BNB Fishing mag | August 2021

Page 1

Estuary • Offshore • Freshwater • 4WD • Camping • Kayaking



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August 2021

Techniques for flathead

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From the Bush ‘n Beach Fishing editor


HAT a whirlwind the past four to six weeks have been. As mentioned in last month’s editorial, as a family we embarked on a four-week tour of Queensland. The trip was awesome, and I will be detailing a mix of highlights over the coming editions – unfortunately, I returned to production week for this edition. To top the holiday off, I managed to fit in a very quick fishing expedition out of Tannum Sands with Team Cruise Craft – thanks Danny for safely towing the rig up and back for me. Again, there will be a report on this sortie next month – the water is still drying on the boats as we go to print. To say that outing was ‘interesting’ would be an understatement, so stay tuned! Even though we originally planned to fit in periods of work on our travels, limited internet and phone reception made this virtually impossible. The Wi-Fi in many areas was not strong enough to open web pages.

I do empathise for small businesses out there that deal with these issues daily, particularly as billions were spent on upgrading the internet in Australia. Unfortunately, the government has invested in obsolete technology that cannot cope with today’s needs. Though I guess it wasn’t all bad – not being tethered to a laptop meant we could spend more time exploring with the kids. As it turned out, we timed our travels very well, escaping from the city before all the COVID chaos hit. Plus, with limited reception, we were devoid of news and so had no idea of what was happening back in the big smoke. AFTA products Back on the home front, the Australian Fishing Trade Association show was cancelled due to the most recent COVID outbreak. This event is traditionally a great way to showcase new fishing gear destined for tackle shops. To combat the trade show being cancelled, in this issue we have

put together a special eight-page feature, with a selection of new products that were set to be launched at the event. We will have more on these and other products in coming months and possibly with a few video reviews. Boat shows It’s a little weird also to not be preparing for the Brisbane Boat Show, which is usually on in August or September. Given the waiting time for several boat brands and the current COVID environment we live in, it was understandably best to cancel the event. Will this see the end of boat shows in future? Time will tell. My thinking is that at the very least they will need to change the format – to become more of a festival or informative event and move away from the ‘sale yard’ presentation. Have your say The Queensland Government has a survey out regarding the review of the stock route – haveyoursay.resources. If you access creeks via land or camp on the edge of creeks, you might in fact be on a

stock route, so it’s important to have your say. Stock routes are essential for several reasons, but for fishos these routes allow for access to waterways holding fish, some of which have come from stocked impoundments.

If this access is closed off or the land is given back to farmers, it will be impossible to access or fish these parcels of water. Formal submissions and survey deadline is September 3, 2021. Ben Collins


JACKI enjoyed the warm northern winter and a queenfish. Picture by Tri Ton. You can read his article about targeting these fish on page PAGE 52.


NEXT EDITION: September edition will be on sale in news­agents from August 27. AUGUST SUBSCRIPTION PRIZE: See the subscription form on Page 97 to go in the draw to win 1 of 5 Hook-Eze Plier gift packs valued at $89.95 RRP each. JUNE PRIZE WINNER: Congratulations to R Barry, Mount Nathan who has won a Kuhny’s Klassic Rod Holder valued at $249 RRP.

Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 5

August 2021 contents


Moreton Bay always offers diversity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Mark Templeton . . . . . . . . . . . . . P8 August in and around Moreton Bay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Brian Webb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P10 Tried and tested techniques for bay flathead. . . . . . . . . . . by Sean Conlon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P14 Collecting bait for the beach and flats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Sean Thompson . . . . . . . . . . . . P18 Sound advice on sounding for trophies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Ben Smith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P20 Schoolies from Seaway to Sundale. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Clint Ansell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P24 Targeting tailor in the rivers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Brad Smith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P26 Fun family fishing and feasting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Gavin Dobson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P28 Waiting for normal winter weather. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Brett Hyde . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P32


Evans Head Fishing Classic report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P34 Soapies around Iluka despite swells and gusts. . . . . . . . . by Tye Porter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P38 New Lowrance software released. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P39 Live bait options for fishing offshore. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Chris Raimondi . . . . . . . . . . . . . P40 Southern boaties warned on poaching this winter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P42 Spanish mackerel under threat from overfishing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P44 Fishing choices during current closure. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Grant Budd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P46 Cracking coast catches. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Chris Rippon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P48 Windy weather this winter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Tri Ton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P52 Targeting mulloway on rock walls. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P54


Product News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P56 Readers’ Forum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P64 Insights into boat insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P66 Quintrex’s new 2021 Cruiseabout clean-cut packages. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P68 Mercury the winning edge for Kirra SLSC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P68 Capricorn Coast. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by John Boon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P70 Hook-Eze takes the hassle out of tying knots. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P71 A valuable lesson in patience. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P72 Busiest Cape season calls for improved capacity. . . . . . . by Dave Donald . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P74 Fishers survive boat capsize in croc infested river. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P75 Far north Queensland spaniards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Matt Potter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P76 Trust your friends to help. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Paul ‘Chief’ Graveson . . . . . . . P78 King threadfin monitoring update. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P80 Recipe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Melissa Frohloff . . . . . . . . . . . . P82 Fish and trip to Cape York – Part 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Craig Tomkinson . . . . . . . . . . . . P86 Great Cape captures and camping. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by ‘Billabong’ Bazz Lyon . . . . . . . . P90


Birthday outings pursuing outdoor passions. . . . . . . . . . . . by Neil Schultz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P92 Mice-filled fish in NSW rivers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P93 Water safety for river fishing and tricks of the trade. . . . . by Brian Dare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P94 Trading Post. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P96 Subscription Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P97 Page 6 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 au

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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: 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.

Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 7

Moreton Bay always offers diversity


Adam landed a cracker 63cm flathead at the Shorncliffe Boat Ramp.

Charlie ventured down to Baxters Jetty on Cabbage Tree Creek during the recent holidays and was rewarded with his biggest bream catch to date.

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VERY time you look around Moreton Bay you find something you never noticed before. Either a new bit of rubble, a fresh piece of reef or a different snag in one of the numerous creeks, which may hold your next personal best. So much ground out in the bay hasn’t been thoroughly explored. And many of us get set in our ways when it comes to fishing, always an hour before the change of tide, always on a certain moon phase… even down to the one or two types of bait used. Don’t be afraid to take the blinkers off and mix it up a bit, you never know what honey hole you’ll find or what species you’ll catch, and it certainly won’t hurt to give something different a go for a couple of trips. There have been a few cracking reports of snapper in the bay areas both inside and outside of Moreton Island. During a good weather window before the closure, Eddie smashed a couple of awesome snapper, but this was as a result of putting in time and kilometres looking for new ground. Nailing cracker fish such as this certainly put a few meals on the table, well done Eddie! Still on the snapper scene and prior to July 15, Adam Teach went out on a local charter and had a great day too. The weather was not perfect, but the results were fairly good. A mixed bag of snapper, tuskfish and grass sweetlip were taken home for the table. If you don’t have your own boat and want to go

Northern Moreton Bay by MARK TEMPLETON

on a charter, give us a call and we can recommend a couple for you. Well done Adam, good to see you had an awesome result! If you are going to venture out at night, remember to check your running lights to ensure you can be seen. You don’t want to ruin a great night because your lights weren’t working or visible. Another consideration is wearing your lifejacket, which is particularly important at night because so many things can happen that end with you landing in the drink.

Play it safe out there and ideally put your jacket on for the duration of your trip. Reports that tailor are in the Moreton Bay area have been plentiful, with quite a few undersized fish stealing bait, destroying rigs and making a mess out of bait jigs around the piers too! A night high tide seems to be providing best results, from the rock groins at Brighton, the northern side of Scotts Point, Pine River, Brisbane River through to Pumicestone Passage – upper and lower.

* continued P9

Eddie smashed a couple of awesome snapper as a result of putting in time and kilometres looking for new ground before the closure.

Adam went out on a local charter and had a great day, with a mixed bag of snapper (before the closure), tuskfish and grass sweetlip. au

Moreton Bay always offers diversity * from P8

So, get out there and bag a great feed while they’re still around – nothing beats freshly smoked tailor. For those chasing a feed of whiting, it won’t be hard to get a few for the table. Skirmish Point using live bloodworms provides a great opportunity to snag a couple of meals and an awesome chance for the kids to hit the beach as well. Charlie ventured down to Baxters Jetty on Cabbage Tree Creek during the recent holidays and was rewarded with his biggest bream catch to date. It was a pleasure to be able to kick back and watch Charlie set the hooks and reel in his cracker bream – the ex-

citement and the smile tells the tale. Thank you for letting me be part of your awesome moment Charlie, hopefully you will have many more to add to this one. So, if you want to get out there and experience a great day on the water, check out local charter services. Dave from Sandbar Charters gets you going up our local creeks, rivers and even Pumicestone Passage. Speaking of tales, here’s a bit of a funny one… Adam landed a cracker 63cm flathead at the Shorncliffe Boat Ramp. Ben was also there, he lost a 63cm flathead the day before at the same spot. Adam being a sport

and hearing of Ben's loss the day before, gave Ben his hooks... that were still in the flathead! Love your work Adam – that was a cracker catch, well done! One to finish up… Josh is an avid fisho and has a few stories to tell. Fishing with his family and a couple of friends, Josh put everyone on notice when he landed a 52cm flathead! Apparently, he was one to watch, with all the right moves, and was a bit excited to say the least when he landed this cracker! Well done Josh, we look forward to seeing more of your catches. Be safe out there, keep sending us your photos and stories, and maintain the passion.

Josh put everyone on notice when he landed this 52cm flathead!

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Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 9

A few nice tailor have shown up.

Les Weston scored this 42cm bream.

August in and around Moreton Bay


Tom with a nice 36cm bream.


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ITH snapper season closed until August 15, you have to change your tactics. Yes, you will still catch snapper but other species are available to target too. There are plenty of tailor around when fishing the edges of the drop-offs by floating pillies, yakka, squid or strip bait. Poddy mullet are also available in the river, which gives you the option of targeting threadfin and jewfish, or using mullet or chicken guts to target bream, jew in the deep holes using live bait and the same for threadies as far up as Breakfast Creek. The eddies around the Sir Leo Hielscher Bridges (formerly the Gateway Bridge) and the drop-offs along the container terminals, Clara Rocks and the mouth of Bulimba Creek are a few of the better areas to try for both jew and threadies. Bream can be found

Moreton Bay by BRIAN WEBB

around the pipeline into Boggy Creek, Clara Rocks or the mangroves around Bulimba Creek and the mouth of Breakfast Creek, or the rock wall at the mouth of Boggy Creek. Mud Island is also producing good sized bream on the eastern side in close, especially near the small creek which exits on the eastern side – you can get in close and fish the creek and mangroves the hours either side of a run-in and run-out tide further south near Macleay Island and the pylons around Dunwich, and also the rock wall at Amity Point. Last month’s issue has a more comprehensive report on targeting bream in Moreton Bay. Tailor have a good chance of being found in the Rainbow Channel from Amity to Dunwich or the drop-offs

along Amity Banks – though be aware of the green zones at the top of the banks up to the mouth of the Rous Channel. Further north, the Pine River and Hays Inlet are good spots for bream, flathead and whiting, plus the occasional tailor. The creeks from Wynnum to Raby Bay are good areas for bream, flathead and a chance gold spot cod, with the rock wall at the end of Fisherman Island producing a few nice cod. Plenty of mack tuna and bonito have been chasing bait in the paddock and even at the mouth of the river. You do have to look for bird action but occasionally you’ll run into a school busting the surface in the paddock, while the Amity drop-offs and the beacons on the inside of * continued P12 au


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Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 11

August in and around the versatile Moreton Bay * from P10

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Moreton Island and the Sandhills are producing a few doggy mackerel, otherwise get yourself a paravane and troll the Rous, Rainbow and Pearl channels and around the Measured Mile beacons. Diver whiting are in abundance at Cockle Banks and Fishermans Gutter in the Rous. An occasional kingfish has been caught jigging the beacons from Curtain up to the Bulwer beacons. Plenty of squid can be found on the weed beds around Amity Banks and the Rous Channel, the eastern side of Green Island and the rock walls and piers from Manly south to Victoria Point. Changing your tactics when fishing the artificial reef by using crabs or prawns will entice a tuskfish, with plenty of blackspots in the Rainbow Channel, the northern side of Peel Island and the drop-offs from Curtain up to Bulwer. The best bait to entice

tuskies is crabs – upgrade your gear though because they will rub you off on structures – a downrigger comes in handy to offset the stronger current you’ll face in these areas. Plenty of sand whiting can be located from the Pearl Channel back to Cockle Banks, around the bottom end of the Pearl and the northern end of Mud Island, with a few on Pelican Banks. It is also a good time of year to target mud crabs and those that have focussed on them have been getting a good feed. It doesn’t matter what bait you are using, you’re going to catch the occasional snapper – though remember the closed season is effective until August 15. If you enjoy spanner crabs, get yourself a few trays and try the eastern side of the shipping channel from Wild Banks to the eastern side of Bribie Island – remember regulations for spanner crabs are 10cm minimum and a possession limit of 20.

