 10m. It didn’t take long before a nice tailor smashed the plastic and put on quite a show, especially when coming to the net with a burst of high-flying acrobatics. Like the bream the predators must have been having the time of their life down there. Starting with a ZMan Curly TailZ in Electric Chicken, I tried just about everything, and it was a Transam 95 that managed two legal squire. Although not the most productive session I’ve ever had, it was so great to be back on the river and I just want Brisbane people to know what a brilliant fish habitat they have right on their doorstep. I achieved what I wanted to do by providing my mum with some fresh fillets, but honestly what a wonderful way to spend a few hours. I’m sad I only had the one opportunity to fish here, but it was truly a special experience.

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Winter species move into Moreton Bay n Gearing up for flathead, snapper and mackerel

A

T this time of the year I probably should be saying get the flathead and snapper gear out, but to tell you the truth it’s been a real mixed bag lately. In saying that I’ve had to use pretty much every trick in the book to put my clients onto fish. This means that no matter if chasing flathead, snapper or mackerel, we’ve been trying to make sure we use the right technique and the right gear on the right parts of the tide to maximise our chances of catching fish. In this article I’ll just

Southern Moreton Bay by SEAN CONLON

do a quick overview of what you should look for with your tackle when targeting a few fish over the coming month. Let’s look at flathead. You should be looking at something around a 7’ 2-4 kg medium action rod with a 2500 spin reel spooled with 4-8lb braid and a 8-12lb leader. I have a mixture of jig heads between 1/8oz right up to 3/8oz with a 3/0 hook. You need a few pad-

dle tail and curl tail soft plastics, and then a few different hardbodies that are going to dive anywhere from 1-2.5m. With either soft plastic or hard-body lures, you will need a little bit of variation in colour. I like to use bright colours in clean, clear water and dark colours in darker water. When targeting these fish during winter months, I’d be concentrating my efforts up against the mangrove

lines at high tide and down around the bottom of the mudflats on low tide. One other thing that can help you catch more fish is to fish where there’s a concentration of flathead. If you catch one in an area, there will likely be more. When you catch one in the 60-75cm range, you can take that fish home and there is no problems with that, but just remember it will probably be the big breeding female that’s keeping the smaller males in that area. Most of these males will be from legal up to

about 55cm, so if you want my advice put the big girl back and then just farm some boys off her. Another species that we will be targeting over the coming month is snapper. I predominantly fish for these a little bit more in summer than I do in winter in southern Moreton Bay. I catch slightly bigger fish in summer, while in winter I get a lot of little fish. By that I mean a lot of 30-33cm fish. In summer I look for these fish more on flat rubble ground, but in * continued P14

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Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 13


Winter species move into Moreton Bay * from P13

David had to fish light to get this southern bay squire to bite.

Peter with a nice squire taken on a Zerek Absolute Shrimp.

winter I look for structure, as they congregate a bit more, most likely for breeding. For snapper, use a 3-6kg rod with a medium action and a 3000 size spin reel spooled up with anything from 8-15lb braid and 1020lb leader material. When fishing for these I like to find a bit of structure and then use a good quality sounder such as the Lowrance HDS Live. These units have side imaging and down imaging to show me where the fish are on the structure or if there are any fish on that structure. For snapper, I like to fish two hours before the top of the tide and about an hour after the top. If I can get a tide

change in conjunction with the sun coming up early in the morning or the sun going down, it increases my chances substantially. One other little thing is I get many people asking me how I find a lot of those pieces of structure. I locate many of them by picking an area, sounding with good electronics, knowing how to use them, and by just slowly trolling hard-bodies in that area. If I catch a fish while trolling, I make a note and often come back later and fish with my soft plastics or bait whichever is working at the time. Estuary cod are definitely welcome bycatch for my customers, and they show up regularly when fishing

for snapper. When it comes to chasing school mackerel in winter, getting out there early in the morning and using the high tide to bring the bait down to the bottom of the bay is a good way to go. Keep a look out for the birds working, as often where I am trolling a few hard-bodies the fish just pop up and you’re in the right area. If this happens, make sure you have a rod ready to go. I use a 3-6kg outfit with a 3000 spin reel with a little metal slug, and as I said before have that rod ready to go so if they do pop up near the boat you can fire a cast out. Be prepared to bag anything from tailor and bonito to school * continued P16

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Winter species move into Moreton Bay * from P14

Bill caught a nice cod while casting soft plastics in southern Moreton Bay.

Ashley with a southern bay school mackerel.

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mackerel, and if you let the lure sink far enough you’ll pick up the odd squire, flathead and all sorts of other things that are underneath the pelagic fish picking up the scraps. I haven’t seen too many winter whiting being caught in the southern part of the bay at the time of writing, but if you like chasing bream then the numbers have been building up. If fishing for bream, look for the rocky areas extending off the ends of the bay islands, and don’t be afraid to have a bit of a look at where the channel drops off from the mudflats. You may be quite surprised at how many fish congregate along there but I think they’re definitely worth a try if you like chasing bream. Just remember, the lighter the gear the more success you will have. I usually use nothing heavier than a 6lb leader and prefer monofilament line as the main line instead of braid, so I get a nice bit of stretch. These fish tend to muck around with the bait a little bit and if they feel any pressure they’ll often drop it and you will catch a lot more smaller fish. With our jobs and our lives many of us are time poor, so if you can learn more and optimise your time on the water, then why not? Remember, know­

ledge is the key. Until next month stay safe on the water. And if you’re interested in any of our off the water tuition classes or on the water tuition classes or you just want to do a fishing char-

ter, don’t be afraid to give me a call on 0432 386 307 or send me an email at seanconlons fishing@hotmail.com or check out the Face­ book page ‘Seano’s Inshore Fishing Char ters & Tuition.’

Glenn trolled up this cod while chasing snapper on a Zerek Ripper Diver.

Ryan took this school mackerel from the southern bay. www.bnbfishing.com. au


Grinning about grunter in July

W

INTER be in swing

Big Bretto with a Brisbane River mack tuna taken on a Zerek Fish Trap.

will full this

month. All cold water species should be in good numbers throughout the rivers and creeks in southeast Queensland. June started off very well, with constant cold temperatures getting the fish very active. The Brisbane River has continued to fish very well. I had a recent session with my mate Bretto on the river. The wind was howling straight up the river early and it was freezing. Snapper were a bit quiet, so we started doing a bit of exploring up around Clara Rock. As we got close the mack tuna were busting up everywhere.

Local Luring by KEITH STRATFORD

They were right up on top of the rocks in a few metres of water and carving up the surface. Mack tuna work really well as crab bait, so we had a quick cast at them. Bretto hooked up pretty quickly on a Zerek Fish Trap. The big fella hadn’t fished for a few months and he was feeling the pain after a few big runs. Eventually a decent tuna popped up next to the boat. Bretto wasn’t real keen on going for round two, so we left them chewing to look for a few fish for the Esky. While the snapper

were nowhere to be found that day, we did stumble across a school of really nice grunter. They were holding in tight to very crusty structure, so we had to get our plastics in tight. These things aren’t too different from mangrove jack, and you need to pull them out of heavy structure once hooked, so the drags were locked up tight. We ended up pulling four good fish to 65cm out of the school before they went quiet and moved on. Hopefully it’s a good sign for the months ahead.

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Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 17


Phil Benfer landed this good sized grunter recently.

Good-sized grunter like this have been turning up the rivers and creeks around Brisbane. This one ate a Gulp Crazy Legs Jerk Shad.

Grinning about grunter in July * from P17

The author pulled this big grunter out of tight cover in the Brisbane River on a Gulp Crazy Legs Jerk Shad.

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They are amazing on the plate and are great fun to catch, so let’s hope it’s a good season for them. There are two types of grunter found around southeast Queensland. The most common is the barred javelin. These are the biggest of the two species and they have a minimum size limit of 40cm. The other is a spotted javelin, which is generally smaller and has a minimum size of 30cm. I have caught a lot of these while bait fishing and cast netting in Pumicestone Passage. They can be a real pest when small and you’re chasing other species. Grunter have also started showing up in other systems around Brisbane. I had a good session with my mate Phil recently. We only landed a few, and unfortunately missed plenty. A couple of years ago we had an excellent run of them and it’s look-

ing like we might have another good season this year. Threadfin have also been pushing upstream in the smaller rivers. I’m not a big fan of chasing them in the deep water around the mouth of the Brisbane River, but I love catching them in the shallows where they cut some serious water when hooked. They can also be released a lot easier without venting or using a release weight. I don’t believe in deep fishing for threadfin for fun in the Brisbane River and then trying to release them. The sharks are way too smart to let an easy feed like that go by. We hooked a few threadfin recently while chasing grunter. These were hooked in 1-3m of water while casting plastics along the edges. Quite often the bite is more of a push, but when you set the hooks in them they take off like a scalded cat. It’s hard to keep up with threadfin in the

shallower water and they often get rid of the hook before you can get good pressure on them. They also rub through leaders very easily unless hooked perfectly in the corner of the mouth. I only use a 10-20lb leader when casting around the creeks so bycatch like grunter, jewfish and flathead don’t shy away from a heavy leader. By far my favourite plastic for river threadfin and grunter is the Gulp Crazy Legs Jerk Shad. In my opinion it is the best all-round plastic on the market, as it catches everything. Jewies have still been very quiet. Maybe they are dodging me at the moment, but I haven’t caught one for ages. Normally they will be thick in all the rivers by this time. Hopefully that changes this month. That’s it from me. Get out there and enjoy the action that winter brings to southeast Queensland.

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Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 19


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Winter breamin’ in Moreton Bay

W

INTER in the bay means three things. Snapper stocks increase, tailor turn up in reasonable numbers, and the humble bream are easier to find due to it being their spawning season, and they school up around most creek or river mouths. The better areas to target bream are the river and creeks on the northside, with areas like the Hornibrook Bridge and Shorncliffe Pier producing good catches. Further south the river has a number of spots to try, from Boggy Creek, Cameron Rocks, Bulimba Creek, Newstead Park, West End, Wynnum Creek and Wynnum jetty, Mud Island, from Macleay Island down to Jumpinpin, and the rock wall and piers at Dunwich. My three favourite places for bream would have to be Mud Island, Kalinga Banks and Tiger Mullet Channel near Jumpinpin. Making the decision on what to target is not always an easy one, however I let the weather make up my

Moreton Bay by BRIAN WEBB

mind for me. On good days I head out chasing bream and tailor, which also gives me the chance of snaring a few snapper. While on not so perfect days, fishing the river for bream and jewies is the alternative. Bream and tailor are species that I target at the same time and are good fun once you have found an area where both are in good numbers. When targeting bream I use a bait that is small enough for them to eat, whereas for tailor I prefer to float a small pillie out. Fishing in winter may not be the most comfortable activity, but the

chance of catching a big bream soon makes you forget about the frozen fingers. It pays to be out there early in the evening or in the morning on a changing or incoming tide. My favourite baits for bream are mullet gut and chicken gut in a bread crumb mix – the breadcrumbs create their own berley trail. I also throw a few plastics around on jig heads in either 1/8oz or 1/6oz weights, with plastics in pumpkin seed, motor oil or bloodworm colour, and a little Pro-Cure Scent also goes a long way to enticing a bream.

* continued P21

A tag was found on this bream. www.bnbfishing.com. au


Winter breamin’ in Moreton Bay * from P20

When throwing plastics for bream I use a graphite rod about 6-7’ in the 1-3kg or 2-4kg range and reels in the 2000-2500 range spooled with 10lb braid. Leaders are an important piece of equipment, as bream will take you into snags very quickly, and 12lb leaders are enough to stop a quality bream. Bream fishing is one of the most inexpensive forms of fishing you can do because you don’t need expensive rods, reels or bait. Simple 5” Alvey reels or the same gear used for plastics are fine. My rig consists of a running sinker in the 0-00 range, which is just enough to get your bait down, and a

Mustad 99247 between No. 1-2/0. For land-based fishers, there are plenty of areas in the Brisbane River where you can have a go for bream. Alternatively, you can fish the marina and piers south of the river. If fishing Mud Island, you have the option of also targeting snapper with mullet strips, squid heads or hardyheads. Those using hardbodies have plenty of success, but with such a huge range to choose from these days it can be overwhelming. I have had some success on TTs Switchblades in the 1/8oz size, but prefer to use mullet and chicken guts. Yes, it might be a smelly affair but these baits work for me.

I very seldom keep 25cm bream, as you will find bigger ones down there, and you usually score a few around 38cm in the bay, which produce nice size fillets. I like to use a berley pot, which attracts the fish to the boat and your bait. When fishing the river I will usually have a live bait out, which can easily be found in Boggy Creek or near the water treatment plant, and this gives you the chance of a jewfish or threadfin as you fish for bream. So, throw on your ugg boots and beanie, and fish the early morning tide change before the sun appears, and tide changes after the sun has disappeared.

These snapper came from the shallows around Mud Island at night.

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Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 21


Trolling for flathead Part 2: Hard-bodies

I

N the May edition I wrote about trolling for flathead with soft plastics in the shallows. This month I am looking at the more common method of trolling with hard-body lures.

Fishing Tips by SEAN THOMPSON

Interestingly, trolling seems to be making a bit of a resurgence in popularity among estu-

Flathead trolling is one of the author’s favourite fishing styles because it is so productive.

Bright UV lures are a great option in dirty water.

ary anglers. In the late ‘90s, at least where I regularly fished on the NSW south coast (as well as the mountain lakes), it was common for boats to be zigzagging along shorelines doing their best to avoid cutting the lines of boats around them. That popularity has been making a comeback in southeast Queensland thanks in no small part to the ongoing success of wellrespected local guides and fellow BNB scribes Brad Smith, Sean Conlon and Clint Ansell. These gents troll for a range of species including flathead, mangrove jack and snapper. Do yourself a favour and book in a day with them – you won’t regret it. In my case, the trolling bug never went away since the ‘90s boom and I’ve continued to enjoy it to this day. I love it for a few reasons. First and foremost is the success. You cover so much more ground trolling a

couple of lines behind your boat and putting your lures in the faces of fish you might not have got to by throwing soft plastics. I also love the thrill of listening to the gentle hum of the motor when all of a sudden you hear the screech of the reel and the creak of the rod holder as the rod buckles under the pressure of a fish on the other end. Finally, I enjoy thinking like a fish. Rather than just throwing your lines and hoping, thinking like a fish is a great way to learn more about where the fish are. By watching your sounder closely and following map contours and water depth changes, taking note of your speed, water temperature, baitfish and even subtle changes to the water’s surface indicating wind direction or different current flows, you will improve your catch. That said, just be aware that sometimes trolling can be one of the more frustrating types of fishing there is. That is on some days, usually after a few days of strong northerlies, the water can turn a dirty discoloured colour

and be full of floating ribbon weed. Trolling along and continuing to remove weed from fouled trebles can drive even the most patient angler nuts. Just be aware of this and avoid those days after strong northerlies. This is another reason why trolling in winter in Queensland can be so good, because there are very few strong northerlies. Locations Top spots to troll on the falling tide include along the edge of flats that drain into deeper channels, along the front of creek mouths and shallow drains, in front of rocky points and along the boundary of oyster leases. On the rising tide, shallow drains deep enough to troll in are a good option, because as the tide approaches high, the edges of mangroves can be a great option. Another effective winter high tide option is shallow bays only accessible on high tide, with the shallower water somewhat warmer due to warming by the midday sun. You should also move between target loca* continued P24

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Trolling for flathead Part 2: Hard-bodies * from P22

tions rather than waste your time trolling barren grounds. By barren grounds, I’m referring to areas such as hard featureless and bait-free sand and general areas free of

much if any structure. Rod and lure tactics Lure colour Lure colour is a personal preference, but the key bit of advice is to try to match the water colour. In winter the water

Suitable trolling tackle includes graphite rods, small reels such as the Alvey SR60 Orbitor and bright 6lb braid.

Angling your rod holder upwards in shallow water can help the lure from tangling up.

The author’s brother Ross with a winter-caught fish. Page 24 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

can become very clear, so you want to be using clear colours such as light greens, blues and whites. Pinks are an all-water colour favourite of mine as well. After rain, discoloured water calls for darker hard-body colours. Fluorescent colours in green, pink and orange and lures that have added UV to make them stand out in the dirty water are excellent. Lure depth Choosing the right lure for the water depth you are fishing is also critical. When trolling for flathead using hard-bodies you want to be regularly hitting the bottom where the fish will be lying in ambush. Hitting the bottom regularly will also throw up little puffs of sand and mud, attracting the attention of the fish. Having a range of lures that dive to different depths helps you cover a range of options, even in terms of a spread of lures while you troll. When I’m trolling along the edge of a drop-off for example, I will have a shallower diving lure on the inside and a deeper diving lure on the outside in the deeper edge. I also like to run a deep-diving lure in close to the boat (about a boat length behind to stir up sand and mud and attract fish to the lures behind it). Occasionally it will be taken by a hungry flathead. In terms of length back from the boat for the other lures, I’ve experimented with lures up to 25-30m before,

but have found generally a range of between one and a half to three and a half boat lengths works well. You can also have one shorter and one further back to mix up your options. Another trick when you are in water too shallow for your lure is, rather than changing them over to a shallower lure, to first try angling your rod holder upwards so the lure isn’t running so hard into the bottom and risking getting fouled up. On the other hand, if the water is a bit deeper, try angling your rod holder down, thus getting your lure deeper. Tackle Bright braided line like the Platypus P8 range is a big advantage when trolling, so you can see where your lines are to avoid them tangling each other. The other advantage is that the stretch-free line shows up the action of the lure better on your rod tip and any weed on the trebles will be quickly identifiable on your rod tip by the rod tip no longer nodding from the movement of

the lure. In shallow mid-water depth I find 6lb braid is more than enough and I will vary my leader according to water colour and depth, but generally run 3m of clear fluorocarbon leader between 10-14lb at the business end of the line connecting the lure. I also use small reels in the 2000 size range such as the Alvey SR60 Orbitor and 7-7’6” medium action graphite rods to once again get the best action on the lure without the rod being too sloppy and absorbing the movement of the line. On the other hand, if the rod is too stiff it can also limit the action. Be sure to set your drag so the line comes off under a bit of pressure to set the hooks, but not too tight that the hooks can pull from the fish’s mouth on hookup. So there you go, I hope those tips and tricks work for you. For more tips and tricks and a video, check out my Facebook and Instagram pages, Ontour Fishing Aus tralia.

Good spots to troll include the entrance to drains and creeks. www.bnbfishing.com. au


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The author and Mark with their 92 and 98cm snapper, respectively.

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HERE are days where things just don’t seem to go to plan, and I’m not talking about losing a big fish. Sometimes you’re simply feeling a bit down and out. Sometimes there are periods when things just seem too much, and you want to spend a bit of time out to let your worries slip away. We all experience times like this at some stage and wonder how best to deal with it. For many of us fishing is simply the best way to relax our minds, a time to let go of the weight of the world that we feel like we’re carrying on our shoulders. Fishing for many of us is more than just recreation, it’s a way of looking after our mental health and in so many cases it’s one of the most useful tools for people to be able to deal with the hurdles

Gold Coast by BEN SMITH

life puts in front of us. It was a hurdle I recently had to deal with along with some of my close mates, but in particular my best friend. After a short but heartbreaking phone conversation we knew that a day off work was what both of us needed, and a morning in the boat fishing the Sea-

way was going to be our way of dealing with things during an unexpected time of grief. Our plan was not to have a plan, and so we ended up putting the boat in the water about 8.30am, which is usually way too late for the good morning bite. Anyway, we headed

* continued P28

Brad O’Rourke with a little Seaway jewfish on a live yakka. www.bnbfishing.com. au


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Fishing for your mental health * from P26

The author’s 92cm Seaway caught snapper, which ate a live yakka.

While it was originally planned for this specimen to be released, it struggled to swim off, so Mark kept it for a feed.

Mark North with his 98cm snapper taken on a live yakka in the Gold Coast Seaway.

The author found this cobia by floatlining a pilchard at the 36-Fathom line off Surfers Paradise. Page 28 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

out to the bait grounds slowly, and we chatted as I drove. My mate tied on a Wilson Bait Jig, and we sounded out a larger than usual school of bait and before we knew it we were filling the live bait tank in the back of the Bar Crusher with yakkas. “I bet I catch a 20lb snapper in the Seaway on one of these,” Mark commented, as we both laughed. “Yeah, right,” I said. Within 15 minuets we had filled the tank and made the short trip back into the seaway very enthusiastically in the hopes that we would at least get something to take home for dinner. We rigged a yakka on a short jigging rod I had picked up out of the garage as we left home. We had forgotten to check the drag, but I remember it was done up pretty tight from a previous trip when I had been out jigging for kingfish. I positioned the boat on the spot and Mark lowered his live bait to the bottom. Several boats were fishing there that day, including a few of the locals. The bait got no more than halfway down before I could hear him yelling “I’m on” and the sound of line peeling off the spool had my attention. Mark had hooked something big and it was giving him heaps. I reached for the phone and started recording, as we both knew it was going to be a very good fish. He had called it for a

jewfish, but as it came in we recognised the big head shakes and as it swam within view, all we could see was the hue of grey turn to pink. It was a snapper, and it was massive. By now we had quite an audience both surrounding us in boats and on Facebook Live. We were getting comments coming in, but the excitement on board was overwhelming. As it tired, we netted the beast and had landed a 20lb snapper in the Seaway. I have fished that spot as long as the Seaway has been there and never caught or seen a snapper that big in the area, nor do I know of anyone who has. We were so excited and thought that we should put her back where she came from, so we put the deck wash in her mouth and gently put her back in the water. She didn’t want to swim and when she went belly up, we decided to keep it for the family to eat. After taking a few photos and getting over the buzz, we decided to go back to the end of the drift and try for an elusive jewie. This time I wanted to try my new Shimano Anthem rod, so I hooked up another bait and dropped it slowly to the bottom. We couldn’t see many other people hooking up, and as the tide slowed almost to a dead stop, we assumed the bite was over. I lowered it anyway and had barely counted one colour of braid off the spool of my Tranx

300 before it started ripping off uncontrollably. I turned the handle to click it into gear and it still kept peeling off like the drag was doing nothing. The rod tip was in the water and as I gave it some angle I eventually managed to put on the brakes. A few big runs later and with some speculation as to whether it could possibly be another snapper, we got a glimpse of it. I was beyond belief! Grey had turned to pink once again and another very big snapper was in the net. I was speechless, and we were both a little emotional at this stage. Several boats approached us seeing what had just happened, not once but twice and were all in disbelief. We had achieved beyond what we had set out to do, to clear our minds and gather our thoughts. We decided to pack away the rods and say goodbye to the Seaway for the day. It had not only provided us with food, but with memories we will remember forever. Fishing and mental health go hand in hand and there are plenty of groups on Facebook, fishing clubs and ways to get connected with people who may be able to take you out fishing if you’re feeling like you need a little help. Don’t be afraid to ask, and never feel like its hopeless when times are tough. Just call a mate and ask them to go fishing – it’s the best medicine ever!

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Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 29


Camryn Binding with a proper flathead that ate a ZMan 3” Baby GOAT on a TT Lures NedlockZ jig head.

GOAT Fishing with ZMan

A

A selection of standard rigged GOATs – TT Lures DemonZ, NedlockZ and HeadlockZ Finesse.

A selection of weedless rigged GOATs – TT Lures SnakelockZ Finesse, NedlockZ EWG, ChinlockZ SWS and ChinlockZ unweighted. Page 30 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

FTER catching my first fish on a soft plastic about 35 years ago, I have been hooked and have fished many styles, types and colours of plastics, learning to rig and fish them a stack of different ways over the years. Soft plastics are relatively inexpensive, look real, feel real and with a squirt of scent they even smell and taste real, making them extremely effective. There are many makes and models of the same basic styles out there, however every now and then a soft plastic comes along that stands out from the crowd and makes me think: how can I rig and fish that?

Tackle Tactics by JUSTIN WILLMER

And what is going to eat it? The new ZMan GOAT family was one of these head-turning plastics that I couldn’t wait to try, with its flattened grub body, thin and flat legs and two unique kicking feet that are less aggressive and have a narrower profile than a frog. ZMan US has stressed that this is not just a surface plastic, though it is an incredible surface plastic, especially with the 10X Tough construction making weedless rigging quick and easy, while the naturally buoyant ElaZtech material helps it

stay on top. It can also be rigged for fishing subsurface, and makes a great trailer for a spinnerbait, chatterbait, buzzbait and skirted jig. Is it a frog, lizard, crab, crayfish, and a baitfish! Being a creature bait, it represents so many different things that fish prey on and it’s available in three sizes: the 3” Baby GOAT, 3.75” GOAT and 4.25” Billy GOAT, so this family has the species list covered from bream, flathead and bass, to mangrove jack, barramundi, mulloway, * continued P31

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GOAT Fishing with ZMan snapper and other reefies… the opportunities are almost endless. So, how have I fished the GOAT family and what has eaten them? The smallest model was the first to arrive in Australia, and I put it to work rolling it across the flats on a 1/4oz 1/0 TT Lures jig head, nailing bream, f lathead, grunter, trevally and a few other random species. On a standard jig head it would carry anything from a size 1 to a 3/0, again increasing its versatility. It really came into its own when rigged weedless, with its squashed profile and flatter back profile carrying a weedless hook well and clearing eas-

* continued P32

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Jeff Wilton switched from topwater to a 1-8oz 4-0 jig head and nailed this barramundi on the ZMan GOAT.

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GOAT Fishing with ZMan * from P31

A solid 60cm-plus flathead landed fishing a weedless rigged Baby GOAT to the edges.

Jeff Wilton with a mangrove jack that nailed a weedless rigged ZMan 3.75” GOAT.

The sideways-rigged GOAT makes a cool minnow presentation.

Vinnie Versfeld with a quality JP on the ZMan GOAT.

Page 32 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

ping up from Adam Barnes and Camryn Binding on the Gold Coast, with some cracker flathead eating the Baby GOAT on the Ned rig, landed fishing weed edges, drains and mangrove edges. I’m tipping the GOAT family might make an appearance at the upcoming Gold Coast Flathead Classic. A side of GOAT When making a video on how to rig and fish the ZMan 3” Baby GOAT, I tried rigging it on its side on a standard jig head, basically turning it into a minnow profile, with a swimming fish tail. It looked the goods, however I didn’t want to mention it in the video as it was untested. Fast forward a couple of weeks and I was swimming the sideways Baby GOAT in the water, admiring its action and pretty confident that it would get eaten. I fished an arvo session with a couple of friends who can catch flathead and am happy to say that the GOAT took out the session. I fished it with a hopping or lift-and-pause retrieve, running the 3” Baby GOAT on a 1/4oz 3/0 for the shallower edges and a 3.75” GOAT on a 3/8oz 3/0 for the deeper edges and areas with more current flow. The dual paddle feet swam on the drop, seeing some strikes as the plastic sank through the water column, with other strikes occurring throughout the retrieve, often on the pause. I can see this sideways GOAT working on a stack of species, fished

with a slow roll or hopping retrieve, much like a paddle tail but offering the fish something different. My northern mates have been straight onto the GOAT family, landing fish on all sizes, including species such as jungle perch, mangrove jack, saratoga, sooty grunter and barramundi. Robbie and Sue Wells managed to switch on some shutdown toga with the Baby GOAT, rigged weedless and fished across the surface. Robbie said he had never seen the saratoga switch from completely disinterested to tracking and nailing the plastic so aggressively, putting it down to the more subtle landing and action of the Baby GOAT, compared to the bulkier and more aggressive frog profiles. For the saratoga, they fished the plastic weedless on the surface with a 2/0 TT Lures ChinlockZ or 1/12oz 2/0 ChinlockZ SWS. Vinnie Versfeld also swam it in the sweetwater, nailing a stack of jungle perch on the GOAT and Billy GOAT, using the larger profile plastics to weed out the better-quality fish in the pools. The bulk of the plastic allowed for long casts on an unweighted TT Lures ChinlockZ, with Vinnie running a 3/0 hook for the jungle perch. Another angler putting them to work up north is Jeff Wilton who has been having good success on mangrove jack and barramundi. He fishes the 3” Baby GOAT when the fish are

keyed into on small bait and jelly prawns, running a 2/0 ChinlockZ for weedless work and the same 2/0 size in a HeadlockZ HD for standard rigging. He has found the larger GOAT and Billy GOAT to be awesome for skip casting, thanks to the weight and profile, rigged on a 4/0 ChinlockZ for fishing the surface or a 4/0 HeadlockZ HD when standard rigged. As a third technique he runs a 4/0 SnakelockZ jig head for fishing deeper weedless applications. This has definitely been a fun plastic to fish and that seems to be a common conversation among anglers fishing the GOAT as they experiment with rigging, retrieves and different applications for this unique soft plastic profile. It will be interesting to see how you rig and fish this unique plastic and what species are on your radar. So, is it the GOAT as its name suggests… it would certainly have to be in the running. I’ve never had a soft plastic before that I could confidently buzz weedless on the surface like a frog, then rig on its side and fish it like a paddle tail minnow, before switching back to rigging it flat for some deep weedless work around the weed beds and fouling way less than some of my favourites. This unique profile could definitely be one worth adding to your kit. Go the GOAT! See you on the water… www.bnbfishing.com. au


www.bnbfishing.com.au

Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 33


Gold Coast squidding sessions

J

Michelle was good-humoured about a well-aimed inking.

Rikki had a fun day catching arrow squid.

ULY fishing on the Gold Coast features typical winter species including flathead, big bream, arrow and tiger squid, tailor, flounder, tuskfish and snapper just to name a few. Live yabbies, whitebait, and vibe lures all work well. Last year we saw many school mackerel take up residence for two months in the Broadwater, so let’s hope history repeats. It was around this time last year that I wrote an article on arrow squid fishing on the Gold Coast Broadwater. Since then I have studied these interesting creatures and learnt more about catching them, so I thought I’d share the extra knowledge. The more you fish for them the more obsessed you get with mastering the craft – they are so much fun to catch. Squid grow very

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Broadwater Guide by CLINT ANSELL

quickly, about 4cm a month! I release the small ones to allow them to grow bigger and breed. They only live for about a year and then they spawn and die. Squid are voracious predators and are most common here in the winter months. As mentioned previously, I catch many squid on Ecogear ZX vibes as a by-catch. I then started using squid jigs more, and now have a tackle box full of various coloured ones. It is true that you get what you pay for, and usually the better jigs catch more squid. My favourite jigs now include Ecogear Dartmax, RUI squid jigs, and Daiwa Emeraldas Nude jigs. When the squid are ravenous and plentiful, any lure will catch them. When they are harder to get that’s when the better jigs pay for themselves. Squid are colour blind, so it’s different shades and pattern that will attract their attention. They have a very strong sense of smell, so I only use a little spray of Egimax scent on my squid jigs. Put too much on and it puts them off. I spray it on the bottom end near the prongs, which results in a better hook-up rate, as they sniff and then grab it near the sharp end. Various colours work, but as with other forms

of fishing, darker and brighter shades work better early morning, late afternoon, on cloudy days, and in discoloured water. On clear and calm days and in clear water, use more natural, lighter and translucent colours. Keep mixing up jigs to find what works on the day. I just use light spinning rods with slower actions to absorb their lunges. They love hanging in drop-offs about 3-6m. A reel around 2500 spooled with PE0.6 and a metre of 10lb fluorocarbon leader is fine for fishing with squid jigs. When fishing for squid the ideal conditions are sunny with light wind, and not too much tidal flow, in water with good visibility. They can be caught anywhere there is undulating sandy, weedy or reefy bottom. My technique for catching them is quite simple. We’ll all drop our squid jigs to the bottom while drifting, then do a slow metre high lift and then drop and pause for about 30 seconds. Drifting works so well because you are covering ground and finding them, then making them chase the lures that are getting away. The other bonus is that the lures are constantly in the strike zone. Around tide changes with no wind we’ll cast and slowly retrieve the * continued P36

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Darren’s first ever flathead measured 61cm, not bad!