Watch the weather because you’ll be in open water – the areas spanner crabs hang out are in open water – so you must have the right emergency gear, make sure you log on to VMR Bribie Island and have an emergency position indicating radio beacon. There have been too many disasters recently where boats have overturned, and many were in partially smooth water. If using the Port of Brisbane boat ramp and heading along the south banks, stick to the beacons because the area through there gets very shallow on a low tide and a few boaties have found themselves stuck on one of the many sand banks that line this channel. A good area to target mud crabs is along the mangroves on the eastern side as there are a few small creeks in the channel, though they are only accessible on a high tide.

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Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 13

A happy customer caught his first ever flathead on a lure when learning how to cast soft plastics.

Rebecca’s 67cm flathead was captured casting soft plastics in the shallows at low tide.

Tried and tested techniques for targeting bay flathead Dave scored a decent flathead casting small soft vibes at half tide.

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ELL, another month has passed and, with the tricky weather and the forecast all over the place, it’s definitely been difficult to plan trips. Let’s hope by the time this issue comes out the weather has settled into a nice winter pattern. With the snapper ban on, most of my charters have been focussed on chasing flathead because there’re a fair few of them around at this time of year, and if my customers want to take home a feed they can. We have been adopting several different techniques and all of them have been catching fish. The reasons for mixing up the methods to target these fish are

Southern Moreton Bay by SEAN CONLON

because flathead will be in the shallows or sitting a little deeper on drop-offs – depending on the weather – and to not take too many fish from the one area. Trying alternatives means more options and more options should equate to catching more fish. So, what choices do we have? Well, when we have the right sized high tide to allow fishing up against the mangrove lines, we should have techniques such as casting lightly weighted soft plastics close to the mangroves and retrieving them back to the boat.

With many of these types of retrieves, I do lean towards the 4” paddle tails to get maximum vibration out of the lure for waking up lazy flathead that hang around the mangrove lines. Another good method is slow rolling hardbodies cast towards the mangroves. With both techniques – soft plastics or rolling hard-bodies – I prefer to give the lures a bit of movement then a long pause and repeat that retrieve all the way to the boat. When using hardbodies in this way, I choose to use a suspending lure so it stays * continued P15 au

Techniques for targeting flathead * from P14

down in the strike zone longer. Another option we have is to get a couple of little hard-bodies and troll up and down the mangrove line, especially if the fish are a bit hard to get. This is one way you can create a lot of vibration and action from the lure to wake up a few of those fish if they’re not playing the game. There are three good options for targeting fish around the mangrove line on a high tide. Targeting flathead in the middle of a tide can be a little bit trickier. I would usually target a few squire or snapper in the middle of a tide but due to the closure

at this time of year, I’ll chase a couple of flathead for my customers. There are several of techniques that work for the middle of a tide and what we’re looking for are those fish that don’t push up onto the flats on a high tide or as a tide is dropping – they get off the flats early and sit close to big mud banks, but more in the drop-offs in around 2-3m. So, look for that contour and cast soft plastics slightly bigger jig heads into this slightly deeper water. Soft vibes and metal vibes work really well in this situation, and paddle tail and curl grub style lures also work quite well. However, have a good pause or two during

whichever retrieve you prefer to use. When working the lures back to the boat in this depth of water, work the lure all the way back to the boat, as occasionally the fish will hit it directly under the boat. The other technique you can apply for targeting flathead in the middle of a tide works best with a soft or hard vibe – a straight up and down jigging motion while keeping contact with the bottom as many times as possible and slowly drifting along the contour line covering ground. My favourite time to target flathead is towards the bottom of a tide, when all the water flows off the big mud banks and the drains start to form. This is when the last of the water and baitfish come off the bank and when, theoretically, the fish should congregate around the * continued P16

Marco was happy to catch a 69cm flathead while casting soft plastics up close along the mangrove line on high tide.

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0432 386 307 Fin with a nice 50cm flathead bagged trolling hardbodies at the bottom of a tide. Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 15

Simon caught this nice 65cm flathead casting soft plastics in drains at low tide.

David caught a nice 55cm flathead when trolling hard-bodies on low tide.

Techniques for targeting flathead * from P15

The author had a cast and picked up a nice lizard on a soft vibe.

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bottom of the drains and target the bait that’s flowing to them – it’s such a nice simple feed for them. The technique that works best for this stage of a tide is anchoring – or if you have an electric motor sitting on spot-lock – right in front of one of the drains. Casting your soft plastic lures into the shallows and retrieving them all the way to the boat works well. If you wish to cast hard-bodies or use soft vibes, no problems at all, they work well too. However, I find that with the six little hooks on the bottom, in those areas in a low tide, you pick up a lot of weed and are continually cleaning the lure. Whereas with a soft plastic, it doesn’t pick up as much weed hence getting a better action on the lure all the way to the boat.

Also, while drifting along the drop-off at low tide casting and retrieving with soft plastics and vibes, remember to make contact with the bottom as many times as possible because that’s where flathead live. Trolling hard-bodies up and down the low tide contour also works very well and if you’re going to troll a hardbody, make sure it’s making contact with the bottom regularly and you’re getting that nice aggressive sideto-side action on your lure. If you’re losing that aggressive action, bring your lure in and clean the weed off, then send it back out. If it’s not swimming properly, it won’t catch many fish. So, remember, every time you troll past one of those drains, make sure your lure is working – that is your strike zone.

Fish will be spread out around those banks, but the main congregation should be at the bottom of the drains. Anyway, there are a few different options for a few tidal variations to target flatties while snapper are off limits. As we know, with our jobs and lives we are time poor. So, if you can learn more to optimise your time on the water, remember knowledge is the key. If you’re interested in any off or on-water tuition classes or you want to do a fishing charter, give me a call on 0432 386 307 or send me an email at seanconlonsfishing@ You can also check out the Seano’s Inshore Fishing Charters and Tuition Facebook page. Until next month, stay safe on the water. au


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USED BOATS Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 17

Pipi mounds appear under four-wheel-drive tracks at low tide.

Another big Fraser worm, note the thin film of water covering the sand.

Collecting bait for the beach and flats


Pipis are a good bait off the beach and fun to collect.




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S we enter the final month of winter, the beach fishing season in Queensland and northern NSW is seriously heating up. So too are the shallow estuary flats, particularly as we head towards the full moon in August and into spring. When it comes to light line bait fishing from the beaches or flats, fresh live bait is best. Let’s have a look at three of the best live bait types for the beach and estuary flats. Pipis I’ll start with pipis, which are third in my top three list for light line live bait species. However, it’s important to point out that pipis are best used solely from the beach and not the estuary flats. This is because they are not a natural bait from calm estuary water.

Fishing Tips by SEAN THOMPSON

Pipis can be collected two main ways. First, from long open beaches which permit four-wheel-drive access. On these beaches, pipis can be easily spotted in the intertidal zone by looking for small raised mounds under 4WD tracks in the sand. This is a dead giveaway that a pipi lies underneath. Use your fingers or a blunt instrument – not a knife – to extract the pipis from the sand. They will be only a few centimetres under the sand. Second, on beaches where 4WDs are not permitted, pipis can be found by doing the ‘pipi shuffle’. This is a matter of

simply shuffling your feet into the sand as the water covers your feet or ankles until such time as you feel pipis beneath your feet. When you find one, shuffle around in the immediate area because they tend to be found in batches. The hour either side of low tide is best. Yabbies Second on my favourite light line bait list are yabbies. Now unlike pipis, these are found on the western or calm side of the island and so are best used in those locations. They can at a pinch be kept alive and used off the beach, though again they are better used in areas they are

* continued P19 au

Collecting bait for the beach and flats * from P18

found naturally. Yabbies are easy to find – by looking for small holes in the sand in the intertidal zone and the edges of mangroves. They are best pumped in those areas of slightly darker sand interspersed with small melon holes. And look for evidence of disturbed sand around the hole as evidence of a yabby ‘in residence’. Likewise, areas of soft sand rather than mud close to mangroves are good spots. It’s then a matter of using a yabby pump and pumping two or three times over the holes to find them. When you hear the ‘slurping’ sound of soft sand and water as you pump, you are usually in the ideal yabby zone. Yabbies can also be pumped at high tide into a sieve held by a friend or attached to your body by a rope and a piece of pool noodle wrapped around the sieve to make it float. Finally, if you are choosing a pump for the first time, unless you are purchasing one for your kids to use, go for the longer king-size pumps because these are easier

on your back when bending over to pump. Worms Finally, and number one on my bait list for the beach and estuary flats, are live worms. Off the beach, I find it’s hard to beat a piece of fresh live beachworm for thumping big whiting, bream, tarwhine, flathead or even pesky dart. Beachworms also work well at the entrances to estuaries and the western side of Queensland’s big sand islands. Beachworms can be caught on most stages of the tide but are easiest to extract in the last two hours before and the first hour after a low tide. Look for areas of flat beach near the water line where a very thin layer of water washes back and forward over the sand. You then want to work your ‘stink’ or keeper bag full of fish frames from the top of where the water is reaching to the edge of the water. Then look for heads sticking up or ‘V’s as the water washes back – a giveaway of a worm head. You want to use a firm finger bait such as a pipi or a firm piece of

Keep beachworms alive for a few days with fresh saltwater changes and an aerator.

fish flesh for the worm to grab while you work your fingers into the sand to pinch it firmly and lift. There’s plenty more to this little trick, which is best explained via the videos available on my Facebook page. However, as you get further away from the estuary mouth and up the creeks, blood or mangrove worms take over as the No. 1 bait. Much harder work, these can be extracted by either digging with your hands in the thick mud near mangroves or using a pitchfork along muddy and weedy bay foreshores. So, there you go. I hope these tips help you score quality fresh bait to improve your catch on your next beach or estuary flats trip. For more tips and reports, jump onto my Facebook, Instagram and Youtube pages – Ontour Fishing Australia.

A perfect soft sand yabby location.

A floating sieve is a good option to collect yabbies on a high tide.

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Finn and his dad were fishing near the Hollywell foreshore when they got this 30cm bream on a live beachworm.

Tommy Coyle caught this flathead jigging a Hogy soft plastic along the north wall of the Seaway.

Sounding for trophies


Steve Stojko with his personal best jewfish of 97cm taken on a live yakka in the Gold Coast Seaway.

Zac Sandford nailed this beautiful looking snapper on a pilchard with a pink skirt when float lining off Surfers Paradise before the closure. Page 20 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

The author with a snapper caught on Wilson Blade N Tails and a Penn Fathom 8 before the closure.

O, here’s a question... or two. How many of you have a great sounder on the boat and don’t really know how to use it? How many of you turn it on and look at it wondering what all the pretty colours mean? I guess a lot of people are afraid of pressing too many buttons in case of wiping out a favourite mark or doing something wrong. Well, now is a great time to build a bit of confidence in your electronics and seriously get to know how to operate them. It will make a massive difference in results when you go fishing. This month, I want to go over some of the more basic to intermediate sounding principles that will vastly improve your catch rate on the water. Fish finders were invented to do exactly that… find fish, and when used correctly you will record a no-

Gold Coast by BEN SMITH

ticeable distinction in what you come home with in the Esky. They ping the water with sound waves through the transducer and the return signal bounces back off things such as fish, and the bottom is processed within the unit to give you a visual display of what’s under the water. The better the unit, the better it sounds the bottom, and the bigger processors and bigger screens give you a better picture. Where I live on the Gold Coast, it’s been alive with fish recently and with the snapper and pearl perch closure here, we really need to spend our time effectively targeting other species. It doesn’t matter what type of fishing you do, being able to use your boat’s electronics and understand and com-

prehend what appears on the screen of that unit can be a great asset anytime you intend on catching a fish. I’m going to focus on a few screenshots taken on my Raymarine Element 9 with the four in one-style transducer. I’m only going to talk about the pure sonar function at this stage, which I’ve provided in the illustrations. This information relates to what I would be looking for on the screen at any one time. I trust what I see on my sounder 100 percent and if I don’t see fish then I simply won’t even drop a line. Simple as that. I’ll always find fish on the sounder first, and that goes for offshore, in the estuary or on a dam. So, let’s have a look at the illustrations.

* continued P22 au

Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 21

Sound advice on sounding for trophies * from P20

The first shot is a bait school holding close to the bottom to try and escape the current. The yellow line going down diagonally is a live yakka with a 1.5oz pink limo sinker above it. It comes up clearly

and as I lower my line down, you can see how it travels directly into the bait school as I keep my boat drifting perfectly over the top. Though anchoring or spot-locking is useful in other forms of fishing, I’ve found anchoring or spot-lock-

Page 22 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

ing with an electric in this style of fishing to be totally useless and you need to keep the line perfectly ‘up and down’ under the boat. The only way to do this is to drift with the current. You can see that my speed is still 2.3km/h

as I manoeuvre the boat with the motor until I have a perfectly vertical line, and even in only 20m of water you can quickly get a belly in your line if you don’t control your drift. Screenshot two is simply a bigger fish appearing around the smaller baitfish, and hopefully it sees my bait first. You can also see how the speed is now down to 0.9km/h as I try to control the drift and the boat position by tapping my boat into reverse periodically to keep the line tight and straight. Occasionally, when fishing for large jewfish, they will hit the bait if you raise it just enough to separate it from the rest of the school. Shot three is of what appear to be three hungry jewfish sitting slightly behind a ledge out of the current, waiting for a nice little live yakka to come drifting over the top so they can strike. I know this hump wall and where the fish on it reside and have documented it in a video. The snag has many busted off lines from those who lose the feel for the bottom, but it is a very good place to catch a jewfish on a run-out tide. I hooked up on one of the fish while I was taking the screenshot and after a hefty battle on light gear it turned out to be a 97cm jew. So, now you can hopefully see a little of what I’m talking about. Now, it’s time to play around with you own sounder.

If you’re still a bit unsure, I would highly recommend having a lesson with someone who has knowledge on the brand of equipment you have onboard your boat. There are businesses throughout southeast Queensland who specialise in lessons on how to use your sounder and also make sure you have it all installed correctly – very important. This is going to get you started on the right track. Don't worry so much about what brand you have, most work great once you get into units around $1200 and above. If you’re serious about it, there are plenty of reviews and great articles online. All three of the screenshots shown were taken with my unit on full-auto mode, the only adjustment was that I slowed down the scroll speed a little. August is a great month on the water, and I was asked by Coomera Waters Fishing Club Inc to do a seminar on snapper, but due to the COVID outbreak that was put on hold. Hopefully it will be re-scheduled next month – it would be great to see you there to talk about one of my favourite and desired fish, the mighty snapper. I’ll be sure to keep you all posted on social media, and the club will have updates on their Facebook page. Hopefully, you all start using your sounders more and catch plenty more fish. au

Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 23

Robin caught this 50cm flathead on a Broadwater charter with the author.

Brandon, Johnny and Pete captured a few nice flathead in the Nerang River on lures.

Schoolies from Seaway to Sundale

H Chilli caught a lovely arrow squid for dinner.

I everyone, August at the Gold Coast brings the peak of our winter fishing season. It’s a great time to catch flathead, flounder, squire, squid, tuskfish, winter whiting, tailor, bream, jewfish





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Broadwater Guide by CLINT ANSELL

and school mackerel in the Broadwater and the Nerang River. So far this winter, squid fishing has not disappointed, though the best catches have been during calm weather and a run-in tide. My favourite colour squid jigs include shades of green, orange and white mainly. As for lure fishing, it pays to mix things up to find what’s working on a given day. This month, tailor and school mackerel are worth pursuing during a run-in tide and in the morning. Both toothy speedsters are a heap of fun to catch and will attack lures aggressively. Tailor will most probably be encountered from the Seaway to Currigee at South Stradbroke Island.

If diving birds give away their presence, slowly approach and cast 20-30g shiny metal lures then crank as fast as you can to get strikes. If you don’t see birds diving and tailor are holding deeper, try slow trolling small hard-body lures which dive to 4m deep, such as the Hurricane Slam 47. Remember tailor have a minimum size limit of 35cm and a possession limit of 20 in Queensland waters. With most fish, bleeding then icing them after capture greatly improves their edibility. Doggy mackerel school up in big numbers during winter in the Gold Coast Broadwater, from the Seaway to the Sundale Bridge. These crazy fish are

* continued P25 au

Schoolies from Seaway to Sundale * from P24

one of the most exciting to catch on light tackle – they are ravenous when feeding. Though beware of their teeth when handling them because they are razor sharp. Schoolies have a mini-

mum size limit of 50cm and possession limit of 10 in Queensland. These fish prefer to stay near the bottom in around 6-8m of water, then pounce with incredible speed when schools of baitfish pass overhead.

Lee scored this big arrow squid on a Ecogear Dartmax 3.0 size squid jig.

The author with a good-sized arrow squid taken on his favourite jig.

The best way to catch them is by using 2030g shiny metal slugs – but instead of casting horizontally, drop them straight to the bottom or slightly away from the boat, then wind as fast as you can vertically. You will get more follows and strikes this way. While drifting, you will often catch them by sinking lightweighted whitebait rigged on small threeganged hooks to the bottom, then winding up 1m or so and waiting. They will usually bite from sunrise until about 10am, then they go quiet. After that, it’s a good time to go fishing for squid on jigs and doggy mackerel using blades, vibes and live yabbies. If the current is strong and there’s snot weed fouling your lines when fishing north of the Seaway, try going back to the southern end of the Broadwater. Be aware though, in that area mackerel and tailor love biting off expensive lures any time of day! Soft plastics and bait are a cheaper option when the razor gang are around. August is also a good month for big flathead, sand whiting and bream in the Nerang River, particularly leading up to a full and a new moon. To book on a charter with myself or Brad, or if you have any fishing related questions, SMS 0432 990 302 or email, or find us on Facebook at Brad Smith Fishing Charters.

Carl was very excited to catch this dusky flathead on whitebait near Wave Break Island.

Squid have been around for millions of years and are very good at sight hunting in clear water.



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Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 25

Macca had so much fun that he invited his mum Vanessa to come out for a piece of the action.

Targeting tailor in the rivers

G Macca had a great day catching and releasing over 20 tailor.

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’DAY everyone, over the past two months we have seen huge schools of tailor enter our local rivers and bays. While this is not uncommon for winter, this season has been a cracker and is prob-



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Gold Coast Guide by BRAD SMITH

ably due to the massive amount of rain we have received. The abundant numbers of tailor should still be around this month too, so let’s have a chat about how to find and target them. Tailor are ferocious pack-hunting feeders and to find them you need to find the big schools of baitfish that support their ravenous appetites. There are two ways to find bait schools – the first being to locate them on your sounder, which will show as a ball or cloud-looking cluster on the screen. The second and easiest way to locate the bait and the tailor is to keep a constant visual awareness of any bird or surface activity while you’re on the water. Tailor can be targeted

in many ways, which we will discuss, but it is important to first have a selection of lures that match as closely as possible the size and profile of the bait they are feeding on. A few lures I would recommend are 15g and 25g metal slugs as well as a couple of 5060mm deep and shallow slender profile diving minnows. Other artificial products that are fun and work well are surface poppers and fly fishers can have a selection of bait profile flies, such as deceivers. If you are lucky enough to find the fish feeding slightly below or on the surface, this is the time to cast your poppers or metal slugs into the action, and the slugs should be retrieved at speed. * continued P27 au

Targeting tailor in the rivers * from P26

If there’s any wind on the day, it always helps to position your boat upwind of the feeding fish, which will increase the casting distance of the lures and

also assist in keeping the boat away from the action without scaring the fish. Trolling around the edges of the bait schools is another productive technique and

Noel has been going out with the author for years and never misses a chance to target tailor on light gear.

comes into its own when the surface activity finishes and especially if the fish are feeding in deeper water columns. Expect to lose the occasional lure because bite-offs are common given the razor-sharp surgical cutting nature of tailor teeth. Several anglers choose to apply a short wire trace to combat bite-offs, but I find the wire inhibits the action of the lures resulting in less strikes. As a last tip to targeting these hard-fighting fish, I find tailor spike in their habits in the first hour of a run-in and the last hour of a run-out tide. Talk to you all again next month.

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Relatively new to fishing, Portia enjoyed catching a heap of tailor.

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Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 27

The author with a couple of 40cm Brunswick bream.

Omri found out that just because you’re wearing a coat doesn’t mean the pelagics have gone for the year.

Fun family fishing and feasting R AIN, wind and swell have dominated the past three weeks. Prior to that we had a bit of good weather and several nice fish were caught. My uncle Ron came for a visit and we were able to get out a few times to chase reef fish. The 32-fathom line held a good number of fish and we filled out

Tweed to Byron Bay by GAVIN DOBSON

a nice bag with squire, tuskfish, teraglin and flathead with a few other bits and pieces – pigfish, pearl perch, hussar and such. There was over 1 knot of current, but the fish were mostly on the bite if you got the drift right.