The author caught this nice tiger squid while casting near a weed bed.

Squid jig holders with carabines are very handy when travelling around.

Cooper had fun catching fish and squid. Page 36 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

Gold Coast squidding sessions * from P34

jigs with slow hops along the bottom. Squid love chasing down sinking things, and it’s often when you go to lift again that you’ll suddenly feel the weight of the squid. This feels like a snag at first, but then they’ll fight to escape and lunge backwards, causing the rod tip to bounce up and down. I always jig an Ecogear ZX40 smeared with Sax Scent on the bottom while squid fishing. Besides catching plenty of squid on these vibe lures, they also stir them up to strike at the squid jigs. Like any drift fishing, it’s vital to keep the drift slow enough to hold the lures near the bottom. I do this by clicking the motor into reverse into the wind or current, then into neutral again, as often as needed. If they’re really shy I will leave a jig drifting along in the current, with the rod in a holder. Just let wash from other boats slowly lift

and drop the jig. Sooner or later you’ll turn around and notice the rod bent over hooked up to a squid. Keep the drag nice and light, as the bigger models fight surprisingly hard. Hold the rod still and wind slowly when bringing them into the net. Point them away from the boat when grabbing them out of the net, in case they shoot more ink. It is hilarious when someone on the boat gets covered in ink, but wipe anywhere on the boat that gets inked, or it will stain when it dries. If you’re keeping

some for a feed, it’s best to brain spike them before placing on ice. It’s essential to keep moving and looking for squid. Like fish they move around hunting food. Arrow squid have no size limit in Queensland but a possession limit of 50 per person. They are fun and easy to catch, so take the family out and have a go. To book on a charter with me or Brad, or if you have any fishing related questions, SMS 0432 990 302 or email f ish i ngwit hcl i nt@ gmail.com, or find us on Facebook at Brad Smith Fishing Charters.

This tiger squid fell for a white Ecogear jig. www.bnbfishing.com. au


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Stonker pearlies are always a welcome surprise.

Willo the fish whisperer is still making fish nervous.

Winter means only one thing on Gold Coast – snapper

W

INTER on the Gold Coast can only mean one thing – snapper! As the water temperature has slowly slid into the low 20s and the hard southern current ebbs,

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where you could get bricked in the blink of an eye. The great thing about winter on the Gold Coast is the beautiful calm conditions that sometimes hang around for days on end, making for easy access to the local bars and the snapper grounds. And if you happen to luck out you can do it all again the next day, with a bit of extra intel under your belt. The variety of fishing methods for snapper appeals to anglers. Lure anglers use soft plastics, while others are hardcore bait fishos, but there are those who hedge their bets and use both. Drifting is very popular because you can cover a lot of ground, picking up fish as you go, or you can anchor on a school. Usually it is the weather and sea conditions that will dictate what method will work

best and you have to be adaptable to give yourself the best chance of landing a fish. My preferred method is bait fishing. There is just something about waching line fly off the reel and when you flick the bail arm, the rod loads up and the reel starts singing. It gets the blood pumping. Snapper are dirty fighters and will try every trick in the book to bust you off. As any seasoned snapper fisher can tell you, those head shakes are a dead giveaway of a good knobby. Use your sounder to find a decent show on some rubble or pinnacle, and the snapper will usually hold on the back edge in the eddy that the bommie provides. If bait fishing at anchor, use berley and plenty of it. * continued P39

www.bnbfishing.com. au


Winter equals snapper on Gold Coast * from P38

Some snapper can also turn up when you least expect them. They’ve been caught off the beach, the sand pumping jetty and in the Seaway, where an absolute brute of a fish was caught recently. A reminder for anglers in Queensland that there is a closed season for snapper from July 15 to August 15. Don’t get caught out with that trophy fish, as it could cost you dearly. Good mangrove jack are still being caught in the creeks and rivers and the flathead are starting to come on. The gin-clear water means you’ll have to be stealthy in your approach, because any shadow or noise will put the fish off. As we get those big

lows moving across the state and parking themselves over the southeast, the keen fisho’s mind turns to bigger foe and heading north off Double Island and Sandy Cape to chase reds and cod. A few of the boys headed out for a great mixed bag in what ended up being trying conditions, despite the great forecast from the BOM. Local bars haven’t really changed much from summer, despite the big seas and flooding a few months back. The Tweed Bar still has the big bank out the back and it is getting wider. The amount of sand building up inside the bar, particularly on the southern wall, should be of concern for boaties heading out.

Currumbin Creek Bar is very shallow and difficult to cross on half tide, so use extreme caution. Tallebudgera Creek isn’t much better, and in my mind should be avoided. The Seaway is good as usual. ‘Til next month, bent rods to you all.

JB was rewarded with a solid knobby during a recent arvo session.

Dean and Glenn with some reefies from Sandy Cape.

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Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 39


Deepwater jigging secrets

T

Matty was happy with one of the many flathead he caught deepwater jigging.

Pouchy with a nice jewfish caught while deepwater jigging in 13m of water.

HIS month I am giving you a few tips on one of my favourite techniques, which involves using small lures in deep water. The lures needed for this technique are standard soft plastics and my favourites are small metal and plastic vibes. When discussing in which areas this form of fishing would work the best, I find that the holes in the rivers 6m and deeper give the best results. Sometimes I head down to the mighty Clarence River where I am working with my clients in holes that are over 20m deep. Let’s get started on how to do it. The first thing I do is use my sounder to locate bait schools that are holding close to or even better on the bottom of the hole. If I don’t find bait on the bottom, I will pull up stumps and keep moving to other holes until I find what I call a target drop. Sometimes you will see big fish like jewies or trevally marking

This screen shot shows the lure hopping perfectly on the bottom. Page 40 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

Gold Coast Guide by BRAD SMITH

around the bait schools that show in what are called arches, which is absolutely fantastic. Other times you’ll see bait but no arches, but you can almost bet that there will be flathead lying on the bottom under the bait, which you can’t usually see on the sounder. So when you have found a target drop, you can position the boat directly over it and lower the lure to the bottom as quickly as possible. Your line will go slack, which means you have touched down on the bottom. The next step is to lower your rod tip to the water and use a very even series of short sharp lift and drops of the rod tip. About 50cm up and down is fine. These short even jigs of the rod tip will help your lure maintain contact with the bottom and that is where you want it to be. The real wizardry is

keeping the small lure continuously on the bottom while drifting in deep water with the tidal flow. The trick is very clever boat handling skills, with the use of either your petrol or electric motor by making small forward or reverse movements to ensure that your line stays completely vertical. For example, if you are drifting and the angle of your line starts moving away from the boat, you reverse slightly back to keep it vertical. In contrast, if the line starts to move under the boat you have to shunt the boat forward, with this boat correction usually being needed when the wind is opposing the tide. This technique might sound a bit intimidating, but trust me, it is a very simple and highly effective way of fishing and something that all anglers can learn with time and practise.

This was a fantastic bait school on the bottom and produced several nice flathead. www.bnbfishing.com. au


Omri proudly held up his birthday jewfish, which was also his first.

Doggies are great fun, even if they are smaller than other mackerel species.

Plenty of north coast action post-mackerel

I

T was Omri’s birthday and his parents let him chuck a sickie and come fishing as a present. The bar was flat and we were met with glassed-out conditions as we proceeded to the local grounds, and hopefully some mackerel. After half an hour we deduced there were no mackerel home, so we headed north. I had a spot in mind and was making good time on the mirror-like surface when at the last second I decided to detour to a little rock for a quick drop. Absolutely nothing showed on the sounder, but as we were there I told Omri to drop his bottom rig. Omri barely had time to flick his bail arm over when the rod buckled and he was on. Straight away I called it for a jewfish, but soon after I couldn’t help myself and told Omri I thought it might be a wobbegong. He didn’t fall for it, as he knew he was onto something good and his focus was solely on getting the fish to the surface. I looked over the side and was surprised to

www.bnbfishing.com.au

Tweed to Byron Bay by GAVIN DOBSON

see the fish just under the boat – Omri doesn’t muck around! By the time I turned around and got the gaff a jewfish was floating beside the boat. I was so pleased for Omri, as I was hoping he would get a quality fish for his birthday. We set up for some photos and enjoyed the moment as the sun began to warm us on a morning that was getting better by the minute. It was always going to be a struggle catching a mackerel this late in the season, but we persisted anyway. Omri caught a few fish on the bottom rig, but things were quiet. A few moses perch and maori cod kept us amused, and eventually a doggy mackerel took a pilchard bait. The only things that ate our mackerel baits were mack tuna, but we went home happy. Sunrise on the morning of his 13th birthday will be a time to remember for years to come for his first jewfish. Progressing into winter will see most boats

heading wide chasing snapper and reef fish. Just recently, snapper have begun to show up in good numbers on the deep reefs. They weren’t there a couple of weeks ago and then they were, just like someone flicked a switch. While heading out wide recently my mind was on whales and how many I was going to

Bradh's Smited Guiding Fishs Tour

have to dodge before I got to the 50 fathom line. It’s just as well I was focused, because out of the dawn gloom I spotted a log floating in my path. As I adjusted my course around the obstacle, I thought I’d better pull up and see if there were any mahi mahi under it. Edging closer I noticed some shiny objects tangled in the weed that had adhered to the log. My prize for the morning was a couple

of Halco Laser Pros in good condition. I’ve lost plenty of lures over the years so it’s always good to get a couple of freebies. I’ll leave them on the dashboard of the boat for another month, just in case a wahoo shows up. There’s not a lot of formation on the beaches after the last lot of big swells, but with a cold westerly snap happening some mullet might be travelling and have large choppers cruising with them.

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QFF Singles Round 5 Woodgate Beach

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Page 44 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

Nov 13-14 Dam TBA, QLD

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Ballina beaches produce big bream n More bait schools needed to get tailor firing

W

ELL I can finally say that the weather has started to settle, and we seem to be slipping into a normal winter fishing pattern. The cold weather has most definitely showed up of late, which is great news for all those anglers who love chasing our winter species on the NSW north coast. With any luck we will start to see calmer weather patterns, and a lot less rain would be nice as well. This is, however, the north coast, so I don’t hold out much hope of the rain staying away for too long. Tailor on the beaches have been slightly inconsistent. They seem to be there one day, and then gone the next. I do believe part of the problem at present is a lack of bait schools on the beaches. There does not seem to be the schools of pilchards or whitebait that are usually present. These schools would normally encourage the tailor to stay a little longer in each location, but without those bait schools, the tailor are moving on quite quickly in search of food. Having said this, it will still be worth chasing them, and with any luck those bait schools will start to show up in the near future. The usual baits such as pilchards or mullet have been the best bet, but a few good quality fish were also taken on squid baits intended for mulloway. www.bnbfishing.com.au

Ballina Bait & Tackle by BRETT HYDE

Good quality fish were caught from the rocks and breakwalls as well over the last few weeks. The 65g metals have been the best lures to try, as the extra weight has allowed anglers to get out a little further because the fish have not been in as close as usual, and also to retrieve the lures a little faster to excite the tailor and encourage a strike from them. A number of flathead have come from the beaches of late. Typical baits such as white pilchards and mullet have been working well, but I am expecting them to be a little on the quiet side over the coming months with the weather really cooling off in recent weeks. Bream on the other hand are in good numbers along the beaches, with quality fish to over a kilogram being taken. Seven Mile and Lighthouse beaches have been producing some of the better fish, but most beaches will have a gutter or two that will be worth checking out. The lower reaches of the Richmond River during the larger run-in tides have produced the better-quality bream of late. Baits such as prawns, mullet fillets and squid were the best ones to use. Metal blades are usually a great lure choice

at this time of year for bream during their spawning period. Most of the fish are usually close to, or on the bottom of the river, so you can hop your blade off the bottom to imitate a fleeing prawn or baitfish, which will normally illicit a bite from the aggressive bream. As the water quality improves day by day, I would stick to more natural colours. With the improvement in water quality, we have seen plenty of flathead move upriver. A few flathead are still being found in the lower reaches of the river, but larger numbers seem to be showing up between the ferry and Broadwater. The cooler weather has pushed most of the fish fairly shallow in an attempt to keep warm.

It will be worth targeting the shallow sand flats during the run-in tide, and the start of the run-out, or along the edge of the drop-offs from those sand flats towards the bottom of the tide. The usual baits such as prawns and pilchards have been working well, but if you want to throw soft plastics around, I would suggest a very subtle and slow retrieve using a curly tail grub or wriggler. Crabs have pretty much disappeared for winter, apart from the odd one that I have been hearing about in the creeks. I’m sure if you are keen enough and put in the time, you will still catch the odd one throughout winter. So it may be worth dropping in a trap or dilly while you are wetting a line over the next couple months. Luderick have been showing up along the breakwalls and in the

usual spots around Prospect Bridge, the Porpoise Wall and behind the CBD. Getting bait has still been a little difficult, so if you are coming for a visit, I would suggest bringing weed with you, and if not it may be worth collecting cabbage from over on the rock around Shelley Beach or Flat Rock. Fishing offshore has been fairly good lately, with quality snapper coming from the close reefs. This time of the year, Black Head, Lennox and Riordans are all worth a look with lightly weighted live or dead baits as well as soft plastics. Stick to weights between 1/6 and 3/8oz, depending on water depth and wind for the soft plastics, and try using a size 1 or 2 ball sinker with your baits. That’s about all from me for this month. Until next time – tight lines!

BALLINA

BAIT & TACKLE

Ballina West Shopping Centre Pacific Hwy, Ballina NSW

02 6686 2527 Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 45


Ted was over the moon the night the author got him onto his personal best jewfish at ‘Spot X’.

Ted hooked up to one of the many tuna that he landed off the Iluka breakwall over the years.

Vale Ted McLean

A

Even spanish mackerel weren’t safe when Ted was in fishing mode.

Mischa and Ted with a pair of tuna taken on live garfish. Page 46 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

BOUT nine years ago while fishing for tuna out on the Iluka breakwall, my youngest son Mischa and I met a bloke by the name of Ted McLean, who had just moved from Victoria to Ashby (a small village west of Iluka) with his lovely partner Lexie. During that first meeting I was naturally guarded about where the best spots to fish were, but little did I know at that standoffish moment that in time Ted would not only become my best mate, but somebody who I truly looked out for and loved like a brother. For Mischa, Ted not only became his boss, but a great mate and mentor as well. Ted was a very private bloke who loved fishing and cut his landbased teeth fishing such famous ledges as the Tubes and Green Cape back in the late 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s, well before all the modern day LBG fanatics were born. So respected was he

Just Jew by TYE PORTER

that until just recently he had still been supplying charter boats in Victoria with his famous windon leaders for chasing southern bluefin tuna. At a local level, not many anglers who have fished land-based on the Iluka breakwall in that time didn't know and respect Ted. Tragically, on the May 16 Ted was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive illness and passed away in hospital just 13 days later on the May 29, 2021. There is so much more that I could and would love to say about the man, however I know that this would go against his wishes, but what I can say is thanks for all the many magical memories, mate. Whether it was from when we were fishing for pelagics off the wall, chasing jew at all hours of the night or simply sitting in a deck chair along Goodwood Island

and getting among the whiting. Our deepest condolences and love go out to his beloved partner Lexie, his sons Luke, Ben and Bob and their extended families. Rest in peace, mate, and may your ratchets keep screaming. Until next month, safe fishin'.