Page 28 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

My friend was out wider on the 50s battling with 2 knots of current, so we didn’t bother and grafted away in closer throughout the afternoon. He came home with nice pearlies, but it was a long way back to the mark each time. The next day was a great forecast, though we woke to rumbling skies and a bit of wind. By late morning a full-on storm rolled through and dumped a fair amount of rain. The storm soon headed out to sea, the wind dropped off and the sun came out – a perfect invitation for an afternoon fish. With time limited, we headed to the 32s again to find zero current and a southerly wind pushing us up the hill. We caught a few trag and tuskies but they didn’t bite as well as they had the previous evening – still fun and a good feed though. We had thrown a few dillies over on the way

to the 32s and upon inspection on the way back we had a few nice spanner crabs to add to the tally. All in all, it was a great couple of days and good to have Uncle Ron back in the boat with me. My only regret is that we were so busy fishing, I forgot to get the camera out. When the ugly spell of weather ends, it’s a bit of an unknown as to how the fishing will be on deeper reefs because the dreaded leatherjacket could make an appearance. They don’t stay long but they sure do damage while they are here. Last year they forgot to show up in any numbers, which is a rarity – let’s hope they forget again this year! The quality of bream fishing over the past 18 months has astounded me. Normally they back off over summer – in size and quantity – but not last summer, and they have just kept powering on through this winter. On the open beaches, bream are being

caught though not in huge numbers, which is good for tailor fishos – they can keep a bait on the hook. Best to fish near a bit of reef or a rock wall, however bream will annihilate any bait designed for tailor. To the point where most fishers just give up and fish for bream. I love bream fishing, if for no other reason than you usually get regular bites, and fooling and subsequently landing a stud bream on light line is a worthy challenge. When I was younger, fishing magazine writers often referred to the ‘ubiquitous bream’. It was a bit of a catch phrase in the same era as another over-used word, ‘piscatorial’. Kids won’t know what I’m talking about, but did I get sick of that word! I had to look it up… ‘ubiquitous’, that is. Basically, it means they can be found everywhere, and this is fairly true as I have caught them in freshwater and as far out to sea as Windarra Banks * continued P30 au



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Current and upcoming closures for Queensland Black jewfish is a no-take species on the east coast for the rest of 2021, the fishery will reopen on January 1, 2022.

A closed season applies to Australian bass throughout Queensland tidal waters from June 1 to August 31, 2021.

A closed season applies to snapper and pearl perch throughout Queensland tidal waters from July 15 to August 15, 2021.

Not one tagged bream, but two


N Saturday 5 June, I was fishing the northern end of the Gold Coast and caught two tagged fish. This is the first tagged fish in a long time, I’ve maybe caught three or four over 50 years of angling, so it was very cool to catch two tagged fish in one day. Except on this occasion, the tagged fish were caught one after the other in consecutive casts, and with the tag numbers in numerical order, albeit backwards – A13774 and then A13773! They were yellowfin bream, measuring 25.5cm and 23.5cm respectively and were

released in good health back to the water. I could tell that the fish had not been tagged recently because both tags were covered in marine growth. They needed a good clean before I could read the Australian National Sportfishing Association web details. I fished that same location for another 12 hours, catching another 60 plus bream, but unfortunately no more with the pretty pink tags – hey, that’s fishing! I contacted Bob Dover from ANSA Tagging to find out the extra details on the two little tagged bream.

Bob advised that A13774 was tagged 49 days prior to capture, in the exact location I caught it. It had grown from 250mm to 255mm. A13773 was tagged 48 days prior at Jacob’s Well, 4.6km from its capture location. It had also grown 5mm, from 230mm to 235mm. What are the odds that those two fish would meet up in a new location and be caught together? I dare say the odds of winning the lottery are shorter! Craig Stewart Administration Officer, Fisheries Queensland

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* from P28

– nine nautical miles northeast of Brunswick Bar. In close this month, there should be a few reef fish as well as snapper and jewfish. This will be a good option if leatherjacket come, as it’s either that or keep driving past the jacket to the shelf. Of course, there’s always the chance jacket won’t even turn up. A bloke can dream, can’t he?

If the leatherjacket have decimated wider reefs, don’t discount the shallows for tasty reef fish. au


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Waiting for normal winter weather n Leatherjacket are holding to their usual seasonal routine


ELL, this month has certainly not been a typical winter month as far as the weather goes. We don’t usually see much rain at this time of year, but we have definitely had our fair share up to this point, and it doesn’t appear to be letting up anytime soon. Typically the wind in winter is an early light westerly, so strong northerly and southerly gusts whipping the ocean up and making it difficult to get offshore and less than comfortable back in the river are out of the ordinary. I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that this month will fall into a ‘normal’ winter weather pattern, so we can start to do a little more fishing. Consistent and holding to their usual winter routine are leatherjacket.

Ballina Bait & Tackle by BRETT HYDE

They have arrived for their annual pilgrimage almost on schedule and will harass and torment the majority of offshore anglers. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, next time you’re heading offshore, go and check the 32 and 42-fathom lines. It won’t take long for you to find enormous concentrations of fish. All you have to do is drop a bait to the bottom and you’ll more than likely have your entire rig bitten off in no time. Leatherjacket are quite aggressive feeders and they have a fantastic set of chompers that can bite through leader, braid, wire, hooks and even leave teeth marks in sinkers.

Now, I have seen all manner of wire rigs made over the years to try and combat jacket – some being more effective than others. The problem with most of them is that jacket can still bite you off above the rig – you have to be lucky to drop down and get your rig back to the surface without being bitten off. My suggestion is to put a sinker on that is much heavier than what you need on the day, which will get your bait to the bottom quickly. Then start retrieving your bait back as fast as you can so, while they’re trying to chase the rig to the top, they won’t get as much of a chance to snip you off. If jacket aren’t your



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02 6686 2527 Page 32 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

style at this time of the year, there are plenty of snapper, teraglin, mulloway and tuna to play with on close reefs. Soft plastics have been working quite well in 5-6”, but a rainbow of colours have tempted fish on different days, so it’s worth having a few options when you head out next. Though it normally would in winter, the current out wider has not been playing the game either. Usually fairly light and consistent in nature, unfortunately it has been anything but. I can only hope that we’ll begin to fall into the usual weather pattern for the last month of this season and that the current settles. It is this time of year, when the current is ordinarily at its slowest, that many anglers head to the shelf to chase bar cod, blue-eye trevalla and all sorts of other deep water species. For now, it’s still worth dropping jigs on the 48-fathom line for pearl perch and kingfish, and mullet or pilchard on the 32s for tuskfish, flathead and even a snapper that may be holding up out a little wider. In the river, we’ve had good quality bream turn up, as you would expect at this time of year. Mullet, squid and prawns have been the best bait types to tar-

get them with during a larger run-in tide. Metal blades, vibes and curl tailed soft plastics have all been effective for the lure brigade, with more natural colours being the best bet, while the water quality in the lower reaches is quite good. Luderick have also been fairly steady in numbers in the lower reaches of the river, even though bait has been quite difficult to find. The porpoise wall, Munsies Point, Mobbs Bay and the old ferry approach have all produced fish on different days over the past few weeks. The rain and cold weather have certainly slowed flathead recently, with small hard-body lures in bright colours tempting a few fish, along with prawns and white pilchard. The best part of the river to try your luck has been between Wardell Bridge and Rileys Hill, but they have been down as far as the Burns Point Ferry at times. Most fish seem to be sitting in less than 2m of water to help them find warmth, and have been biting a little better on a run-out tide when the water temperature is a little higher. Well, that’s about all from me for this month. Until next time – tight lines! au

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Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 33

Evans Head Fishing Classic done


A happy family waiting for the nightly presentation.

Club Evans RSL chief executive officer Greg overseeing the random draw.

A random Wilson pack winner with her kids.

The stage and tank set up. Page 34 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

HE Evans Head Fishing Classic kicked off on the Friday night of June 25, with a good crowd attending the briefing, having a few drinks from the Woodburn Evans Head RSL Club and catching up after a hiatus through 2020 due to COVID-19. The 2021 competition saw a record number of participants, well over the 700 mark. The briefing was held under normal crowd conditions with no masks, no need for social distancing and no reduction in venue capacity. How things were to change! Saturday morning greeted competitors with skies that threatened a little rain but failed to deliver anything substantial. A couple of drops were not enough to put the competitors off and though there were reports of a tough few days of fishing before the competition started, a record of close to 600 fish images were taken and sent in for verification. Saturday was also the first day for the junior and cadet two-day expression session. Chasing key species of bream, whiting and flathead, 111 juniors and 86 cadets signed up for the kids’ competition Sunday kicked off under ideal conditions, but by 2pm the event turned on its head. New COVID rules came into effect requiring mask wearing, social distancing and genuinely throwing the organisers into a fit trying to ensure the event met the new rules.

After multiple meetings with the Evans Head RSL club, the team were able to proceed in the evening with a reduction in capacity and no requirement to attend to receive any lucky door prizes. Sourcing facemasks was a challenge, but one they collectively managed by plundering local suppliers’ stocks hours before kick-off. Even wrangling over 180 children for the morning kids talks and fishing demonstration was easier than understanding and implementing the new COVID rules. The Shimano team turned up with a stack of giveaways, making sure no young ones were left without at least something from the event. The junior and cadet comp was run primarily over Saturday and Sunday. Overall winners in the junior category were Makai Oldfield with a 43.2 bream, Aurora Forster with a 62cm flathead, Alyssa Symonds with a 36.3cm whiting and Ryder Swanbury with a meritorious snapper of 62.5cm. In the cadet category, the overall winners were Makai Oldfield

(entered both categories) with the 43.2 bream, Lochlan Kerr with a 68cm flathead, Charlie Palmer with a 27cm whiting and Corben Hayman with a meritorious teraglin of 55cm. From there the event settled into a steady stream of fish photos and occasional bursts of rain. Offshore conditions deteriorated but still offered experienced anglers a chance to get outside early in the week. By Tuesday, Evans Head was getting a good soaking every day and by Thursday the bar resembled a frothy cappuccino. The last day of the competition saw only a few super keen anglers head offshore for their last chance at victory but at the end of the day, the winners were settled and there were quite a few quality fish photographed. The snapper category is always hotly contested and first went to Darcy Banks with a good 94.8cm fish. The pearl perch prize went to Brad Mayes with a 60.7cm fish. The kingfish and mulloway were also * continued P35

Dozens of cool boxes were given away over the week of the competition. au

Evans Head Fishing Classic done massive, with a 117.5cm kingfish for Ben Campbell and a 128.7cm mulloway for Michael Knox. For the inshore species, the blackfish category continued to impress, with a fish of 51cm taking out first for Mitchell Rizzardini. Lyle Outerbridge’s 45.4cm bream was a donkey of a fish and saw him take out first for the bream/tarwhine category. Dart specialist Bernard Richter took out first place for overall, giving him his fifth win in the category for the week. The flathead section was won by Mal Hancock with an impressive 100cm fish, while tailor was won not for the first

Atomic, Samurai, Frogleys Offshore, Wilson Fishing, Lowrance, Great Northern Brewing Co, Shimano and the many local businesses including both the Club Evans RSL, the local Ritchies IGA, Hooked On Brewing Bait and BBQ, and the local Richmond Valley Council. The 2022 event is scheduled for July 1-8, 2022.

The kids clinic before the COVID rules came into effect.

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Major prize winner and local Darcy McKenna.

A happy random draw winner with a Lowrance Elite.

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time by Ryan Kernaghan with an 85.2cm fish. Alexander Klassen pipped Robbie Graham for whiting with a 43.9cm fish. As always, this event could not go ahead without the support of the sponsors. It was great to have Anaconda on board this year for the first time, but also our foundation sponsors Gamakatsu,


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Whale lands on fishers’ boat

N Humpbacks make up the majority of whales heading north at this time of year. Photo: Mike Doherty

As well as injuring the men, the whale caused significant damage to the boat. Photo: NSW Police

ICK Myhill and his stepfather Matt Price were fishing about 500m from Narooma on the south coast of NSW, when a whale breached the water and crashed on their small vessel. Both men were rushed to hospital where Mr Myhill remained in a coma for 10 days, suffering a broken back and serious head injuries. According to family, Mr Myhill is “alive, awake and responsive, which is absolutely amazing considering what he has been through.” Mr Price’s quick thinking and actions saved his stepson’s life – by issuing a mayday call to Marine Rescue NSW and managing to get the boat back to the Narooma boat ramp, they were met

by paramedics. One of the first people on the scene, Francois van Zyl said the boat was severely damaged in the incident and he didn’t know how the skipper managed to navigate it back to shore. “There was a large portion of the actual top of the console that looked like it was badly damaged,” Mr van Zyl said. “They were very fortunate to get the vessel back. “It blows my mind.” Former Montague Island charter operator John Moore said the accident was very unusual. “Whales are incredibly intelligent and very aware of the areas around them,” Mr Moore said. “From my experience, it’s been a case of larger boats hitting whales and

runabouts all look the same.” Mr McDonald said, though a coincidence, launching the career of Oyster Catcher was a fitting way to celebrate the distinguished 40-year career of Southport-based QBFP officer Mark Saul. “Since joining the QBFP in 1981, when it was under the banner of Harbours and Marine, and brown uniforms were the order of the day, Mark has made a truly exceptional contribution,” Mr McDonald said. “Without doubt, Mark’s greatest contribution has been his ongoing development and stewardship of the Marine Animal Rescue Team for the past

two decades. “Mark’s tireless efforts have seen the MART program and its members achieve national recognition as leaders in the field, thanks largely to his efforts to ensure the team remains professional, relevant, highly skilled and safe at all times, while responding to marine animals in distress.

not large whales hitting small boats. “It’s incredibly rare for a whale to breach and land on top of a boat.” Authorities believe the whale may have been injured in the collision and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and ORRCA will provide assistance if they can. The size and species of the animal are not known, but the majority of whales heading north at this time of year are humpbacks. Anyone who sees a stranded, entangled or distressed whale is urged to contact NPWS on 1300 072 757. Experts believe the population of humpback whales are on the rise and that could lead to more encounters with fishers.

QBFP launches a new patrol boat


N a twin celebration, Queensland’s Boating and Fisheries Patrol has launched a new patrol boat and honoured a veteran officer’s long and distinguished career with the service. QBFP south coast district manager Rob McDonald said the Oyster Catcher had joined the QBFP’s fleet as part of a vessel replacement program, as veteran officer Mark Saul celebrated 40 years in the job. “Named after the well-known shorebird, the Oyster Catcher joins QBFP’s 19-strong fleet of 4.3m Quintrex runabouts, which are ideally suited to the important work they perform in

helping QBFP officers make sure fishers are doing the right thing and following the rules,” Mr McDonald said. “Operating out of the QBFP’s south coast region, the boat’s name recognises that oystercatchers, just like QBFP patrol officers, are found along the east coast of Queensland. “Additionally, nearly all species of oystercatcher are often seen in pairs, just like patrol officers who generally work with one partner at any one time. “And just like the different species of oystercatcher, which show little variation in shape or appearance, the QBFP’s fleet of 4.3m Quintrex

Page 36 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

“Mark has also contributed to the patrol’s workplace health and safety program, is a valued mentor, and helps to build a healthy culture as the QBFP’s official Social Club barbecue cook. “Celebrating a ruby anniversary is a truly special achievement and one which Mark can be justifiably proud of.”

Queensland’s Boating and Fisheries Patrol has launched a new patrol boat Oyster Catcher. au

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Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 37

A well-conditioned school jewfish could not resist Mischa’s 6” Storm WildEye Swim Shad, and even little soapies have been getting in on the action in recent weeks.

Soapies around Iluka despite swells and gusts


F nothing else, fishing along the Clarence coast of northern NSW has been consistently inconsistent, thanks mainly to the recent spell of 30-knot gusts that have been blowing from all points of the compass. Sure, there have been the occasional few good days to get out among the fish – along the beaches and headlands – however, large swells have come with the strong wind, which have flattened most beaches and filled in any half decent gutter or hole. At Iluka, only couple of spots held good water regularly – the

Just Jew by TYE PORTER

northern end of Main Beach next to the rocks at the bluff and in at Back Beach, which is a small beach immediately south of Woody Head and is somewhat sheltered by the large headlands at either end. The Iluka Bluff saw a few nice jewfish taken on hard-bodied minnow lures on the handful of days the sea was fishable, with the best confirmed capture weighing in at 24kg and reliable reports of anglers getting dusted by larger fish.

Page 38 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

Given the amount of mullet and white pilchard moving along the coast currently, it is little wonder the jew are on the chew, but frankly they can be taken year-round in this area. Tailor on the whole have been harder to find than hens’ teeth – again, this has been due more to a lack of fishable water than numbers of fish in the ocean. Back in the 1970s and 80s, August was always dominated with howling westerly wind that in turn would bring all

the travelling shoals of baitfish inshore, so one can only hope this month sees a return to the good old days… here's hoping anyway. Inside the Clarence River, nice luderick were landed at all the regular spots such as the old ferry approach at Iluka, the big wharf along Goodwood Island and the Oyster Channel Bridge over at Yamba. Gulmarrad angler Graham Dowsett has preferred to fish the Yamba and Iluka breakwalls for quality luderick using cabbage as bait, because he found that the ocean fish take the bait more vigorously and a mul-

titude of spots were available to fish with very few people. Large jewfish have been a tad hard to find in the river, however I am certain that this month will see plenty of action as the annual run of sea mullet has ended, and now the big smelly critters will totally focus on the large schools of smaller flat tail mullet for the remainder of winter. I haven’t picked up a rod in anger as yet this year, due mainly to a combination of poor health and laziness, so if nothing else I’m inadvertently doing my bit towards the conser* continued P39 au

Soapies around Iluka * from P38

vation of fish stocks. Both Iluka and Yamba breakwalls have held good numbers of school jew on soft plastic lures with the last hour or two of a run-out tide being the most productive time to fish. As usual for this time of year, the T-Piece on the Yamba breakwall is fishing reasonably well for jew on either live mullet or lures during slack high water at night, and the beauty of this location is that it can be fished in almost any wind or swell because it’s only a couple of hundred metres from the car park and in very sheltered water. The old ferry approach at Iluka has

been yielding the occasional school jew on lures during both slack high and low water, however way too many people are fishing it and shining torches everywhere for me to get keen to have a go. One piece of good news to come from the Iluka wall was that on a rare day when the swell abated, longtail tuna and even a handful of yellowtail kingfish were seen cruising the ocean side with not a land-based pelagic angler in sight. All in all, if the weather gods decide to finally be kind this month, anglers can look forward to taking bream, jew and tailor from the beaches

and headlands. Jew inside the rivers on lures and live mullet and catches of luderick should hit their peak as August is always the best month for these hard-fighting fish. Offshore anglers will hopefully get a decent crack at the excellent snapper fishing that this part of the coast is renowned for, and with any luck there will be no shortage of jew and teraglin to boot. If we happen to get a stiff westerly and dead flat sea this month, I am going to spend a day at Forty Foot at Evans Head searching for schools of mack tuna, for old times' sake. Until next month, safe fishing.

Mischa landed a school jewfish on a soft plastic lure at Oyster Channel Bridge at Yamba during one of the many 30-knot southerly gusts that have plagued the coast.

New Lowrance software release features safety enhancements


OWRANCE recently rolled-out updated software for its line of HDS Live, HDS Carbon and Elite FS fish finders. The updates include a series of radar interface improvements and new features focussed on safety, such as dangerous target alert updates and several key product integrations. The new radar improvements make it easier to view, track and monitor vessels, and identify vessels that may be a risk to the user's course. New icons for the automatic identification system and symbols for radar-tracked targets allow greater clarity of risks and can be combined into one unified view on your screen.

In addition, several new updates enhance connectivity, comfort and control including integrations with the ITC Lighting Control Bar, IP Cam-1 marine video camera (HDS Live only) and Honda ECO Mode. On the safety side, updates include radar and AIS target association. When the radar and the AIS signal acquire the same target for tracking, the system will display the target with one symbol. This reduces the number of AIS symbols and radar targets on the PPI. Radar and AIS targets now display a graduated trail showing the vessels past position history for greater situational awareness.

Also added is a new dangerous target alert that warns the operator of dangerous radar and AIS targets according to the dangerous target parameters in vessel settings and tracked targets. The dangerous target alert provides a simple diagram in a pop-up window that appears on the bottom left of the screen. It will show the range, the graphical bearing and heading of the vessel in relation to operators vessel. This is a significant safety tool that not only alerts the user but guides them to the relative range and bearing of the dangerous target. The newly-added integrations for the Honda ECO Mode and ITC

Lighting Control Bar will now be available on HDS Live, HDS Carbon and Elite FS displays while the IP CAM-1 marine camera is now supported on HDS Live through this software update,

with a simple set-up on the ‘Add Camera’ page. To download the software or for more information on Lowrance and its top-selling fish finder technology, visit

AIS targets now display a graduated trail showing the vessels past position history for greater situational awareness. Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 39

Estuary cod can hardly resist a live pike.

Live bait options for fishing offshore


OR a few reasons, live baiting is often a technique overlooked when fishing offshore reefs for bottom-dwelling species. I am not entirely sure why – perhaps it’s because it can be difficult, frustrating and time consuming to catch live bait, but once sourced livies can be dynamite. When you consider that every single lure ever developed aims to mimic an injured or fleeing live fish, prawn or other critter, it makes reasonably good sense that live bait is as effective as it gets. Sourcing live bait This is probably where the concept of live baiting starts and ends for many reef anglers.

Fishing Tips by CHRIS RAIMONDI

Granted, it is fairly easy to stock the boat with lures or fill an Esky with flesh bait, and most of the time these will entice a decent number of fish. Live bait however tends to perform in many different conditions and will often trigger a bite when fish are largely shut down. In terms of collecting live bait, there are a few options to consider. If you’re launching your boat via a ramp located in a river or estuary, it always pays to have a cast net on hand and throw it around any structure in close

Page 40 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

vicinity to the ramp. Prawns, mullet, whiting, herring and a number of species will typically reside in these areas and provide great options for deployment on the reef. Live prawns are particularly dynamite in many areas of Moreton Bay and the Port of Brisbane because they’re such a natural source of food in those regions, and fish will actually follow the schools of prawns and reside in close proximity. Further afield, live bait is certainly more plentiful during cooler months.

Channel markers, fish aggregating devices and beacons will often hold schools of baitfish that can be caught using live bait jigs. Bait will also school up on reef structure but can also be found in areas devoid of rock or bommies. The reason for their presence is often unknown but if you locate schools, make sure you mark them in your GPS as they will often hold there for long periods or regularly in certain seasons each year. Species such as yellowtail scad, slimy mackerel, pike and pilchard are all very effective. Use live bait jigs rigged to a heavy sinker, dropped directly on areas where you have

located bait schools. If you’re targeting structure such as channel markers, try to use your sounder to locate the bait or deploy your jig as close to the base of the structure as possible. Often, you’ll hook up on the drop or as soon as your sinker hits the bottom, and the technique is a simple lift and drop of the rod tip to get the reflectors and jigs working. Caring for your live bait is super important. Use a wet towel when grabbing them to dehook and place them straight into an aerated holding tank. Having gone to the effort to get them, you might as well take great care of them. * continued P41 au

Live bait options for fishing offshore * from P40

Locations and species to target with live bait Often the best place to target a fish on live bait is exactly where you caught your live bait. If you’re fishing with a group, it often pays for someone to be rigged up and fishing with a livie while the others gather more bait. Pelagic species – mackerel, amberjack, tuna and kingfish – will often work bait schools, smashing them at all angles. Quite cleverly, reef species such as cod, trout, sweetlip and pearl perch (no take from July 15 to August 15) will wait underneath the carnage and

clean up the scraps. These reef species are often very territorial too, so a yakka dropped in their face or into their cave will usually be met with disdain. In terms of the rig, it’s important to try keeping your sinker away from the bait so that it’s allowed to swim freely and remain in good condition. To do this, rig a set of snelled hooks or a single hook to around 45-60cm of fluorocarbon leader connected to a standard or three-way swivel. For a standard swivel, rig a running ball sinker to your main line above the swivel. If you’re using a threeway swivel, connect a

snapper lead sinker to the line that is tied to the bottom of the threeway swivel. Your leader and live bait should be tied to the 45-degree swivel and your main line to the top. As stated, it’s important to allow your live bait to swim free of the resistance and weight that a sinker can impose. Using a snelled rig, simply rig the back hook through the back of the live bait and the top hook through the bridge of the nose. Again, do this carefully to make sure you don’t do too much damage to the bait. Once dropped to the * continued P42

A pair of nice pearl perch caught on live yakka prior to closure.