After years of me ranting how good octopus was as a jew bait, Ted decided to give it a try, only to be stretched big-time by numerous large stingrays and every other vermin species. He never used octopus again. www.bnbfishing.com. au


Pro-Cure Brine ‘N Bite

This is critical when fishing pilchard and whitebait, as they are usually much softer than a herring. If you are casting or trolling in heavy currents or tide rips, or trolling at faster speeds and you need a super tough bait, try the dry method. You will be impressed. For longer lasting and tougher bait that get the bite, check out Pro-Cure Brine ‘N Bite. Available in a value 20oz reusable plastic jar, with easy to follow instructions included, at a suggested retail price of $34.95 For more information, visit tackletactics. com.au

sistently well in any conditions. Built for braid, the Combat 100/101 comes in left (101) or right (100) hand models and is suitable for both fresh and salt water use. For more information visit wilsonfish ing.com

Shimano Grappler Travel

ATC Combat 100/101

MAKE bait tougher and enhance the bite! You have spent good money on quality bait, so why not keep it in optimum condition and get more bites! With prime beach fishing under way, along with a myriad of other applications, Pro-Cure Brine ‘N Bite is sure to become as legendary here as it is in its home waters of the US. As with rock salt, Brine ‘N Bite toughens your bait, but unlike rock salt it also infuses your bait with powerful amino acids that magnify the smell and flavour, triggering an impulse for fish to feed. Brine ‘N Bite tightens the scales of the bait, firms up cut bait and helps keep bait fresh longer. Many anglers have realised that with Brine ‘N Bite you can save your bait and fish them over the next few days. Brine ‘N Bite is also completely compatible with all of the Pro-Cure Bad Azz Bait Dyes, allowing you to brine and dye your bait to stand out from the crowd. Brine ‘N Bite is ideal for whole fish bait, flesh bait, gut bait, prawns, chicken and virtually any other chosen bait. Initially used as a brine, many anglers are now sprinkling Brine ‘N Bite onto their bait dry. The salts and amino acids marinate in just fine and you also get a much tougher bait than the brine method. www.bnbfishing.com.au

THE ATC Combat 100 is not just a smaller version of the tough Combat Plus 200, but rather an entirely new model that has been designed from the ground up with lure casting in mind. Built with the perfect balance between weight and power, the Combat 100/101 weighs only 180g unspooled and is built using an ultralight aluminium frame and body, as well as a deep capacity, aluminium spool. Featuring an ultra-smooth multi-disc drag system that can provide up to 9kg of drag pressure, this reel is ready to rumble. Smooth operation is achieved through the incorporation of 9+1 stainless steel ball bearings and the 7.3:1 gear ratio means line recovery is not compromised by the small overall size of the reel. Bass, golden perch, flathead, mangrove jack, barra, threadfin and more will all fall to this incredible reel that casts con-

ANGLERS travelling to a dream fishing destination or pursuing saltwater trophy species in hard-to-get places require difficult decisions to be made when selecting an outfit to travel with due to the lengths of rods. This is no longer an issue with Shimano’s new Grappler Travel series of 8’ and 8’2” 3-piece rods. Featuring four Type C casting specific models with a solid 3-piece construction for easy transportation and storage when you are on the move. The models range from a PE5 through to a PE10 and feature the same premium Fuji componentry and specification as the existing Grappler series. Built on the exclusive Shimano Spiral X and Hi-Power X carbon wrapped blanks to provide superior casting performance and strength, so you can take the fight to the fish. For more information, visit shimanofish. com.au Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 47


This jewfish took Shaun Cornish’s slow fall jig. This was his first jewfish.

This big 80cm snapper was taken on a floated bait in shallow water off Noosa by Roy Helling.

Winter kicks off on Sunny Coast

W

ITH the cooler waters, mackerel and tuna have almost gone, so methods will have to change, as these are no longer easy to find. This is the time where the main target species becomes the hard-hitting, head-thumping snapper. These fish certainly know how to fight, especially when they hit 80cm, which ideally should be returned after a picture. You’re better off taking smaller, much younger and tastier fish. There are many ways to target these big, old fish and now is the time to break out baitrunner style reels and load them up with monofilament if you like to drift big baits. Many anglers aren’t aware that mono gives a floated bait a much better presentation, as it is more buoyant than braided lines. Bigger fish will want to run you into the reef and mono will really help prevent bust-offs. For bait anglers in

Sunshine Coast by GRANT BUDD

shallow waters, a single pea sinker and a Mustad 3/0 Octopus Circle Hook, a chunk of your favourite bait slowly drifted downward on 20lb is a fun way to catch snapper. Lighter gear really teaches you how to fight a fish and is more rewarding than skull dragging them in. Other great ways to target snapper are with soft plastics and Chasebaits, ZMan and Gulp have many great colours and profiles to tempt passing fish. Check out some of the new Chasebaits profiles in smaller sizes such as the Love Bug. It’s no secret that snapper love a plastic with a lot of movement, and this ticks all the boxes. Try to fish these with minimal weight and let them sink slowly downward, as bigger fish come up and take them well off the bottom, which makes

Page 48 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

landing them far easier. Lastly, light jigging is becoming more and more popular and with PE2-3 gear, 20-30lb leaders and 60-110g slow jigs, it’s a great way to fish for a multitude of species including jewfish, snapper, pearl perch, sweetlip, coral trout and more. Two of my favourites are the BlueBlue jigs and smaller Samaki Ribcage fished on PE2 gear. Areas to jig include the edge of Jew Shoal, Sunshine Reef and North Reef, as well as further afield toward Double Island Point. Double Island is the place to head for amberjack and bigger 70cm-plus trevally. These fish pull hard, so PE3-4 is better suited to this area. Sharks can be a problem so having heavier gear will let you apply more pressure and hopefully outrun them. The Noosa River is holding a mixed bag of

trevally species, smaller jewies and tailor. On the days when the wind is blowing from the north, Woods Bay is one of my favourite places to fish early mornings from the shore. A northerly wind will pass straight overhead and allow you to make really long casts with surface lures. The Bassday Sugapen 95mm and the smaller Nomad Riptide models are a couple of bigger options that tailor will blow up on. From here you can head to the current line and have a shot on golden trevally and flathead during a runout tide. These fish will take a wide range of lures, with 3” grub style soft plastics and small micro jigs such as the Majorcraft Jigpara both great options. Be sure to up leaders to 12-14lb if targeting flatties and strike at the slightest bump on your braid, as they often come up off the bottom to hit a falling lure. Other areas to fish in-

clude the ski run and up toward the mouth of Lake Cooroibah. Here you can expect to pick up jewies, trevally and flatties. The navigational markers are also a great stretch to fish on the drift, as the channel is quite narrow and fish pass through here. If you are looking for easier fishing, then the river mouth and along Gympie Terrace holds smaller bread and butter species, with bream, whiting, smaller trevally and flathead featuring in catches. This area is best fished during the south or southeasterly winds, as it is totally protected. Off the beaches bigger bream up to 40cm will start to turn up more often as we push further into winter. These big fish are thought to be lead or head fish and should really be returned if caught. If lead fish go missing and do not return it can deter the bigger trailing school from continuing on that path. * continued P49

www.bnbfishing.com. au


Winter kicks off on Sunny Coast

* from P48

Fresh mullet and small pilchards rigged on a small set of gangs works well against any bite-offs as the tailor are starting to filter through. If you want to target tailor, working the gutters and river mouths of the Noosa and Maroochy rivers with fresh ganged baits or fastretrieved slugs tends to work best. For best results on big tailor, try fishing around the full moon and a high tide, as they are known to come in to feed with the light, making it easier for them to hunt potential prey. During this time you may find a big jewfish. These fish are often

thought to feed in the black of night but are commonly caught in the lead-up to a full moon. Lastly, Lake Macdonald and Borumba Dam fish better during the warmer afternoons. Locating bass with your sounder is important, so pay close attention, as they tend to sit down deep during the cooler months. Once found you need to tempt them into hitting your lure. A range of smaller spinnerbaits, vibes, blades, grub and paddle tail soft plastics will help lure anglers. In the cooler temperatures many fish switch from taking big lures to smaller ones. Lures represent bait-

fish and many fish don’t have the energy to digest big prey items in the dead of winter. Must-have lures from Jackall include the smaller Squirrel and TN60, which are perfect options. Berkley also has a wide range of cost-effective lures to cover you for every style, including some cracking shallow diving hardbodies for working the edges. Don’t forget if you are planning a trip to the dams that you will need a Stocked Impoundment Permit, which is available online or call into Davo’s and the team will help you out. Just a reminder that there is a closed season on Australian bass that

runs from June 1 to August 31, which applies to all Queensland tidal waterways. Now for all the latest information log onto fishingnoosa.com.au for up-to-date bar and fishing reports. Don’t forget to drop into Tackle World Noo-

sa, Noosa Boating and Outdoors and Northshore Bait & Tackle in Marcoola for all the right equipment, bait and advice to get you catching. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and remember, tight lines and bent spines!

Lachlin Watts caught this tailor off the beach on a pilchard.

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Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 49


Rainbow Beach trip on rare weather window

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WEEKEND with a good weather window is rare these days to say the least, and with Bernie putting out the feelers to see if anyone was fishing out of Rainbow, a plan was put in place to make it happen. Pete and Zac Rimmer with deckie Ian were taking Dilligaf up, so

Power Boat Anglers by MICK CLUTTERBUCK

Helaine and commodore Rob jumped on with John Hooker on Freyja to make it a decent trip. The weather was looking pretty good, so John made the call to head wide, starting

All crews landed a decent bag of tuskfish on the day.

Offshore reef fishing fanatics WANTED One of Brisbane’s oldest deep-sea fishing clubs with a 100 percent safety record has vacancies for new members. Owners of suitable vessels encouraged. All levels of experience. Those without own vessels also invited to apply. Approximately 15 deep sea trips per year. One week-long fishing holiday to Town of 1770. Monthly meetings, video shows, guest speakers and free nibbles. 4WD beach fishing and camping. Inshore fishing also on the agenda. Interested? Then call Darren (0413 511 436) or Robin (3269 5013). POWER BOAT ANGLERS REEF FISHING CLUB INC Page 50 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

around 80km northeast, while Pete was heading more north towards the Maheno Bommie. Bernie elected to fish closer, and when you look at the travel times versus time in the water fishing, then it wasn’t a bad plan. They all met at the bar and logged on with the coastguard with a return time of 1700. Fishermans Gutter was quite passive on the day as they headed towards the sun. H was starting to look for Noumea when finally the motors slowed and the crew began looking for fish to drop on. John eventually found a nice rock with a show, and it was all hands on deck as the lines were deployed. Expectations were high and despite plenty of good bites, no real cracker fish were coming up. They sounded around some more and found another show that John called for reds, so out came the big baits to be dropped on the targets. H got a good hit, with the fish growing in size as the fight went on and it pulled her around the motor on the back platform. After a bit more dancing around, H called for Rob to grab the net just as his rod buckled over in the rod holder. A grunt from the other side of the boat indicated John was on solid too, with pandemonium reigning supreme for the next few minutes, but despite the chaos

all fish were landed. H bagged a nice red at 7.2kg, with Rob’s just a tad under, and John landed a nice redthroat. With three quality fish on the first drift, it was straight back to try again. The next drop Rob had the typical red bite, with the fish mouthing the mullet fillet. Once there was weight, the hooks were set and after a short battle another nice red hit the net. This one wasn’t as big as H’s, but at 5.8kg he was a happy boy. They again went back to get one for John, but unfortunately nothing arose. They did hook a few more that were possibly reds, but anything that took line was taken by sharks as they moved in for a free feed. H decided to use her new $40 Mustad InkVader Octopus Jig, an awesome looking lure if you haven’t seen

them, which seemed to be a good idea at the time. The good news is they work a treat, with H hooking up on the second lift, but the bad news is that sharks like them as well. Rob decided to drop a Barry Day Hotlips jig that had been maturing in his bag for years. On the second lift it was smashed and five winds in he was thinking he might just be OK this time, only to be hit by another shark. They left him enough weight to think he might just get his jig back, a win in his eyes, but just a game in theirs. A second nip gave him more confidence, only to have a third strike take the lot and leave him a crushed man. In between all this, they did manage some cracking tuskfish to fill the Esky. Elsewhere, Dilligaf * continued P51

Helaine managed to pull this trophy red emperor past the sharks. www.bnbfishing.com. au


Big reds were the highlight of the day, and Rob was happy with this one.

Rainbow Beach trip on rare weather window * from P50

had been copping a flogging from the shark population as well. Poor Ian was getting grinners and sharks, and the straw that broke his back was when Zac brought up a shark on the electric reel, only for it to get off boatside. Ian had dropped his bait at the same time and saw the shark swim straight over and take it on the drop. That was his game over, and the gods telling him to sit it out and watch for a while. John and crew kept moving around, checking marks and getting more good tuskies to 2.7kg. But with the reds having shut up shop, they moved south looking for more targets, eventually finding a few good snapper shows. With this final effort they picked up the odd fish, as well as a couple of goldspot pigfish and they completed their bag of tuskies. With the sun dropping and plenty of travel

www.bnbfishing.com.au

ahead, they radioed the others that they were calling it and heading in. The bar was pretty calm, as it was glassed out from 30km out all the way in. Pete and the boys had bagged out on tuskies and Bernie and crew had got a few snapper to 2kg and had a bag of tuskies as well. All in all, it was a very enjoyable day on the water, having done the miles and got the smiles. You’ve got to love it when a plan comes together and a glass-out Rainbow Beach is a rare and beautiful thing to behold. Please note that the meetings times have changed and now occur on the first Wednesday of every month at “The Club Manly” (bowls club), 26 Faine St, Manly from 6.30pm for a 7.00pm start. Upcoming meetings: Wednesday July 7 and Wednesday August 4. Until next month, safe boating.

by MELISSA FROHLOFF

Salt and Pepper Squid Fingers Ingredients

Method

• 8 squid hoods (800g) cleaned

1. Cut each squid hood in half. Using a sharp knife, cut 0.5cm fingers lengthways, leaving 2cm at the tail end of the body and keeping the flesh attached to look like a hand with fingers.

• 100g rice flour • 2 tsp freshly ground pepper • 2 tsp salt • Zest of 1 lime • Rice bran oil for shallow frying

2. Preheat oven to 140C. 3. Combine flour, salt, pepper and lime zest in a container. 4. Toss in mixture, shaking off excess 5. Heat oil in wok over medium heat. 6. Cook turning for 2 minutes or until lightly golden. Transfer to oven on baking tray to keep warm while cooking remaining squid.

Prep time: 10 min | Cooking time: 10 min | Serves 4 Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 51


Targeting arrow squid in the Strait

W The author’s choice of jigs that have been catching arrow squid in The Great Sandy Strait.

The author caught this on one of her favourite colours to use in the area, a Major Craft jig in UV pink.

Michelle and the author caught this great bag of arrow squid. Page 52 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

I N T E R months in The Great Sandy Strait produce arrow squid. Targeting arrows is a great way to enjoy a day on the water with the family and an awesome way to put some food on the dinner table. This is a simple style of fishing because all you need is light gear such as a 7’ 2-4kg rod, 8lb line, 2000-3000 size spin reel, a couple of squid jigs and a bottle of tuna oil. Squid can be leader shy, so it is a good idea to use a 10-12lb fluorocarbon. We use a paternoster style rig with a snap swivel and a No. 1 snapper lead to get the jig to the bottom. Drifting in the deeper channels around 10m over rubble or weedy bottoms in this area is how you will locate the squid. We put two rods out each. One rod we hold and fish with a soft up and down action. Putting the rods in rod holders also works, simply by letting the rod and wave action do all the work. Have a couple of jigs in the water whenever you can, as this will keep the squid interested. Dipping the jigs in a tub of tuna oil is another way to entice the squid to eat your jig, especially if they are striking but aren’t hooking up. There is a downside in using this method and that is because the scent from the tuna oil can also attract the attention of a sea toads. If you wind your jig in and the barbs are missing, you have had a toad fish attack. Colour and size of a squid jig can make a big

Fishing Tips by MELISSA FROHLOFF

difference to catching arrows in The Strait. Sizes 2.0 and 2.5 and around 10.5-14.5g have been working a treat. Purple and pink colours have produced the best catches. Price of jigs can also make a difference. The cheaper jigs will catch squid, but the material on the jigs may only last one good squid session. Spending the extra dollars on a quality jig will improve your catch rate. The lure action is far superior, the material will withstand the constant attack of their sharp beak and the jig hooks are sharper and stronger. If the material on the jig gets damaged it will affect the lure’s action and reduce your catch rate. A couple of my favourite jig brands are Yo-Zuri, Major Craft and Shimano. Fish before the top of the tide and just after, regardless of the time of day. You need some run in the tide for them to be active. They will go off the bite at the top and bottom of the tide. Midday tides are a great way to fish if you want to take the family out on the water. Nobody needs to have an early rise or be freezing on the boat ride out to the squid grounds. Sooner or later, someone is bound to get inked. This is their natural defence mechanism, however lifting a squid into the boat and straight into a bucket, or using a

net to land squid, can reduce the mess. To take your squid off the jig, turn it upside down to release the tentacles. You can slide your finger between the body and backbone, or karate chop them behind the eyes to kill the squid instantly, which will make handling easier, stop the release of ink and increase eating quality. Take care of your catch by putting them in an ice slurry. Cleaning squid is messy. Hold the body and remove the head, pulling out the ink sack, clear skeleton and remove innards. Cut off the tentacles in front of the eyes and remove the beak, keeping the tentacles for stir fries, soups, or crumbing. Working from the head end, remove the skin by peeling it back toward the tip. Remove the flaps from the body and skin. These too can be used for cooking. Rinse squid body and turn the tube inside out to finish cleaning. Slice across the tube to make squid rings. If you are going to make squid hands, I slice the tube in half, as this makes cleaning simpler. Crumbed squid rings, salt and pepper squid, squid balls, fried tentacles, Thai style stir fried squid, squid linguine and my latest recipe, salt and pepper squid fingers are just a few suggestions of what delicious food you can create from your catch. www.bnbfishing.com. au


Chilling out in Hervey Bay

T

HE colder weather is here. Eventually flat seas arrived, and cooler water temperatures that ease the metabolism of the prowling sharks means much more relaxed fishing. We’re still losing a few fish to sharks, but this has well and truly dropped off. Surface feeding has dropped off too, so we turn our eyes deeper. With the use of modern electronics, we hunt with scanners and sonar to target species such as trevally and snapper. Trevally have shown up, along with a few squire, but nothing too big as yet. I generally target snapper with soft plastics. Many believe lightweight soft plastics are the gun presentation, but I also like heavy heads that plummet to the zone or hang deep for long enough to trigger a strike. Each has an advantage, but it is often easy to fish both methods in one vessel. Heavy rigged plastics

Fraser Guided Fishing by TRI TON

are better suited for less advanced anglers. Having a strong darting action and movement is not as important as getting into the strike zone and staying there. Tiger squid are also something we get into up here, although I have had limited success so far this season. Shallow water squid fishing can be fun over weed and rock. Clean water and forage species need to be present too. Use bream or flathead gear and a squid jig up to size 3.0, depending on depth and current. I like aggressive jerks of the rod, with long pauses, however others like a very slow, subtle retrieve. When you get a bite, strike firmly to turn the jig barbs into the squid’s tentacles. Squid can grip the lure and if you haven’t pronged them, they can just let go. Wear polarised glass-

es too, because sometimes you will see them following the jig, and when they get really shallow you can sight cast to them. Small surface lures can also be useful in ultra-shallow water. Now to trevally. When they are playing the game during winter they are great fun to chase on jigs. Jigs sink fast and you can accurately hit a school of fish once they are spotted on the sounder. If they are fussy you can downsize the jig, or try plastics. Vary the retrieve with the lures until you find the best for the day. They can come in big schools that are large in area and depth, so make sure you present the lure to as many fish in the school as possible. Among the trevally schools you might encounter big cobia, so keep this in mind when you choose your tackle.

> Hervey Bay > Fraser Island > Sandy Strait

Sam nailed a fish of a lifetime with this nice cobia.

Steve shows off the dazzling shine of this beautiful diamond trevally.

Kylie with a nice inshore coral trout in cool conditions.

Cody was happy with this little kingfish.

Get into the best fishing action!

Kris and his son enjoy the spoils of winter.

Full and half day tours All levels of experience Experienced guide

Kylie landed this solid queenfish. www.bnbfishing.com.au

www.fraserguidedfishing.com.au > 0427 230 261 Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 53


Paddlers are a great lure type to throw for Murray cod at night.

When the shadows begin to lengthen, it’s time to start throwing topwater lures.

Chasing Murray cod with paddler lures

U

NFORTUNATELY, or f o r t u n a t e l y, Murray cod can be the fish of a thousand casts. Cracking a pattern without experience can be a tough thing to work out. This is where I hope to impart a bit of knowledge to make it a little easier, but I am by no means an expert.

Freshwater Feature by JAMES JONES

Like many anglers who chase these elusive fish, I have spent more than one occasion casting endlessly for no result. These rules are by no means hard and fast, instead more of a start-

ing point to get you in the game. Cod on surface lures is one of the most visually rewarding ways to catch these iconic fish. I will share some of the observations I’ve made zoning in on key

Baitcast tackle is preferred when chasing Murray cod. Page 54 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

areas to try to take out the guesswork, but always remember if it looks fishy, give it a cast. When and where So where to start? This will depend on whether you are fishing an impoundment or a river. I have found that most of the impoundments I’ve visited can be very different in appearance, but they will have some patterns that stay the same or similar. For example, I find fishing the twilight hours around sunrise and sunset will increase your chances. These fish will also bite well into the night, so be prepared with torches and headlamps. So, what areas to look for? With fish in impoundments, over weed beds is a great place to start. These give the fish an excellent ambush area. If possible, pick water depths from 2-15ft as a guideline.

Another good spot is a flat that is adjacent to deeper water, along with any laydown timber and standing trees. If you can find all these things in one area, it would be an excellent place to start. I have found that when river fish are in the mood, time of day is not as import as where you fish. What I look for are areas of cover, such as back eddies, the head of deeper pools at the point of inflow, below and behind rapids and rocks, undercut banks, logs and log jams, areas of weed creating cover and any shady pocket. Equipment While you can use a spin rod, I find a baitcaster outfit is the best option if casting at structure. This is because it gives you the control to land the lure exactly where you need it to be. I’ve actually been using a Samurai Swim * continued P55

www.bnbfishing.com. au


Chasing Murray cod with paddler lures * from P54

bait rod as a bit of a utility on the rivers and it absolutely sends lures of all sizes sailing with ease. I recommend 50lb braid and leaders anywhere from 40-60lb. The heavy line is a bit of an insurance policy for getting larger specimens out from cover. So now for the lures, and there are so many to choose from. Surface walkers are great and produce a decent disturbance on the water to lure a Murray cod from its lair. They can range from small 90mm models up to much larger 200mm beasts and are by far my favourite surface lure type for cod. I have been using a smaller profile recently, about 90mm in length, and it has been working well. Sometimes, you only walk the lure back about 2m across the surface before boof – it gets taken in an almighty surface strike, which displaces so much water that it’s hard to believe a single fish could have done it. Landing a respectable Murray cod is the icing on the cake, and it is moments like that which will be hard to forget. Techniques and tips Finally, how do I retrieve a surface walker? These are a great lure for any level of angler, as it has metal wings that do all the work! Here are some techniques that I use to help increase my chances. First, if I am fishing a structure, I land the lure in the pocket right in a sweet spot, such www.bnbfishing.com.au

as between the fork of a fallen tree, next to a boulder or tight to the bank. I let the water settle for a moment after splashdown and give it two small twitches, as I think this imitates a stunned bird. If there is no action, I wind it in half metre increments with a short pause in between. I keep the lure in the strike zone for as long as possible for the first 3m or so, then I just move into a slow steady retrieve. If at any point I get a swirl or boof that does not connect, I will pause the lure for a moment and then either continue with the retrieve or give it two twitches and then continue with the retrieve. Cod will often hit the lure as you start to move it after a brief pause, so be ready. Now with open flats such as in an impoundment, if you are casting from a boat towards shore, I like to start the retrieve the same way as mentioned above. This will ensure that your lure stays in the zone as long as possible for any actively feeding fish. Alternatively, from the shore when I’m casting over flats I pretty much just start with a slow steady retrieve and a couple of pauses as the lure gets closer to the bank. I hope there’s something in this that you find useful, as cod surface fishing can be a tough gig. But if you put in the time and effort, you will soon reap the rewards.

Small tinnies are a good way to access rivers for Murray cod.

Lazy, rocky pools are a great place to fish with paddler style lures.

When caught in clear water, cod can display beautiful colouration. Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 55


The author got lucky with one of many colourful redthroat.

Two days aboard with a commercial licence holder

I

T’S been a while since submitting an article to BNB, but there are so many fun projects to enjoy and get into in retirement that you do get easily sidetracked. Life certainly isn’t

Offshore by BILL CORTEN

boring, with plenty of bar crossing work, caravanning and family duties, so when the weath-

The bigger trout were more elusive on the neap tides. Page 56 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

er plays havoc with your fishing plans, you just shrug the shoulders until the moons line up again. Every day is still Sunday. Recently Mat Hubbard, who bought my surveyed 685 Cruise Craft Reel Affair about

18 months ago, rang and asked at very short notice if I was keen on a fishing trip off Central Queensland. I was all ears. Mat has a commercial fishing licence attached to the boat these days, purely as a business transaction for reasons that I fully understand, and I was keen to see how the commercial thing worked and agreed to be the deckie.

The other deckie was Ben, a pretty fit looking 36-year-old who has done heaps of deckie work in the fishing charter industry, and it dawned on me that Mat and Ben combined are 68 – my age! This was going to be interesting and I was determined to not let them down. I needn’t have worried, as we all had our

* continued P57

The red fish were welcome ‘money’ fish. www.bnbfishing.com. au


Two days aboard with a commercial licence holder * from P56

own skill sets and they combined well to make it one of those memorable trips, though I wish Mat would get some decent music on his playlist. Some of those rapper musos really were crap to listen to. The first day out was a long way north and nowhere near my usual grounds, so I didn’t even need to produce the GPS marks I‘d brought with me. The first stop was on some very shallow ground with only pickers, so off to another spot, as in commercial terms, time is money lost. Yep, a very different approach for me and I ran with it, as the next spot had us all floating baits down on tiny pea sinkers in only 12m of water and the fish were on the chew from the onset. One outfit on the bottom was producing plenty of mixed fish while Mat was on fire floating his mono line outfit down. Mat on his 40lb mono floater was consistently catching the really

good quality redthroat emperor and landed a couple of spanish mackerel as by-catch. My heavier mono wasn’t as supple a line and I was happy to swap to a braid bottom basher with a 4oz sinker to boost the fish numbers, and it didn’t matter as long as we were contributing plenty of fish. The money fish were on the bottom, tuskfish and red emperor, so it was important to target that area, but the quality of the redthroat on the floater couldn’t be matched and it was essential to keep them coming. I quickly cottoned on to the new mantra, “if it pays it stays”, and stuff I would usually cut up for bait such as iodine bream and hussar went into the box. Ben was awesome, as he kept up the supply of cut mullet, half pillies and yakkas and I was really enjoying the day. In the light northerly we kept chipping away for what you would normally call a reasonable bag limit, but there were no trout on the neap tides and stacks

of energy-sapping just undersize red emperor. Around dark we sounded for a nice rock to sit on as the wind swung northwest. Typically, the fish all disappeared off the screen late in the day, but as soon as the anchor was set Ben was nailing some XOS hussar. I converted over to a floater on colour coded braid and instantly found my mojo on redthroat. Mat got a couple too in the space of an hour after dark. It was a good bonus of 18 hussar and redthroat to top up the day. At this stage I should state some of the commercial fishing arrangements Mat had to comply with. He must hold quota for the species we were catching and with a VMS on the boat he had to pre-report the trip and have acknowledgement from Fisheries before we even hit the water or he couldn’t fish on the licence. Logbook entries must be made for every single fish kept, as it has

Sunset on day one was pretty special.

Mat with two 62cm redthroat emperor. On a very hot bite, fish this size were coming from the bottom and the floater rig.

* continued P58

Mat Hubbard with the best spanish mackerel on day one. www.bnbfishing.com.au

Ben Russell was very happy with this red, as they just don’t happen down in his usual haunts. Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 57


Two days aboard with a commercial licence holder * from P57

to be very accurately pre-reported to Fisheries at least an hour before landing at the boat ramp, so that Fisheries can come and inspect if wished. Some heavy penalties apply for non-compliance, and you need a good knowledge of the vagaries of the fishing symbols. For example, he has no spanish mackerel symbols, so we could only keep the recreational bag limit and they cannot be sold, but he could keep the shark mackerel we caught. To stay in front of the game Ben and I transferred fish from the kill box to the ice box and shuffled ice around while Mat recorded everything in his notebook of that day. The running tally was not that impressive for

the amount of effort we put in for the day, but that’s fishing for you. Feeling refreshed after a good feed and a reasonable sleep on the deck on my old faithful self-inflating mattress, we were cooking breakfast the next morning at first light when some showers of rain hit and the wind sprung into a 20-knot southwester. Bugger! This wind was not on the forecast and didn’t make the most ideal fishing conditions when in the middle of nowhere, but when we pulled the anchor and put the sea drogue to work the fish were really on the chew, and it stayed that way all day. They were terrible conditions, but we had a hot fish bite. We worked a tad deeper that day in 15-

25m, as that was where the best fish were holding and it was full on. We had such a hot bite we clean forgot to have some lunch and as a late bonus we got some trout and five nice red emperors in addition to a few 62cm redthroat, and several models around 59cm. It was as though the hussar had grown in size overnight too, and then came the trevally. The spaniards were hotter and bigger than the day before and we had our boat limit of six. Tuskfish were biting well too, and that bloody big oversized ice box (as I had referred to it the night before because it impinged on my sleeping space) was starting to look fairly full. The run home was pretty ordinary into a still dirty sea, so I decided to hop on the wheel and do some tweaking of the settings for comfort and fuel flow. It was a privilege to drive the old girl again, and I enjoyed every minute of it, though we did have a few hard bumps as we were keen to push the limits and get in before the kitchen closed at the pub.

That boat is such a good responsive ride into a head sea and a true one of a kind in survey, strengthened with all that upright foam flotation. It was great to see Mat using it to its potential. We waited so Mat could pre-report the catch and close the loop on his obligations with the licence, then it was all done on radar for the last hour, as it was pitch black all the way to the ramp. I just love those little challenges. The hot pub meal and a few beers were awesome, but my ageing body did ache. Our journey home the next day was full of fishing banter and securing a good price for the fish. Mat did some great negotiating, as the ball is in the fisherman’s court in these days of supply and demand. The good news is that all those fish are sold to Queensland outlets and only Queenslanders will get to enjoy them. There is another logbook he has to maintain for where and when he sells the fish and for each of the fish he sells, the licensed seafood buyer also has to keep

complete dockets that relate to that catch, as Fisheries actively does compliance checks. Personally, I like the improved system these guys operate under, as it keeps them honest and the seafood buyer honest too. It removes the opportunity for the fisher and the seafood buyer to operate in a black-market environment and ultimately that leads to a better managed fishery of input and output controls. Better still, it has put a huge hole in the black marketing of fish by recreational fishers too, as the seafood buyers know they can easily be audited for every piece of product on the premises and will be caught out if not playing the game. These days they just won’t take fish from the organised black marketers, as the risks are too high. A bloody good outcome for the fishery in my opinion. As a side note, apparently I must have performed alright with the rod and reel as I’ve been asked back on another trip, so will put in more gym work to balance the ledger with the ageing factor.