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Another live bait crunching cod.

Territorial species such as trout will seldom ignore a live yakka.

Live bait options for fishing offshore * from P41

bottom, set your drag accordingly and wait until you get a proper load up through the rod. Your live bait will move around and often that, combined with your sinker bouncing on the bottom, will give

the impression you’re getting bites. It’s important not to strike until the rod loads up because typically it will be a bigger fish that nails a live bait – depending on its size, of course. Circle hooks can be

a good option given predators won’t hesitate in attacking a loved bait and a simple lift of the rod will set the hooks. Most species will nail a well-presented live bait though cod, coral trout and pearl perch absolutely love them

and have the big wide mouths to accommodate them. Grass sweetlip are also partial to a yellowtail scad, and tropical species such as red emperor, nannygai, spangled emperor and snapper (no take from

July 15 to August 15) won’t shy away. So, next time the going gets tough on the reef, spend a bit of time tracking down live bait because it might be the tactic that turns your day around. Catch ya!

Southern boaties warned on poaching this winter


ISHERS are advised to know their zones before they get out on the water this winter, with those who are unfamiliar with the reef reminded that fishing in Marine National Park no-take green zones is illegal. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority field management director Dr Mark Read said compliance officers had recently detected offenders from the Brisbane area illegally fishing in notake zones at the reef’s southern reaches. “Normally, offenders are local to the area where they launch from, however in the case of zones out from the town of Seventeen Seventy, most offenders are from

southeast Queensland,” Dr Read said. “For example, just last week, a 48-year-old man from Brisbane was fined for fishing in a no-take zone in the Capricorn Bunker group. "We’re finding that some fishers from southeast Queensland are launching their boats at their nearest access point to the southern Great Barrier Reef without doing their homework on marine park zoning. “Ignorance is no excuse. “If you’re caught poaching in a no-take green zone, you can expect a $2220 fine.” Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service director of the Great Barrier

Page 42 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

Reef and marine parks region Tina Alderson said recreational fishers should plan their trip in advance using zoning maps that are available online, in paper form or via the ‘Eye on the Reef’ zoning app. “Once downloaded, the Eye on the Reef app contains a mapping feature that works outside of mobile range to pinpoint the user’s location, and shows what zone they’re in and what activities, including fishing, are permitted there,” Ms Alderson said. “If fishers are navigating with aid of a chart plotter, it is their responsibility to understand how zoning is displayed on their plotter.” The Reef Joint Field

Management Program has made this easier for anglers by producing short YouTube videos to familarise fishers with popular units – such as Lowrance Elite, Garmin or Raymarine – and how they display Great Barrier Reef marine park zoning. “While most fishers do the right thing, even a small amount of illegal fishing can have serious impacts on fish stocks and reef health,” Ms Alderson said. “The Authority and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service is committed to protecting the World Heritage area from illegal activities, and we have a zerotolerance approach to poaching in marine na-

tional park zones.” Zoning maps are available from bait and tackle shops, visitor information centres, the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and by contacting the Authority on 1800 990 177. Report poaching and other suspected illegal activity anonymously via the Authority’s 24-hour hotline 1800 380 048 or online at The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service are partners in the Reef Joint Field Management Program, a 40-year program dedicated to protecting the Great Barrier Reef. au




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Spanish mackerel under threat from overfishing


HE inaugural East Coast Spanish Mackerel Working Group met in May in Brisbane – the first meeting of the newly appointed working group. The purpose of the meeting was to provide information on the sustainable fisheries strategy, review the current management and stock issues, and commence discussions on developing a harvest strategy for this fishery. Members were invited to provide a general update from the region or the sector they represent. Several members commented on the issue of shark depredation, which is thought to be a widespread issue affecting other fisheries across multiple jurisdictions. Members generally agreed that large numbers of spanish mackerel are lost to depredation and supported further research to quantify the extent of depredation, identify the species responsible

and better understand what is driving the apparent increased prevalence of shark interactions. Members also raised other issues that may impact on the abundance of spanish mackerel, including seasonality and environmental drivers of recruitment such as water quality, urban development and oceanographic changes. While these may impact spanish mackerel stocks, they are outside the control of Fisheries Queensland and need to be accounted for in management arrangements. Several members raised by-catch and discarding in other fisheries that are incidentally capturing spanish mackerel and contributing to overall fishing mortality – net fisheries as an example. Other issues that were raised included the need to account for managing different types of recreational fishers – those that

may incidentally catch spanish mackerel as part of reef line fishing activities and those that may target spanish mackerel, the abundance and management of baitfish and the need for management intervention in the shortterm. The working group noted information to help inform a shared understanding of the status of east coast spanish mackerel stocks. It was noted that the commercial harvest has averaged 300 tonnes annually since 2004, however total harvest is well below the current total allowable commercial catch for the species. It was noted that Fisheries Queensland’s monitoring programs are picking up increased recreational fishing participation and current east coast spanish mackerel recreational harvest is estimated to be approximately 170 tonnes. The working group was provided a pre-

Large numbers of spanish mackerel are lost to depredation and further research to quantify the extent of depredation, identify the species responsible and better understand what is driving the apparent increased prevalence of shark interactions is required. Page 44 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

liminary presentation on the results of the 2021 east coast spanish mackerel stock assessment – not yet published – and how this will inform future decision making in the fishery. Fisheries Queensland advised the draft biomass for spanish mackerel is estimated to be 17 percent of unfished biomass. The working group noted the limit reference point of 20 percent unfished biomass is the point below which a fishery is recommended to be closed under the sustainable fisheries strategy and under national guidelines. While there are some uncertainties, this is a complex stock assessment with good confidence about the outputs. Industry members noted concerns that a new stock assessment model was used, which produced lower biomass estimates than the previous assessment in 2018. The working group noted that the stock assessment is currently undergoing independent scientific peer review, which will also be published in coming months. The working group requested more detail on projections for different rebuilding strategies for discussion at the next meeting. Given the stock is shared with NSW, the working group felt it was important to invite them to attend the next meeting to discuss rebuilding strategies. Fisheries Queensland provided a presentation on the methodolo-

gy and outcomes from the BDO social and economic indicators report for commercial and charter fisheries. The working group noted the social and economic indicators dashboard that is available on the department’s website is an important tool for businesses to view performance of the fishery. While the fishery’s economic performance is not positive, all members agreed that this information is important in assessing the performance of the fishery, and when considering the economic impacts of management or other changes. The working group were presented with an overview of the current management arrangements in place for spanish mackerel. Given the low biomass estimate, the working group agreed that the management arrangements and fishing rules for all sectors would need to be reviewed to inform management interventions and a rebuilding strategy for this stock. All members noted the importance of spanish mackerel for local supply of fish, particularly in regional Queensland where the species is popular. Fisheries Queensland provided information on the process to review management of this stock and develop a harvest strategy ahead of the July 1, 2022 fishing season. The working group agreed that management change needed to be in place as soon as possible, noting that it * continued P45 au

Spanish mackerel under threat from overfishing * from P44

was likely to be significant and consultation with other stakeholders would be required. The working group noted the need for a number of meetings in 2021 to consider management options for further consultation later in 2021. Fisheries Queensland provided information on the monitoring and research programs that are in place for the spanish mackerel fishery. The working group noted the extensive monitoring data over a long time series for east coast spanish mackerel, with 13 percent of the commercial catch represented in the data set over the past 10 years.

This is higher than many other fisheries, and members noted the continued contribution of commercial and recreational fishers in volunteering this information and the good working relationship with the fishery monitoring team. The working group recognised the importance of the combined data collected from commercial fishers and recreational fishers, which provides more confidence about the science underpinning both the status and management of this stock. The working group were keen to see this level of monitoring continue. Members have sought information on rebuild-

ing projections, how recreational harvest is calculated, release mortality, environmental influences, fishing effort – standardised catch rates, targeting behaviour between the coral reef line and spanish mackerel fisheries and biological information from monitoring and research. The next meeting will focus on working through possible management interventions, stock rebuilding strategies and initial development of a harvest strategy. The Spanish Mackerel Working Group members are: Animal Science Queensland, chair Sian Breen, Fisheries Queensland director management and reform Kimberly Foster,

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Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 45

Liam Coppleman with a solid 90cm estuary jewfish on a Holt Productions Swim Prawn. Photos:

Fishing choices during current closure


UGUST sees the end of winter and the hint of warmer times ahead. This is also the time of year when we often have low swell on the Noosa bar, which makes for safer crossings. The biggest change in July is the snapper and pearl perch closure for Queensland. If you are intending to go offshore between July 15 to August 15, snapper and pearlies are off limits while they’re spawning. If fishing during this time and you accidently land one of these fish, they must be returned. So, get yourself up to speed on how to correctly vent fish or buy a release weight from a shop. Other great fish are around to target, so it’s a great time to try new techniques or explore new grounds. Offshore, water temperature over the next

Sunshine Coast by GRANT BUDD

two months will be at its coldest, making this a great time to target big jewfish, cobia, amberjack, kingfish and even longtail tuna in the deep. Be sure to carry a few live bait rigs in your kit because a live bait will certainly lure big fish, but use bigger bait to avoid snapper. If you do catch a snapper mid-water, the chance of a successful release is higher, versus dragging one off the bottom due to barotrauma. A great way to help a fish expel trapped air naturally is to hold it at 10m. When the fish realises it’s no longer ascending, it will try to swim away. This sudden burst of energy releases trapped air and if you bring it

Page 46 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

up slowly to the surface, it will have a greater chance of swimming off without any further intervention. This is the time of year when traditional twin-hook paternoster rigs should be put on hold or reduced to single-hook rigs. Both snapper and pearl perch will hit this style of rig, so now is the time to move away from this method. If you do find yourself hooking pearlies and snapper, it’s a great idea to see how they appear on your sounder, so you don’t continue to catch them. Personally, I enjoy jigging and, because slow jigging appeals to snapper, speeding things up with longer lifts often works on more aggressive fish such as amber-

jack, trevally and cobia. Be sure to swap out stock hooks on jigs for Decoy or BKK as they are jig specific hooks with a wider gape and have better holding power when it counts. This method can be adopted around North Reef, Double Island, Barwon Banks and other reefs and wrecks on the coast. If you are after a specific combination for big fish then look at the Oceans Legacy Adrenalin series and a Shimano Ocea Jigger 2000, which will hold over 200m of PE5 or 80lb braid. These rods can be pushed far beyond the limits of most other rods and have a very reasonable price tag. When looking for jigs, check out the range of Wingman, Ribcage and V2 Hummer jigs from Samaki. These give you several options according

to style, species, current and water depth. The beaches have been popular with tailor anglers searching for the mighty greenback. These fish often feature around Morton, Stradbroke and Fraser islands before we see them in numbers, but they are about. Fishing after dark or before first light tends to be the better time to target bigger fish, with one of the many river mouths being a popular fishing spot. Big tailor love strong scented oily bait, such as salted bonito fillets and pilchard on stripbait rigs or gang-hooked rigs, with some bait wrap to keep your bait tight for casting. This method also works well on jewfish, which have been present around Noosa headlands, Point Arkwright and Coolum after dark. * continued P47 au