Ben nailed this trio of reds in a short rapid burst not long before heading home.

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Mat with the best spaniard of day two. A good effort on mono while floating for redthroat. www.bnbfishing.com. au


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Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 59


Muddies make last run and reefies fire

T

E M P E R ATURES are starting to drop as a large cold front covers the southern part of eastern Australia. There have been some good hauls of mud crabs taken recently, following the super moon. This is probably the last chance you have to pot a few muddies before they really close down during the cooler months. The last couple of weeks in May saw many locals reporting good hauls of jennies in their pots (which cannot be kept in Queensland), but few bucks. It seems the bucks have been following them recently and hopefully this will continue again at the next full moon. With the cooler weather I am hoping that the more traditional winter weather patterns will become more frequent, that is, a nice big highpressure system sitting directly above Bundaberg, providing two to three days of perfect weather at a time. Let’s hope we get

Bundaberg Region by BRAD YOUNG

these great weather windows to enable a few more offshore trips. The other seasonal hazard that is starting to come into play is the migrating whales. There are greater and greater numbers of these large mammals each year, and they can be a hazard offshore, especially when under way in the hours of darkness or when anchored out in the open. There was a serious accident involving a whale in the week before this article, whereby a large whale breached and landed on top of a half cabin fibreglass boat, seriously injuring one of the occupants. Please take care, keep a good watch for hazards (such as migrating whales) and wear a lifejacket when travelling at night, as it may save your life. Offshore window opens Spider and his dad Ed took the opportunity

mid-week to head offshore from Bundaberg to test some old marks and to try new ones. Their search for new or less fished marks has been brought on by the large number of sharks ‘taxing’ nice fish, especially those red fish such as red emperor and coral trout. In his most recent trip, he headed out from the mouth of the Burnett River over the period of the neap tides and enjoyed a shorter fivehour session, bagging 15 fish between them. Their haul included some nice tuskfish, a species that often goes off at dawn and dusk, as they often seem to have a quick feeding frenzy at these times. They also bagged some sweetlip and cod to round out their bag. Spider did have some shark trouble, but not enough to force a move too early. The benefits of having an all-tide and allweather access option

Ed with a nice grass sweetlip from offshore of Bundaberg. Page 60 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

to the open sea via the mouth of the Burnett River enables such trips to take place without having to worry about tides. Bream starting to show The winter bream run appears to be starting to build, though the size of the fish seems to be on the smaller side. The opinion of a bream tragic I have been talking to is that the bream he had been catching had not yet started to roe up and were not in top condition. Our discussion focused on the lack of a good fresh run in many of our local systems this summer, which in turn saw minimal prawn activity. Of course, prawns are a staple of bream, so a lack of small prawns will then affect the quality and numbers of bream. Let’s hope we do have a good run of bream this season. Flathead feature in local bags Good sized flathead have been landed in the

Burnett River and Baffle Creek lately. This species is a sucker for soft plastics, hard-body lures and fresh baits such as prawn, mullet flesh and pilchards. If you happen to land a flathead at this time of the year, especially a larger female, you are likely to be able to land two or three smaller males keeping her company. I have seen photos of a large female lizard with up to four smaller males lying beside her. The best places to target this species are along the edges of banks and drop-offs where they lie in wait for their prey to swim off the flats as the tide recedes into the deeper water. They are perfect ambush predators and will often launch themselves off the bottom to swallow their prey whole. As always, I can be contacted at PO Box 5812, Bundaberg West, QLD 4670 or via email at fishnboat@bigpond. com. Until next month…

Ed and Spider were proud of these tuskfish caught offshore. www.bnbfishing.com. au


I caught this grunter using a piece of mullet flesh. It went 65cm and weighed 3 kg. I was so stoked! Glen Fennell

Jye Todd and Viet Tran with a pair of yellowfin tuna caught in 1500m of water off Moreton using 10.5” Lethal Bullet in Hawaiian and custom skirted 8.5” Superslayer Frantic lure. Ben Smith

I caught this 11kg blue maori cod off Fraser Island. Michael Brown

To have a photo of your catch featured in Readers’ Forum, simply email ben@collins.media with a good-quality picture, your name and details or hop onto our Facebook page and send us a message. www.bnbfishing.com.au

Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 61


Matty Arnold has been getting into the impoundment barramundi at Lake Maraboon. Winter is a prime time to chase them.

Midwinter on Capricorn Coast

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Grunter will be another top winter option. Luke Peisker with top headland grunter. Page 62 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

HE tracky dacks and ugg boots have well and truly come out of retirement. We have had a few patches of proper cold weather, but apart from that winter has been quite reasonable. Though some mornings it is hard to get out of bed to go for a fish. So I think getting a few mates on board helps to keep you motivated. Well, that and a big thermos full of hot coffee. Recently much of the weather has been absolutely stunning. Water clarity in close at this time of year can be extremely good, making it perfect for land-based spearos to hit the headlands. The southwesters we experience all through winter have a lot to do

Capricorn Coast by JOHN BOON

with this, by sending waves and chop away from coast instead of onto it, which happens in the warmer months. With the current water temperature, I can assure you the spearos will be wearing thick wetsuits. One thing that surprised me while talking with a few of them is how many crays are available in such shallow water off the mainland. Tasty crustaceans are available if you’re willing to put in the time. Big winter tiger squid have continued to run red hot as expected. The quality has been nothing short of outstanding. Something to keep in

mind about tiger squid, and what a lot of people don’t know, is that there is a bag limit of 20 per person. When the squid are on it can be easy to quickly reach limits, so make sure you keep an eye on the tally. Some of the most reliable spots have been Humpy and Barren islands. Shallow reef is a good start, but if you can find broken rock or reef with sand in between and weed on top, then this is prime squidding country. Many are aware that southwest wind in winter will make fishing inshore a lot tougher. But I find that squid * continued P63

www.bnbfishing.com. au


Midwinter on Capricorn Coast * from P62

are one of the most reliable species I can get to bite during a westerly. So make sure you don’t write the conditions off as being too tough, and get out there and chase a tiger or two. If you are heading out after some squid this winter, then maybe put the boat in a bit earlier and try for a mackerel first. Just before sun-up is the prime time to troll for a bay or island mack. Any of the close spots are reliable at this time of year for school and spottie mackerel including Iron Pot, Rita Mada and the close-in islands out from Emu Park. I got a really good report from a friend who had some great sessions on the grey macks by just trolling small spoons over the bait schools. This is a very simple but effective technique. If you fancy your hand at trying to bag a spanish mackerel, then the islands are the best place close to the marina. Big Peninsula on Great Keppel Island, Barren, Outer, Man and Wife and also Conical are all reliable spots. Look for the current

lines and where the bait is holding. If like me you’re one of the world’s laziest mackerel fishers, then lures such as Halco Laser Pros and Rapala XRaps are a great choice. If you prefer to put in a bit more effort, then trolling baits such as gar and wolf herring will get the bites when the artificials struggle. Recently we did a wide run when the prediction was for light wind, but it had the dreaded westerly in it. So we decided to leave the harbour at 2am to avoid the crowds and headed to our first mark about 80km east of the marina. It was on from the very first drift. Dan boated a legal red and that set the cruise control for the rest of the trip. We did a mixture of jigging and bait fishing, with both techniques working extremely well. The sharks gave us a hiding, which was unexpected because usually on the Capricorn Coast as soon as the temperature drops the sharks settle down. After persisting for the day we were rewarded with 11 nice red emperor and a heap of

Luke Peisker holding a genuine 120cm model from Lake Maraboon. Luke and his friend Matty Arnold have put the time in and have been getting results. www.bnbfishing.com.au

mixed reef species. We fished a mixture of fern and isolated reef. The standout slow pitch jigs were ZetZ Slow Blatt and the Reel Action Lures Slow Fall (pitch) Jig. The final report, which is no surprise, is that the flatties have come on strong. I haven’t had a chance to chase them yet, but it is on the to-do list. There’s nothing like grabbing a couple of light rods, a handful of plastics and dropping the boat in to chase some flat fish. Well that’s it for me this month. Stay safe and just remember it’s whale season, so keep an eye out if heading to the islands or beyond.

Dan Baker with the best red from a recent offshore mission wide of Yeppoon.

Big barramundi will still be available through winter. Lyle Smith caught this absolute horse from the Rockhampton NFZ.

Keith Neven put together this typical winter haul from the Cap Coast. Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 63


Brendan Moore shows off one of a heap of barramundi landed on the ‘barra tree’ in the Wenlock River.

Landing metre-plus queenfish on a fly is something relished by anybody who waves a wand. Brendan with one of two double hook-ups while fishing with the author.

Run-off goodies in Cape York W ITH the Cape’s wet season finishing abruptly after a last burst of heavy rain at the end of April, the southeast trade winds took over from the northerly flow and was soon pumping at 20 knots or better by mid-May. This time of year is known in the north as ‘the run-off’, signified by the typically tanninstained waters pushing out of most creeks and rivers. It’s usually a time

Trip to the Tip

by DAVE DONALD

when baitfish and juvenile prawns are forced to exit the floodplains where they are relatively protected from predator attacks and run the gauntlet downstream into the main waterways. Meanwhile on the western Cape, the nutrient-rich floodwaters have entered the shallow coastal stretches of the Gulf of Carpentar-

ia, creating a rich ‘soup’ that brings all manner of species inshore for the annual bonanza. Any wonder the runoff season is almost fully booked with charter operators, and many fishers putting their deposit down a year in advance to avoid missing out. The milder, less humid weather that arrives with the trade

A beautiful golden trevally taken on a slow-pitched jig by the author’s godson Drew Pearson during an action-packed week. Page 64 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

winds also makes a trip much less uncomfortable after the sweaty days of summer. While the water temperatures remain high, the fish will keep busy even though the freshwater flows slow quickly. That’s why the May/ June period is such a great time to visit here. The action definitely slows once winter drops water temperatures a few degrees. I had a line-up of visitors ready to join me in sharing what are probably my favourite months of our fishing season. The prolonged wet of 2021 has prompted some subtle changes to the overall scene, but there was still plenty of action to be found. First to roll up was my godson, Drew Pearson from Yeppoon, a fisho who started his career while crawling around in his old man’s boat eating stray pilchards that had been shaken off the ganged hooks when his parents were landing mackerel. With a pedigree like

that, it’s little wonder that he can keep up with the best around, including his retired godfather! Truth be told, I’m still not too decrepit to enjoy the challenge, even though I usually come off second best. We enjoyed a wonderful week, including a couple of epic days targeting the bauxite reef bommies around Thud Point and Norman Creek. I don’t allow bait in my boat these days, but we found plenty of takers for the soft plastics and slow pitched jigs we offered. Sharks were sometimes a problem but, in an interesting turn of events, we seemed to find good fish whenever large sharks appeared on the side scan. The trick was to land any hooked fish quickly then leave them biting before the sharks became too aggressive. The next party of mates was forced to camp outside the TMR office in Mareeba to obtain a permit to travel * continued P66

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Run-off goodies in Cape York * from P64

the Peninsula Development Road, as it was still officially closed due to the late rain. They duly arrived about a week late but were lucky enough to be able to extend their campground booking to make up for the lost days. It’s no secret that I love my saltwater fly fishing, and one of the crew, Brendan Moore, was keen to join me in flinging some fur and feathers at whatever we could find. Our first expedition fishing in the beach shallows was hampered by dirty water and uncooperative tides, but we’re both old enough to appreciate that fishing has its good and not so good days. Second time around though, things fell into place. We sighted the first big ‘busts’ about 20 minutes into our run south, stopping a couple of times to cast to quickly moving schools that could have been tuna or queenfish.

The fish weren’t exposing themselves, so I was leaning towards the latter species. I was finally able to place the boat close to some working fish, only to have a couple of longtail tuna leap out of the water on the far edge of the school causing me to think I had been mistaken. But the riddle was solved when both Brendan and I had a mob of big queenfish racing after our cast flies, resulting in two big sliver slabbed beauties jumping madly as we both hooked up. Thankfully, the fish headed in different directions, but that situation changed when the hard-running queenies got nearer the boat. We were forced to dance around the boat a few times, passing one rod under or over the other as required as our fish tired. Both eventually came aboard, to be released after a few quick photos. That definitely put a smile on both our

weathered dials. We managed to locate the ‘busts’ a second time about a kilometre south and again scored a double. This was champagne fly fishing and shortly after we were again prompted to begin the queenfish ‘two step’. My fears around the possibility of a big bull shark cutting in on our dance partners were unfounded as another pair of metre-plus beauties found the net. Although we were unable to repeat the expe-

rience for a third time, there were plenty of other species ready to grab our flies after that great start. A day trip to the mighty Wenlock capped off another superb day. With five experienced lure casters working out of two boats, our tally (all released) exceeded 100, and that was only counting barramundi. One particular snag known as the ‘barra tree’ produced about half of that number as

well as a lone fingermark. Other species landed included mangrove jack, blue and king threadfin, pikey bream, grunter and heaps of pesky catfish. It was a day I’m sure we’ll all long remember. The best news is that the Weipa area is again firing on all cylinders and looking forward to a top fishing season. And I’m expecting more visitors in the coming months to help me enjoy my ‘retirement’.

This stonker of a fingermark ate a Berkley Gulp plastic in about 15m. The author won’t allow bait on his boat, a ‘rule’ that ultimately relates to largethan-average fish being landed regularly.

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Page 66 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

Queenies love eating flies; this one ate a Lefty’s Deceiver. www.bnbfishing.com. au


Casey with a solid jack up in the fresh.

A jungle perch for the author.

Late season sweetwater sensations

T

HE top of the river systems is where I want to be, and with the arrival of late wet season rains the sweetwater fishing has been extended. Around Easter it looked as though we had seen the end of the rain for another year, but mother nature had other things in mind, and sent us over a metre of rain in a few very wet days. One river in particular rose an astonishing 5m in a little over six hours. The result was a lot more time to get up into the sweetwater sections of our waterways. This also coincided with the arrival of the hordes of visitors from down south, taking advantage of the warmer temperatures we enjoy at this time of year. Of note this year are the healthy numbers of mangrove jack encountered up in the fresh,

Fishing Cairns by BRETT PARKS

with a number up over 40cm. These great fighting, hard-hitting fish are always a thrill to land, especially when you see them hit your lure metres from the boat. Testament to this fish’s tenacity is the number of catches where the jack is barely bigger than the lure it has decided to inhale. Jungle perch are also being caught in good numbers, with this guide putting many an angler onto their first JP. They are by far and away the best-looking fish to be caught in the fresh, and it’s always a joy to catch and release these beautiful fish. The humble sooty grunter is the bread and butter species up the top

of our local systems. They hit hard, put up a good fight and inhabit some of the prettiest waterways in the country. For many experienced anglers, this species is among their favourites. As the rivers continue to recede, it won’t be long before we are looking forward to the next wet season, when we can once again head up into the sweetwater.

This khaki grunter was hooked by a visitor on her honeymoon.

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Book a charter today! From barramundi to marlin, jungle perch to jacks, we’ve got you covered. A lure-caught grunter taken by the author. www.bnbfishing.com.au

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Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 67


Hookt Apparel tees TT Lures Weedless Mustad Armlock Spinner Bait Rig Value Pack

INTRODUCING a new range of quality tees from Hookt Apparel, including ZMan Logo tees and Platypus Vintage Spool and Giveitastretch tees. Anglers can now rep Australia’s favourite soft plastics brand, with the range of ZMan Logo tees. These are available in both black and navy, featuring the iconic ZMan logo as a front print, along with big and bold on the back! Platypus is Australia’s longest running fishing brand, established in 1898. It is also the home of Australia’s favourite monofilament lines and busting into the braid arena further with the release of Pulse X4 and X8, along with Bionic x9. The Vintage Spool tee features a vintage Platypus front print and vintage spool back print. The Giveitastretch tee celebrates the proudly Aussie heritage of the brand, with a design that has been rediscovered among vintage ads and marketing materials. Celebrate our Australian fishing history with the Platypus Giveitastretch tee. Platypus tees are available in black, charcoal, indigo blue, military green and olive, and they are printed in Australia. These quality Gildan brand tees are 100% cotton, relaxed fit, come in sizes S, M, L, XL, 2XL, and 3XL, and have an SRP of $29.90. For more information visit tackletactics. com.au

Page 68 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

THE latest addition to the TT Lures Jighead Value Pack range is a great starter pack for those wanting to give weedless rigging a go, while also being a great value for money pack for anglers who are into fishing weedless soft plastics. The pack contains a popular selection of ChinlockZ SWS and SnakelockZ jigheads, allowing anglers to mix and match head weights and hook sizes to suit a wide range of applications. Remove the head weight for fishing topwater or add the required weight to fish the strike zone. The pack contains: • 1 x 1/12oz 2/0 ChinlockZ SWS • 1 x 1/8oz 3/0 ChinlockZ SWS • 1 x 1/6oz 4/0 ChinlockZ SWS • 1 x 1/6oz 6/0 ChinlockZ SWS • 3 x 1/8oz 2/0 SnakelockZ • 3 x 1/6oz 3/0 SnakelockZ • 3 x 1/4oz 4/0 SnakelockZ • 3 x 3/8oz 6/0 SnakelockZ The TT Lures Weedless Rig Value Pack is $60 SRP with the plastic tray, and $39.95 on its own. For more information, visit tackletac tics.com.au

THE Armlock Spinner Bait from Mustad is designed with the unique arm lock system that holds the spinnerbait arm and hook steady when a fish strikes and holds firm during a fight. This design gives unparalleled strength to the wire frame, increasing the durability of the lure while at the same time ensuring the hook point of the 32608 hook is in the perfect position to penetrate on the strike. Other design features include a transparent Mezashi eye that acts as a strike trigger, willow blades constructed from brass and hand tied silicone skirts. There are five weights in the range – 7g, 10g, 14g, 21g and 28g – and eight colours that include brilliant natural reproductions such as Ayu and Wakasagi, as well as brighter colours like Chartreuse/White and Lime/Chartreuse. At present the Armlock Spinner Bait is only available in a double willow configuration, allowing anglers to fish these lures deeper without the drag of a large Colorado blade. The blades are colour matched to the skirt colour to give the best overall presentation including black blades, silver blades and gold blades and combinations of each. For more information visit wilsonfish ing.com

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BOATING & marine

Yamaha launches next generation V6 Offshore outboard range

Y

AMAHA Marine has kicked off 2021 with the release of next generation V6 Offshore outboards that deliver exciting new technology while continuing Yamaha’s proud reputation for legendary reliability and performance. The new V6 Offshore series features powerful 225, 250 and 300 models, horsepower with premium options available in the 250 and 300 horsepower range, including Yamaha’s new integrated digital electric steering and the choice of an all-new stunning white or traditional Yamaha grey colours. Yamaha’s new V6 series is based around the proven 4.2L block, an engine platform famous for introducing high performance automotive engine technology – plasma fusion – into the marine industry. The plasma fusion process used in the production of Yamaha’s new V6 offshore series involves the thermal application of a plasma coating on the engine’s cylinder walls. The process creates a cylinder wall 60 percent harder than steel and removes the need for conventional steel cylinder sleeves. That means larger cylinder bores for increased displacement resulting in more power and torque without increasing outer cylinder dimensions. It also results in sigwww.bnbfishing.com.au

nificantly lighter weight, better cooling and ‘micro-textured’ cylinder walls that dramatically reduce internal friction, further increasing performance and enhancing reliability. To improve this already class-leading engine platform, Yamaha has introduced a range of new features designed to satisfy skippers who crave advanced control and further integration into modern boating systems. The new Offshore V6 series also feature a bold new cowling design, with aggressive lines that reflect the strength and performance of these powerful engines. New integrated digital electric steering The same integrated digital electric steering system introduced in Yamaha’s groundbreaking 425 horsepower XTO Offshore outboards is now available in the new F250 and F300 V6 models. This latest boat steering technology provides smooth, fast and precise steering and, unlike several conventional steering systems, only draws battery power when actively in use. DES is significantly easier to rig than conventional steering systems and creates an uncluttered bilge and transom with no steering pumps, hoses, hydraulic lines or connections, no bleeding procedure, less complexity and straightforward serviceability. It also provides cus-

tomisable steering settings for steering friction and sensitivity at the helm. DES allows the skipper to easily expand their engine capability with Yamaha’s Helm Master EX system. Boats powered by Yamaha’s new Offshore V6 series can be easily equipped with Yamaha’s AutoPilot and even Joystick control, with the ability to use Set Point features that automatically hold the vessel’s GPS heading or position at the push of a button. This incredible system is available on multi engine as well as single engine set ups and has turned into the must have boating capability for serious fishers and commercial operators. The new V6 engines are also available in configurations without the integrated DES, ready to connect to traditional steering systems in 225, 250 and 300 models, for repower and other new boat applications. Thrust enhancing reverse exhaust In traditional outboard design, exhaust gasses are released through the propeller hub. In Yamaha’s new V6 models the new thrust enhancing reverse exhaust feature releases exhaust bubbles above the anti-ventilation plate, well away from the propeller, when in reverse and below 2500 rpm. This means the propeller bites only clean undisturbed water, resulting in outstanding

reverse thrust for improved control around marinas, tight docking situations or backing onto fish. It’s especially effective when combined with the fast precision of DES, taking the Stay Point functions and Joystick control of Yamaha’s Helm Master EX system to the next level. Next level trim and tilt system Yamaha’s all-new exclusive TotalTilt function allows the complete tilt up of the engine from any position with a simple double click of the ‘up’ trim/tilt button, or full tilt down – until trim ram contact – by the same double click of the ‘down’ trim/tilt button, for an improved user experience. There’s also a new built-in integrated tilt limiter allowing the engine to be automatically set to the maximum tilt angle to suit the boat. Plus, built-in DES models tilt higher out of the water than previ-

ous models, which helps lessen the potential for corrosion in boats that are kept on the water. The new V6 Offshore series brings other premium features to the helm as standard. Including speed control, which allows the user to fine tune the speed of the boat by using a toggle switch on the throttle handle. If the speed is reduced below what can be achieved in gear, the engine will automatically enter pattern shift mode, shifting between forward and neutral to maintain a very slow speed for trolling. Automatic trim assist can be set to automatically trim the engine based on pre-set speed or rpm parameters. In multi-engine set ups, the skipper can easily activate single-lever operation for more convenient control. For more information, visit yamaha-motor. com.au

Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 69


BOATING & marine Insights into boat insurance

Love me tender, until the worst happens…

Y

OU may love your tender, your tiny cartopper or your little bondwood dinghy very dearly, and no doubt it has helped create all those wonderful tales about great days afloat and a never-ending source of funny stories. And there are two simple rules that will keep them as a library of boating memories rather than them being rewritten into a Greek tragedy. First, don’t look at your tender, car topper or bondwood dinghy as being a relatively inexpensive investment and therefore not worth insuring. Instead see it in terms of the damage that it could prompt if things went pearshaped. Second, understand that boat registration does not include

a compulsory third party insurance cover like your motor vehicle has. If something bad happens, there is no element in your boat’s registration fee that will pick up the tab on your behalf. The bottom line is, you should take out specialist boat insurance to protect you against the damage your small tender might cause, or which you might cause. What damage could a tender cause? Say your tender took off because you were not wearing an outboard kill switch cable and then went on to strike and injure a child in the shallows. Or say there was a fuel leak from your tank that ignited due to some unknown cause while your tender was unattended in a marina.

Or, what if a court found you responsible for causing a large cruiser to take evasive action resulting in a crash? Sure, the big cruiser might have marine insurance, but then that insurer could well seek to recover its payout by suing you for the damages. And yet these seriously expensive dramas could have been avoided by having a simple insurance cover on your vessel. Every boat is worth insuring, maybe not in terms of redeeming its value if it were to be stolen, but rather, to give you a degree of protection against legal and financial actions if something were to go wrong. Name one person who ever went to sea knowing that something was going to go wrong that day?

Exactly, no one. Therefore, the unexpected is exactly that, unexpected. Specialist marine insurers like Nautilus Marine provide a public liability coverage within their policies. Some tenders can ride under the cover of the mothership if it is noted on the insurance policy as being the ‘tender to vesselname’. Of course, certain conditions also will apply, such as its proximity to mothership when being used. Your specialist marine insurer can advise you on this and other relevant conditions. So irrespective of whether you have a $2000 tinnie or a $2 million cruiser, you can enjoy your boating knowing that you are covered for any injury to people or damage to property. Like other specialist marine insurers, Nautilus sets limits to the amount of coverage depending on factors such as where and how you use your boat, as well as what you agree to be a reasonable level of protection. If you are determined not to comprehensively insure your $2000 tinnie and thereby in-

herently secure public liability cover, you can just take out a third party cover. That means your tinnie won’t be insured if stolen, but any damage caused by it due to your negligence, will be covered within the limits outlined in the policy. To own or drive a boat that does not have some level of insurance protection against the injuries or damage it may cause to others, is to run a very, very serious risk of crippling debt should a claim ever be made against you. Remember, there’s no automatic provision against it in your annual registration fee. When it comes to marine insurance, always check your Product Disclosure Statement and if you have a query, ask your insurer for clarification. Any special conditions and excesses should always be explained clearly in your insurance policy’s Product Disclosure Statement. If you need further information, you can contact Nautilus Marine Insurance on 1300 780 533 for any boat insurance requirements.

Advice in this article is general and might not apply or be right for you. Before acting on it, consider its appropriateness having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. Nautilus Marine Insurance is a business name of NM Insurance Pty Ltd ABN 34 100 633 038 AFSL 227 186 (NM Insurance), the issuer of Nautilus Marine Boat Insurance. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement at nautilusinsurance.com.au before deciding whether to purchase a policy.

Page 70 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

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That’s the thing about a get away in a Quintrex – it’s just you and your mates or family, out on the water. At your special spot, by yourselves, having fun. Catching a fish or two and a lot of laughs. No crowds, no worries. Quintrex is Australia’s number one boat brand, designed and built on the Gold Coast since Adam was a boy. We’re the best because all our boats, from tinnies to blue water rigs, are built for safety and function, ease of use and utmost reliability. So what are you doing this weekend?

Find your special fishing spot... Talk to your nearest Quintrex dealer for more info on the perfect Quintrex for you.

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Brisbane | Brisbane Yamaha 174 Eastern Service Rd, Burpengary Q T 07 3888 1727 www.brisbaneyamaha.com.au

Gold Coast | Surf Coast Marine 50-54 Brisbane Rd, Labrador Q T 07 5563 7733 www.surfcoastmarine.com.au

Brisbane | Karee Marine 1776 Ipswich Motorway, Rocklea Q T 07 3875 1600 www.kareemarine.com.au

Sunshine Coast | Caloundra Marine 8 Baldwin St, Caloundra Q T 07 5491 1944 www.caloundramarine.com.au

Bundaberg | Boats Galore 142 Enterprise St, Bundaberg Q T 07 4152 6744 www.boatsgalore.com.au QXDEALER2021

Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 71


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seanconlonsfishing@hotmail.com Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 73


C AMPING & outdoors

A spectacular outback sunset at Noonbah Station.

Magic in the Queensland outback

W

ITH a big, long wet season continuing into April over most of the Cape, and the Peninsula Development Road stilled closed, my wife Shelley and I decided to head out west for a couple of months to explore some more of Queensland’s magical Channel Country. If you’re not familiar with this region, it’s characterised by vast ‘downs’ plains, with few if any trees except near watercourses, rocky ‘jump ups’ and all interlaced by a series of rivers, creeks and other channels. The Channel Country is in fact a desert that floods.

Cape York by ‘BILLABONG’ BAZZ LYON

Occasional heavy rain across the catchment causes these watercourses to fill and flow in a magnificent spectacle that totally rejuvenates the floodplains. Our visit followed some patchy summer rains that had certainly helped increase water levels, with plenty of grass and other herbage. We travelled in our Land Rover Discovery 4, towing our 12ft off­ road van, which enabled us get into some more out of the way places – without being silly.

Page 74 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

It seems as though every outback town has lifted its profile in terms of catering for travellers, places to stay and attractions, and doing a great job of it. One of the absolute highlights was the Sculpture Trail, which we started at the character-filled town of Aramac. The sculptures, made of wire, motor bike tanks and other scrap metal, have been skilfully crafted into different iconic Australian animals and characters by artist Milynda Rogers.

There is even one of Jonathon Thurston – an absolute cracker! The trail is 210km long, and we only did the 70km bitumen section between Aramac and Lake Dunn, as rain was threatening. Here you can set up

beside the lake under shady trees, and enjoy the great scenery, wildlife and even go kayaking and fishing. Longreach is a really vibrant outback town, with plenty of attractions that have been * continued P75

Camped beside the Thompson River channels on Noonbah Station. www.bnbfishing.com. au


C AMPING & outdoors

Exploring Welford National Park.

Goanna tracks on a desert sand dune.

Queensland outback magic * from P74

well covered elsewhere. And as in all the towns we visited, the people were just so friendly. Station stays are becoming more and more popular, and one we really enjoyed was Noonbah Station on the Thompson River, about 240km south-southwest of Longreach. Being camped under the coolibah trees beside the channels was a very authentic outback experience. And as usual, we caught a great feed of yabbies. Parboiled potato and dog kibble proved to be very successful baits. Shelley cooked up the tails a few times in garlic butter to have with www.bnbfishing.com.au

‘sundowners’, and on another occasion, in a creamy pasta. Delicious! From here we drove down to Jundah in southwest Queensland, another town catering superbly for travellers, and we really enjoyed our stay. You can camp in the van park, or bush camp along the river under wonderfully shady trees. Once again, the yabbies were abundant. From here we explored the expansive Welford National Park. What a magic place! Great tracks, history, and camping beside the iconic Barcoo River. And the wildlife; huge flocks of budgies, emus, Major Mitchell’s

cockatoos, mulga parrots, and so on, though surprisingly few kangaroos. In fact, we would have seen only around 30 or so live ‘roos over more than 4000km of outback travelling. One of the best tracks in the park goes into some picturesque sand ridge country, a stark change from the vast downs country. The sunsets were seriously spectacular! These are just a few of the highlights of our trip, and I can’t wait to get back out there. This month though, I’m heading further into northern Cape York for some serious river and reef fishing and exploring, so stay tuned.

Thompson River yabbies provided excellent feeds for the author.

One of the amazing sculptures on the Aramac Sculpture Trail. Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 75


The 100mm Raptor is big enough to tempt larger Murray cod, but smaller cod will also happily crash this Aussie-made paddler off the surface.

New for the winter cod season S INCE their firsthand carved 80mm timber Boomerang lures were revealed to the angling

world 37 years ago, the team at Predatek (formerly Downunder) Lures has earned an enviable reputation for

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developing outstandingly effective lure designs. During the industrywide sales slump of the initial Covid lockdowns in early 2020, the design team used this downtime wisely and turned their skills to building a better mid-sized surface lure than the largely imported offerings available. Pitfalls of existing designs were each addressed to overcome the issues with castability, fragility and poor hydrodynamics and acoustics common among imports. The result was not one, but a range of superb paddling surface lures that exhibit remarkable actions on the water, as impress­ ive to anglers as much as they are appealing to fish.