Fishing choices during current closure * from P46

For those not chasing bigger fish, daytime fishing for bream, dart and whiting is a great option. To get the fish feeding on calmer days, try throwing out small handfuls of berley pellets. The wave action will carry the pellets out to the gutter and help bring the fish on the bite. In the Noosa River, big bream, giant and golden trevally, jewfish and dusky flathead are showing up around the mouth. Flathead sizes are reaching beyond 75cm, so these must be returned. With bream spawning, it’s a great idea to return any fish at 40cm and above in length. These huge fish are rare and in excess of 30-years old. They are also an important link to future generations of strong and healthy stock. To target bream, use fresh chunk bait of mullet or pilchard on light running sinker rigs. For flathead, larger unweighted whole pilchard works well. Prawn lures are popular in the Noosa River and the Zerek Absolute Shrimp and MMD Soft Prawn are two great choices. Work these along the drop-offs and deep holes of the dog beach, river mouth and sandbags. If big fish are your target, then a big landing net is a must. The Berkley Catch n Release landing nets are perfect because the mesh protects the fish

and does not remove its slime coat, as standard nets can do. Losing a big fish to a break-off at the bank is something you never forget! This time of year, you’ll often see tailor and queenfish on the hunt in the estuary, especially Woods Bay. Using medium-size poppers and stickbaits is a great way to target them because these are super aggressive fish. Be sure to try a variety of retrieve styles and speeds as all too often a slow-moving lure gets the hit. The Nomad Riptide 115mm is the perfect size to attract bigger fish. Other ways to target bigger fish, particularly during poor water visibility, is to use a soft vibe – big winter bream, flathead, trevally and jew will crunch these because they emit huge vibration. Look at the many options from Zerek, Berkley, Samaki and Jackall. Use these in conjunction with fast taper 4-6kg and 6-8kg rated rods and fluorocarbon leader of at least 10lb. Take a look at our range of Japanese leader material from Sunline, Shimano and YGK. Woods Bay, Noosa Sound and Gympie Terrace has mixed schools of trevally including golden, tea-leaf, big eye and giant during early morning and late afternoon. Micro jigs and prawn imitations work best with the Jigpara from Majorcraft a consistent performer. Take a look at Decoy

Light Class split rings and the new Light Game Assist for the best rigging option. Upstream, the ski run has school-sized jewfish around 60-70cm caught and released, which is great to see. When targeting jewies, you should hit all bites hard and be sure all hooks are brand new or super sharp to penetrate their hard mouths. Away from the salt, freshwater impoundments have been producing great fish. Bass are trying to spawn and have been found in good numbers around the dam walls, with the end of August signifying the end of the wild bass closure. Though the bass around the dam walls are not wild, they still have a natural instinct to want to travel downstream to breed. With the cool water, many big fish will be hard on the bottom. Using a slower re-

trieve on lures such as the Hot Bite Spectre Vibration Jig and Gang Banger Spoon works best. Using side scan and down view settings on your sounder while underway will also greatly help. Lake MacDonald and Borumba Dam both require a Stocked Impoundment Permit Scheme permit before you hit the water. Now, for all the lat-

est information, log onto au for up-to-date bar and fishing reports, and don’t forget to drop into Davo’s Tackle World, Davo’s Boating and Outdoors in Noosa and Davo’s 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!

Max Pfeifer with a chunky estuary flathead taken on a soft plastic.

Abe Andrews and a nice sized cobia. Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 47

Keen fisho Aiden Whiteman recently harassed the local tuna population.

Cracking coast catches


Jackson Ford scored this diamond trevally.

’DAY, I hope you have all been out getting those rods bent, and with the school holidays I’m sure many of you would have had a little spare time to get out and catch a feed. Let’s tuck straight in to what’s been getting caught, or what you could possibly go and target over the next couple of weeks. The fishing this past month has been damn

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good for most fishos to be honest. Inshore reports of reasonable catches of the bread and butter species were coming in thick and fast. Winter whiting have been showing up and seem to largely be in the 20cm range. The squid are everywhere in the deep water in the passage, but it does pay to move around if the bite is slow. Go hit the power lines and after two or three drifts, move down to the old barge for a drift or three and, if that is not doing it, try the Carlo Island leads and if that’s not working either, it’s time to try something different. You could get up on the flats out the front of Teebar and hunt around for a few. You might be surprised what you might find on a flood tide. The creek mouths have been holding nice flathead recently and the last hour of a runout tide and the first of

the push-in have been key. Vibes in the 75-95mm range have been winners along with small micro jigs such as the Palms Bit Arts Miniature Dax in 10g and 14g. Jigs have also been producing great golden trevally. At this time of year, the creeks in the straits seem to have an influx of trevally with golden and diamond being the main prizes for most fishos. They make for great photos and when they get up to around the 65-75cm range, they’re a ball of fun on the silly string. We tend to target them on the start of a run-in tide and fish light for them – 6-10lb braid, even down to 10lb leader if they’re playing hard to get, but not much heavier than a 20lb leader. It will also pay to keep a close eye on the sounder, particularly your side scan. * continued P49 au

Cracking coast catches * from P48

Offshore fishos have been treated to plentiful catches over the past few weeks and as the weather starts to settle down into the more stable winter patterns we’re accustomed to, the chance to get out wide will open up even more. Though in saying ‘wide’, there have been a great number of cracker fish caught in close recently too. Snapper (no take July 15 to August 15) and jewfish have been getting caught in good numbers. We did a quick run out to one of the close reefs before the closure for a few sundowners and to float line for snapper. We left at 2pm and were back in the mariner by 7.30pm with a bag full.

Believe it or not, this was actually the first time I’d been out fishing in a little over 11 weeks! Yes, I was starting to twitch. It was a great trip out with 15 good fish boated and a few dustings. We even managed a couple of smaller snapper on Palms Slow Blatts S lures in 60g and 80g and a nice jewie on the Nomad Vertrex Max 110mm in Disco Bits colour. Shane bagged a good knobby on a floated pillie, and Jason got a cracker of a jew with a live yakka on a paternoster straight under the boat. I can’t wait for the next ‘quick trip’ out. We have also had great pearl perch (no take July 15 to August 15), grass sweetlip

and red emperor being landed on board our local charter crews. If you are out and about, feel free to pop in for a chat and tell us about what you’re catching and show us pictures of your recent catches. We love hearing and seeing your stories. That is me for this month, stocktake is calling. Tight lines.


Jackson Ford with a golden trevally from a local creek.

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The author with a nice jewfish that ate a Nomad Vertex Max 110mm in Disco Bits.


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Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 51

Toby with his first snapper.

Windy weather this winter


BNB reader Darcy with his first snapper.

> Hervey Bay > Fraser Island > Sandy Strait

T has been incredibly tough weather so far this winter. I cannot remember such a windy year and a few of us commented on it via Messenger one woeful day. From the Sunshine Coast to Bundaberg – yuck, just yuck. As if COVID lockdowns didn’t make it hard enough already, and just before our school holidays. Throw into that bad weather and tough fishing once the visitors started to filter back in!

Fraser Guided Fishing by TRI TON

A winter neap tide can be difficult and there are years I don’t even notice the downturn in fish activity. But this year, around the solstice, it was extremely difficult fishing and getting a bite was tough at times. Even dropping a live squid we were lucky enough to jag into a school of pelagic fish that were lockjaw… and still not getting a sniff. Yes, technically I did resort to bait! However, during the full moon in June and two weeks before July’s

first neap tide, fishing was good, especially with snapper (no take from July 15 to August 15) coming over the side. But when I thought about it after the early bites, it wasn’t particularly easy. Though we did get bites, even if during the tougher stages of the day they were small. You know it’s slow when you can’t even get trashy grinners. So, it pays to convert anything that may enquire. * continued P53

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Michelle and a solid longtail on a snapper rod – not ideal for the first tuna encounter. au

Windy weather this winter * from P52

The downside is that when it’s tough, I often downsize the leader. This is fine unless a big queenfish or mackerel comes along. One particular morning, I had instructed the angler to use a 30lb leader if possible, but he only had a 20lb. In his case, it didn’t make any difference, though I could literally see the queenfish and briefly had a small one on. We worked the school for a time, without any further bites – except foul-hooking a small barracuda – I find this happens often when it’s tough. They swipe but don’t commit. We foul-hooked a

couple of fish that day, and over the course of the week, it happened frequently. So, keeping in mind the slow state of play, I persisted against my own advice with a 20lb leader. I recommend 30lb minimum leader for queens, but I have landed 110cm models on 10lb, so was hoping that the hook-up would be on the outer mouth. Suddenly, we got a tap and loaded onto a heavy queen, though after two blistering runs, we were bitten off. How can we have no bites, then suddenly a crazy one that swallows the lure deep? It certainly sums up how difficult it can be.

A bit of luck would have seen us land that fish, no problem. But as they say, “that’s fishing!” I hate that saying, but only because occasionally I have to concede.

Arthur with his first coral trout.

Lacey Brown and a nice school holiday golden.




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Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 53

Fishing into the dark is a great way to find jewfish.

Targeting mulloway on rock walls


LONG the east coast of Australia, particularly northern NSW and into southern Queensland, is a plethora of healthy river systems. They flow in and out with the tide, providing a range of fishing options for different anglers, from beginners to experts. Where these rivers meet the sea, they generally funnel water

into the ocean through breakwalls. These are the perfect spots for predators to ambush anything being taken by a tide. These artificial structures have provided the perfect habitat for a variety of species while also serving their purpose of providing safe passage for boats. Every town has a handful of fishos who know their breakwall

Sundown on the breakwall is a great recipe for chasing big jewfish! Page 54 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

back to front. They know when to fish, the right rock to perch from, the best lure and precisely where to cast it. This information is generally specific to the idiosyncrasies of each location. They are often tightly held secrets but there are a number of general rules to follow that can help increase your chances, even if fishing somewhere for the first time. Mulloway are the most iconic species to catch off east coast breakwalls – from smaller sized fish commonly referred to as ‘schoolies’, to massive slabs of chrome as big as you can imagine. Here are a few tips to help you hook onto a silver slab of glory. When and where

The bigger the river, the more iconic the breakwalls are for catching big jewfish. The Richmond, Clarence, Tweed, Hastings and Macleay rivers are outstanding locations. The size of the rock walls ensure that you can spend a lifetime finding new honey holes. Smaller systems such as the Bellinger, Camden Haven and Evans rivers are just as likely to hold good fish. Generally speaking, the tips of break walls are usually a good spot, depending on swell. If there are waves bashing the wall, it typically means you should head west until you find a safe spot. Downloading the app Navionics can provide a little insight into where the deepest holes are

against the structure. These spots tend to be the pick of the bunch. Jewfish prefer to congregate in washes or deep holes, which is what you’ll be looking for when studying the topographic charts. After heavy rain and during run-off periods when water colour turns to a brown soup, jewfish fire up because they don’t enjoy being seen. For a fish that is so abundant, they do a fantastic job of irritating anglers in pursuit. An outgoing tide will bring the dirtiest water out to the ocean and this is ideal timing. Tidal movements can make fishing very difficult. At times these areas can be unfishable with the sheer volume of wa-