Fishing for Sport

by NEIL SCHULTZ

All three sizes in the new range, 45mm Kricket, 60mm Bass Bug and 90mm Cod Bug have proven effective on all the usual surface lure targets in temperate and tropical waters during the short time they’ve been on the market. These lures filled the niche between the existing paddlers in the Predatek stable, the ultra-lightweight Spadd­ lers and the heavy hitter of the range, the 110mm Jabberwok. Continuing with the theme and momentum is the latest release from the Port Macquarie-based lure manufacturers. Just released, in perfect timing for the

current winter big cod season on the western lakes is the 100mm Raptor, a large paddler aimed squarely at the green fish of the Murray. Why another cod padd­ler? Some anglers may find the Jabberwok, at 52g a little fatiguing on the wrist after extended hours of casting with a single-handed rod. The new Raptor is 20 percent lighter at 40g, and more aerodynamic, allowing for distance casts to be achieved with less effort. True to its pedigree, the Raptor casts cleanly with no tumbling in flight, lands right side up and commences padd­

* continued P77

www.bnbfishing.com. au


Carp Diem: pest seizes on post flood conditions

U

N I V ERSI T Y of NSW scientists say the floods in March are essential for rivers and native fish species in NSW, but they fear that European carp numbers will repopulate to even greater levels and reverse eradication efforts. Derrick Cruz, fish ecologist from UNSW Science’s Centre for Marine Science and Innovation, co-authored a study on fish after flood events. He said carp thrive in floods and will now have access to a huge area of inundated floodplain, allowing them to expand across habitats. “European Carp are able to travel huge distances, and floods allow them to migrate across water bodies that may not have been accessible before the

floods, because many rivers are now connected,” Mr Cruz said. Carp are an introduced pest that already accounts for 90 percent of the weight of all fish, or biomass, in some areas of the Murray-Darling Basin. They cause significant environmental and economic impacts because they compete with native fish. Prior to the floods, carp eradication efforts in certain riverways included carp musters, electrofishing and trapping, exclusion of carp from breeding areas, and stranding spawning carp in floodplain habitats by lowering water levels. Mr Cruz said carp can have extremely large numbers of offspring. “If only 1 percent of carp eggs survive to adulthood, we’re still

New for the winter cod season * from P76

ling at the slightest forward movement. The articulated body gives the lure a wide, swaying motion with plenty of body roll, even on a dead-slow retrieve. Attention grabbing acoustics and a practical range of colours from attractors to natural hues make the Raptor the complete fish-fooling package. During the brief time I’ve spent on cod water with the Raptor, it brought fish from the depths www.bnbfishing.com.au

and enticed strikes in spite of painfully low water temperatures in the small streams I fished. Although the Raptor definitely represents a large enough meal to tempt the largest of impoundment cod, it appeals to the smaller-sized, average streamdwelling fish too. Check out the Predatek website for online purchases, news and to report your captures on their lures. Visit predatek.com

facing an influx of potentially millions of carp across the Murray-Darling over the coming years,” Mr Cruz said. The floods may allow carp to “outcompete native fishes through habitat disturbance and competition for limited resources.” Mr Cruz said carp can also survive blackwater events whereas native freshwater fish often perish in the events, and this may happen in coming months. Blackwater events occur when a body of water that hasn’t been inundated with water in a long time is flooded, causing a build-up of biomatter that degrades and promotes high microbial activity, which can starve the water of oxygen. “Carp have a spe-

cial adaptation to air breathe – they can actually rise out of the water and take gulps of air, like mammals,” Mr Cruz said. “They’re able to use that air to survive in very oxygen-deprived environments through this adaptation, but our native freshwater species of fish don’t have that ability and often don’t survive.” European carp are native to both Eastern Europe and Western Asia and were released in Australia in the mid1800s and early 1900s. The spread of carp throughout the Murray-Darling Basin was assisted by widespread flooding in the mid1970s. Mr Cruz says events like these recent large floods can reverse eradication efforts.

“We need to identify innovative ways of restricting carp, while allowing flooding,” Mr Cruz said. Professor Richard Kingsford, Director of the Centre for Ecosystem Science at UNSW, said the way in which the rivers and ‘delivery channels’ for irrigated agriculture and towns have been operated has favoured carp and the pest’s ability to breed during floods. However, Prof. Kingsford says the focus should be on building up native species and conditions. “Floods are essential for the rivers,” Prof. Kingsford said. “We need to reinstate the flooding on the floodplain and try to build up the numbers of native fish species.”

DAM LEVELS CURRENT AS OF 14/6/2021

DAMS

PERCENTAGE

APR FEB MAR MAY JUN Atkinson 5 3 3 5 4 Awoonga 45 47 46 43 42 Bjelke-Petersen * 8 10 8 8 7 Boondooma * 24 25 25 23 23 Borumba * 82 79 78 81 81 Burdekin Falls * 101 104 105 102 99 Callide * 22 21 21 22 21 Cania * 34 37 37 31 31 Coolmunda * 100 18 15 101 101 Dyer/Bill Gunn * 6 3 2 5 5 Eungella * 83 82 83 83 83 Fairbairn * 20 12 14 18 17 Glenlyon * 53 13 14 54 54 Hinze* 104 100 101 101 99 Julius 98 104 99 60 91 Kinchant * 94 83 85 98 99 Leslie * 27 10 10 27 27 Macdonald* 102 99 100 101 100 Maroon * 97 56 60 100 100 Monduran/Fred Haigh * 42 47 41 40 39 Moogerah * 42 14 12 42 42 North Pine/Samsonvale * 100 71 70 100 98 Peter Faust/Proserpine * 64 61 63 63 62 Somerset * 80 78 76 75 72 Teemburra * 99 97 98 98 98 Tinaroo* 77 64 74 94 93 Toonumbar 101 100 103 101 101 Wivenhoe * 40 37 36 42 42 Wuruma * 38 42 38 37 37 Wyaralong* 100 90 90 100 99 For updates on dams, visit sunwater.com.au or seqwater.com.au *This symbol indicates that a Stocked Impoundment Permit is required to fish these dams.

Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 77


This 103cm Murray cod was taken on a Barambah Lures Bidjiwong 200 paddler.

Murray cod start breeding at Glenlyon n Electro fishing identifies 15 types of native fish

A

S we know during winter, it’s usually a case of keeping warm and to an extent being occupied while sitting in the morning sun having a cuppa. Now I suggest you put aside about $100 and take the time to read what I would class as the first, second and third books on all things Australian and where we are headed

Glenlyon Dam by BRIAN DARE

‘in the bush’. The first is The Codfather by Dr Stuart Rowland. This book will cost about $50 and is available from Dr Rowland, Yamba, NSW. The second Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe is available from libraries,

Page 78 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

online or at major Big W stores for $20 or less. It’s an education on what we were not told by our colonial forefathers. The third book Dead in the Water by Richard Beasley details the mismanagement and a disregard of science and the future of the western side of the Great Dividing Range and its rivers. The book is one of rage regarding what is taking place in the bush in four states right now and needs input from us all. It is also available from your library, online or Big W for $20 or less.

While talking rivers, we have again seen the research team from Grafton CSIRO Fisheries/NSW DPI visit the region. Since the start of June the team has been using the electro boat to locate and count fish species within the Mole River reaches. Dr Leo Cameron has advised that to date about 15 types of native fish have been located, which is good news for our upper Murray Darling system and its wellbeing. Since the Easter rains, all the streams have been refreshed and this also includes larger systems. With Glenlyon Dam at just over 50 percent of capacity it has taken a while to see the water clear.

Due to inflow, large amounts of duck weed have been carried from farm dams down into the storage. We are seeing large floating mats of the weed, including some that need to be carefully avoided when under way in a boat. Small amounts of grass and stick trash still remain in some bays, which you will have to look out for while casting or trolling lures. While we can’t call the drought over out west, it has brought water conditions back to some type of a reprieve. You could say that we will see just who manages their water needs in the west and the state’s water storages. Allocations, floodplain water on farm * continued P79

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Murray cod start breeding at Glenlyon * from P78

storages and the filling of these large dams for farming purposes will no doubt be used first – we hope. We have started to see new water meters being put into action, which is good news. All that is needed now is for bores to be metered, taking into account the overuse of these. It’s mostly thought that this water is clean and ready for use. This can in some cases be incorrect and the water needs to settle if used for on-farm drip formats of irrigation such as nut trees on farm dams. It is getting close to cod breeding time again, so the closed sign will go up on the kiosk door at Glenlyon. It will read “Closed Cod Watching. Please ring 6737 5266, 0455 042 307 or 0447 058 486”. The last number is Debbie’s, who will have the telephoto lens out and be working overtime. We will come back to the kiosk, but it’s just a case of Debbie hitting me with the cattle prod or giving me ‘that look’. The good thing about this time of year is that you are able to see this taking place right around the storage. It is not only Glenlyon but all storages north, as well as the river systems. The rivers and locations best for viewing sites will be undercut areas along the edge of the riverbank or large logs, at root balls and tree butts. www.bnbfishing.com.au

For above water shots you’ll need lens filters, Go Pros for underwater shots and look for mounds of fresh sand flicked out from the undercut regions of the rivers. It’s not actually fishing but it is a buzz to find such a thing taking place and to actually film it. Finally, if your telltale stops flowing out of your motor after going through water rubbish, then do the following. Shut down the motor and try to get back to the office or kiosk. Reverse flush the motor, find the thermostat on the motor and undo with care, looking after the seal. Take out the unit and blow out this area with water or air via the telltale. Then replace all parts, put earmuffs on the base of motor shaft and flush with water.

Measuring 110cm, this behemoth fell to a Zerek Live Swimbait.

GLENLYON DAM TOURIST PARK A great place to fish! • Powered and Unpowered Sites • No Domestic Pets or Generators • Kiosk • Ice • Gas • Petrol • Amenities Blocks and Laundry • BBQs • Hire Boats • EFTPOS • Fishing Permits

14 CABINS bookings necessary

GLENLYON DAM TOURIST PARK via STANTHORPE 4380 Contact Debbie or Brian Dare for more information or for bookings

Ph: 02 6737 5266 E: glenlyondamtouristp@bigpond.com Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 79


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Page 80 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021

ARVOR 705 SPORTSFISH – New model - in stock late July! Heavily optioned with Mercury 225Hp featuring DTS, Walk around lock up wheelhouse, self-draining decks, huge live bait tank, walk through transom, underfloor kill tanks, galley with fridge/sink/stove and storage, marine toilet, sleeps 2, extension cockpit shade cover and so many more versatile and user friendly fishing features! $146,706 ex Brisbane. Call and register for more details or online at John Crawford Marine - Queensland’s Arvor Boat Specialists www.john crawfordmarine.com.au Ph. 3890 2322 JOHN CRAWFORD MARINE has numerous genuine buyers on the books for quality brand name, late model trailer boats. If you are looking to sell, avoid the pitfalls and hassles that come with a private sale, have the trusted and experienced team at JCM handle the sale for you. John Crawford Marine, Queensland’s Used Boat Specialists since 1964 – johncrawford marine.com.au Ph. 3890 2322 PIONEER 180 SPORTSFISH – Fiberglass 180 USA built fishing weapon. Serviced Mercury 100Hp EFI four stroke -190 hours, Dunbier braked trailer, Alloy T - Top with rod holders, quality electronics, stainless bait table, electric Motorguide bow mount motor, inshore safety gear and so much more – stunning condition and optioned – head online to see up to 30 pictures at www.johncrawford marine.com.au - John Crawford Marine Queensland’s Used Boat Specialists since 1964 Ph. 3890 2322 STACER 429 RAMPAGE – Popular fishing and crabbing package, Redco Sportsman trailer, Yamaha 30Hp EFI four stroke with electric start and power trim and tilt, new bimini, passed seat cushions, side pockets, carpeted floor, compliant

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Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 – Page 81


MERCURY

NO SACRIFICES NO COMPROMISES NO APOLOGIES

BETTER ECONOMY

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VERADO

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V8 4.6L

250HP PROXS

16% BETTER

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LEADING COMPETITOR

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FOURSTROKE

LEADING COMPETITOR

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LEADING COMPETITOR

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V6 3.4L

V8

*Based on testing done by Mercury Marine’s Product Research & Development team. Torque data collected on a Dynamometer at cruise speed, an average of 3500-4500 rpm. Fuel economy testing done using a 23 foot Centre Console boat for both 200hp engines, while a 21 foot Bass boat was used for the 250hp testing.

Go online or contact your nearest Mercury Dealer to find out more about the Mercury V6 / V8 range, taking performance, efficiency and reliability to the next level.

Page 82 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 MM0725 V6_V8_BnBFishing_210x297_v3.indd 1

www.bnbfishing.com. au 18/8/20 2:07 pm


Contact or visit us for more information.

Contact or visit us for more information.

AIRLIE BEACH Whitsunday Outboard Centre 17 William Murray Dr, Cannonvale Q 4802 P: 07 4946 7286 E: woc@whitsundayoutboardcentre.com.au www.whitsundayoutboardcentre.com.au AIRLIE BEACH Whitsunday Outboard Centre BRISBANE 17 William Murray Dr, Cannonvale Q 4802 Coorparoo Marine P: 07 4946 7286 E: woc@whitsundayoutboardcentre.com.au 57 Cavendish Rd, Coorparoo Q 4151 www.whitsundayoutboardcentre.com.au P: 07 3397 4141 E: info@coorparoomarine.com.au BRISBANE www.coorparoomarine.com.au Karee Marine 1776 Ipswich Motorway, Rocklea Q 4106 BRISBANE P: 07 3875 1600 Karee Marine E: sales@kareemarine.com.au www.kareemarine.com.au 1776 Ipswich Motorway, Rocklea Q 4106 P: 07 3875 1600 BRISBANE NORTH E: sales@kareemarine.com.au Holt Marine www.kareemarine.com.au 25 Queens Rd, Everton Hills Q 4053 P: 07 3353 1928 BRISBANE NORTH E: info@holtmarine.com.au Holt Marine www.holtmarine.com.au 25 Queens Rd, Everton Hills Q 4053 BRISBANE P: 07 3353 SOUTH 1928 Australian Marine Centre E: info@holtmarine.com.au 3491 Pacific Highway, Slacks Creek Q 4127 www.holtmarine.com.au P: 07 3808 7333 E: info@amcboats.com.au www.amcboats.com.au www.bnbfishing.com.au

CAIRNS Aussie Marine 5 Hannam St, Bungalow Q 4870 P: 07 4033 8800 E: sales@aussiemarine.com.au www.aussiemarine.com.au BUNDABERG Adrians Marine Centre CAPALABA 28 Ritchie St, Bundaberg Q 4670 Mike’s Marine P: 07 4153 1819 E: Smith adriansmarinecentre@bigpond.com 9 St, Capalaba Q 4157 www.adriansmarinecentre.com.au P: 07 3390 3418 E: admin@mikesmarine.com.au CAIRNS www.mikesmarine.com.au Aussie Marine 5 Hannam St, Bungalow Q 4870 GLADSTONE P: 07 4033 8800 Ship & Sale Gladstone E: sales@aussiemarine.com.au www.aussiemarine.com.au Gladstone Marine Centre, Gladstone Q 4680 P: 07 4972 7111 CAPALABA E: sales@shipandsail.com.au Mike’s Marine www.shipandsail.com.au 9 Smith St, Capalaba Q 4157 P: 07 3390 3418 GOLD COAST E: admin@mikesmarine.com.au Nitro Marine www.mikesmarine.com.au 167 Currumburra Rd, Ashmore Q 4214 GOLD COAST P: 07 5532 5812 TR Marine E: sales@nitromarine.com.au 167 Currumburra Rd, Ashmore Q 4214 www.nitromarine.com.au P: 07 5532 5812 E: jason@trmarinegc.com.au www.trmarine.com.au

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1776 Ipswich Road, Rocklea | Call 07 3875 1600 Page 84 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, July 2021 www.bnbfishing.com. au