* continued P55 au

Targeting mulloway on rock walls * from P54

ter being pushed out. The answer to the problem is to fish the changing tide, when tidal movements have slowed or stopped. A changing tide also makes it easier for fish to be active because they don’t have to constantly battle the current. The top of a tide is the most ideal, as you get the best of the brackish water and added depth in the water column. If you have timed this tide with dusk or evening, you’ve hit the jackpot because mulloway are much more active in low light conditions. If you play the game smart, you can be gone for an hour and fish the peak period without wasting precious time, and the warmer months tend to be the most successful. Equipment I prefer to avoid dead bait for mulloway on breakwalls – it tends to snag and sit on the bottom without covering the water column. Nothing beats a good live bait and if you have a Sabiki jig, it’s always worth having a go for herring along the wall – alternatively, you could use a bait trap for mullet during the day. A pair of Gamakatsu No. 8 Octopus hooks snelled with 80lb Unitika fluorocarbon is optimal for bigger bait, with a single hook sufficient for smaller herring – I use a running star sinker above the leader to a swivel. For live baiting, I prefer a solid rod with extra length and the Samurai Ledge 50lb is 9’ of power, so the angler can manoeuvre their line over rocks without

getting snagged. My favourite type of fishing is to use lures such as soft plastic paddle tails on these walls. The large tail sends out an enticing vibration jewfish seem to love and about 7” is a good starting size. Atomic Plazos in 7” size have plenty of colour options that mimic mullet, which is a colour that tends to get the bite. Heavy jig heads are effective and Atomic Seekerz in 6/0 perfectly fit a plastic about 7” long. If the wall is tall, I stick with the Samurai Ledge, though if it’s smaller and I am closer to the water, I go with the Samurai 30lb Reaction, which is 7’ long and offers better control at close range. There are a few essentials that you might need to consider before heading out. Gaffs can be handy if you plan on taking the fish home, as several spots are difficult to land a fish, particularly the bigger models. Head torches are invaluable when the sun goes down, especially when you realise you need to tie a new FG knot at bite time. Warm clothes and something to eat will ensure you get to fish through the night if you need to. Techniques and tips As an amateur angler, I tried my hand at fishing South Wall Ballina and used dead bait for three days straight without a bite. A fisher came down and landed a 20kg fish using a soft plastic lure, which allowed him to fish a variety of depths

and work the area effectively. Meanwhile the fish holding in mid-water were not even looking at my bait, so I changed my strategy and started having success. A slow retrieve with your lure will allow it to wobble and avoid snagging, and constantly winding at a slow pace helps entice a lazy jewfish. The retrieve can be varied to work different depths and changes in speed are the best way to do this – cast, wind, repeat – and have faith in the process. A slow roll allows for a heavier jig head up to 1oz to work the water column because you get the added distance in the cast and don’t let it sink entirely. If the current is moving, it’s important to cast in the opposite direction to the flow. If you cast with the current, then your lure will not sink, but rather it will rise to the surface quickly with the added pressure. Cast as close to the wall as possible, usually on a 20-30 degree angle. At night, I will open up casts slightly toward the middle but usually around 45 degrees. The last tip would be to pick your spot based on the accessibility of the rock and the capacity to land fish. Have a way to get to the water safely with a nice rock to slide the fish up. Gaffing can take the pressure off, but if you’re solo it’s easier to have foresight instead of losing a hard-earned fish to poor planning. Zac Panaretos

Soft plastics with heavy jig heads are ideal for working the water column thoroughly when there’s strong tidal flow.

Each breakwall has a regular brigade of locals who know the ins and outs of their fishing spot.

Paddle tail soft plastics are a dynamite presentation for breakwall jewfish.

Even smaller models will happily snaffle a 7” soft plastic or bigger. Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 55


New Berkley Gulp 5” Nemesis

THE New Berkley Gulp 5” Nemesis was a special request from the Berkley professional team and could just be the perfect size bait for targeting bigger fish. A new size in the proven Nemesis lineup, its slender body gets down fast and the Nemesis tail is always working when it’s moving forward in the water column. Whether your chasing monster flathead or big reds offshore, the Gulp 5” Nemesis is up to the task. The new Berkley Gulp 5” Nemesis starts from an RRP of $11.99. For more information, visit purefishing.

Dobyns Fury series rods

SENSITIVITY, strength and exceptional value are why Dobyns Fury rods have such a strong following in Australia. The Fury boasts essential features that anglers demand in a high-end rod and they get it for a fraction of the price tag – high modulus Kevlar wrapped graphite blank, Fuji reel seat and AA-grade cork grip.

Page 56 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

The C565 Mag Heavy, lighter C564 and longer C662 suit the needs of bass, mangrove jack and barramundi anglers with lure weights from 1/8 to 1.5oz. The two new spin rods are 7’0” and 7’6” models rated from 10-25lb and are already proving popular. These rods retail at a great price and with Dobyns no-fault replacement program, Dobyns Fury are a great choice! Check them out at

Daiwa Insulated Fish Bag

KEEP your catch safe, secure and in tip top condition with our new Insulated Fish Bag. Designed for ease of use, robust construction and for optimum insulating performance, the new Daiwa Insulated Fish Bag is a must-have for all keen catch-ncook anglers. Heavily insulated and made from ultrastrong PVC material, the bag has been constructed to handle the heaviest of catches, even when loaded with ice, and features a zippered and Velcro strapped opening on the top for ease of access. An external mesh pocket on the end of the bag provides storage options, while a lower drainage bung allows you to drain unwanted water from the bag. A ruler on the outside of the bag ensures your prized capture doesn’t go unmeasured. Available in three sizes 70, 100 and 150cm, the new Daiwa Insulated Fish Bag is the bag you want on your next fishing adventure. For more information, visit daiwafish

Zerek Gadget Z foam-lined waterproof tackle boxes

THE Zerek Gadget Z range of waterproof tackle boxes has been expanded with the addition of two new foam-lined boxes. The Zerek 781GZAP01 Gadget Z box is 30 x 22 x 6cm and will hold pre-rigged plastics such as Fish Traps, Flat Shads and Live Flash Minnow Wrigglies rigged and ready to go. The Zerek 781GZAP02 Gadget Z box is 22 x 17 x 5cm and will hold smaller lures such as the 65mm and 95mm Fish Traps, Live Flash Minnow Wrigglies and other slim plastics. The benefits of these boxes, apart from their brilliant waterproofing, is that you can store sensitive TPE plastics separately, ensuring they don’t melt, and you can keep your lures pre-rigged and perfectly straight. The foam panels have heaps of hook holders, so you can have any combination of plastics and lures in the box at one time. For more information, visit wilsonfish au

AFTA 2021 SPECIAL EDITION The 16000 has a retrieve rate of 5:1, while the 16000H has a faster retrieve at 5.7:1. Each reel weighs under 700g and takes 430m of PE5 line, making this reel ideal for lure casting for species such as mackerel, giant trevally, tuna and wahoo. For more information, visit wilsonfishing. com

ATC Vigilance 16000 reel

TOUGH, a simple word that accurately describes the ATC Vigilance 16000 reels. Built for the demands of heavy tackle sportfishing, the Vigilance’s body and rotor are constructed from high grade, corrosion-resistant aluminium to ensure the reel is built from a foundation of strength. Supported within the aluminium body are 12 + 1 stainless steel bearings that allow this reel to operate under extreme pressure and sees a maximum of 30kg of drag pressure able to be applied through the reel. The ported aluminium is cut from a single piece, ensuring that nothing will fail under these extreme loads. To create that sort of pressure, ATC has incorporated their dual drag system, with drag washers both above and below the spool. This arrangement reduces the spool wobble associated with single drag reels and gives performance the envy of many, with low start inertia and smooth function throughout the drag range. To protect the internals of the reel, ATC has developed a waterproof seal on the rotor and the body frame to ensure no saltwater gets into the vital moving parts of the reel. This allows ATC the confidence to give the reels a five-year warranty against manufacturing faults. The two 16000 reels provide different options for anglers.

New Lucky Craft Bevy Shad 75 colours

THOUGH previously seen in Australia, EJ Todd have now released the Lucky Craft Bevy Shad 75 in a new expanded range of colours. The finish and attention to detail on the Japanese made Lucky Craft lures are the best money can buy and these are no different. The Bevy Shad 75 is designed to dive between 1.8-2.4m and suspend perfectly with the nose down. The design allows it to dive quickly to its maximum depth, which is especially good on steep shorelines and drop-offs. In Australia, the Bevy Shad 75 range is ideal for those targeting mangrove jack and barramundi, among many other estuary species. The Bevy Shad 75 is manufactured with internal glass rattles, perfectly tuned to draw in fish. Naturally, the Bevy Shad 75 is 75mm long and weighs in at 10g for comfortable casting distances. Check them out at

Daiwa Bait Junkie range

NOT all plastics are created equal, and few soft plastics are designed specifically with Australian anglers and species in mind. The Daiwa Bait Junkie range is one of the few that has, with extensive Australian research and development delivering anglers a family of soft plastics made to work and last. Made from Daiwa’s Elastomax material, Bait Junkie plastics are a stretchy, durable and buoyant material, with Elastomax allowing thinner designs to be created to optimise swimming action and performance at slow speeds. Amino-X and Shrimp Power-Oil enhances flavour and scent and masks unwanted smells and ensures your Bait Junkie works and entices from the moment it hits the water. Featuring six of Australia’s most popular soft plastic models – 2.5” and 4” Grub, 2.5” and 3.2” Minnow, and 5” and 7” Jerkshad – the Bait Junkie family is getting set to welcome new larger models, plus a selection of new colours to the existing models and ranges. Packaged in a double clam tray to keep each bait straight, true and kink free, Bait Junkies are built tough and with your fishing needs and species in mind. For more information, visit daiwafish

Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 57


Molix RT Fork Flex

THE new RT Fork Flex uses the latest Molix formula, which is both softer and more bite-resistant than ever! The floating compound is scented and delivers increased action for the most subtle presentations. With realistic profile and authentic action, the RT Fork Flex accommodates a wide range of rigging options, including weedless and even have a small pocket to take a rattle. Molix RT Fork Flex are available in six colours in 4, 5 and 6” sizes. For more information, visit au

to not only be better sealed, but also offer a wider range of usable drag, all while being bearing supported for extra smoothness. HT-100 drag technology is packed into the small but tough 2500 size, a new and highly sought-after addition to the Slammer family. For dependability, Penn has added their all-brass CNC gear technology, 8+1 stainless steel bearing system and a hydrophobic line roller bearing across the range. Available from 2500 to 10500 sizes, with high-speed variants in 2500, 4500, 6500 and 8500 size, Slammer IV is hitting Australian shops in October this year, with an RRP starting at $369. Let the battle begin. For more information, visit purefishing.

Refined Berkley PowerBait Shrimp

Penn Slammer IV

DESIGNED for anglers who target the hardest fighting sportfish, Penn’s new Slammer IV spinning range takes the ultimate workhorse reel to another level. Building off a proven platform of an IPX6 sealed body and spool from the Slammer III range, Penn has redesigned the dura-drag system in the Slammer IV

Page 58 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

THE Berkley PowerBait Shrimp was born out of findings from Berkley’s fish research labs in Spirit Lake in the US. The research and development team tested many shrimp profile variations and discovered that fish attacked offerings with no legs far more than those that had legs. Hence, the new PowerBait Shrimp has no legs for a good reason – fish prefer it that way. Forward-facing antennas help stabilise the bait for a natural shrimp action, which when combined with a range of six great colours, 2, 3 and 4” sizes as well as the winning PowerBait scent formula, leads to catching more fish on the water. RRP will start at $9.99. For more information, visit purefishing.

New Bait Junkie Minnow models and more colours

THE Bait Junkie range welcomes two new models and a selection of colours for 2021. The newest releases in the Bait Junkie range, the 4.2 and 6.2” Minnows, have adopted a new shape and use a slightly different material to produce an epic action that is deadly in salt and freshwater. The deeper body enables flexibility for rigging options and helps promote the rolling action that makes this bait so successful. The big boot tail produces a heavy thump to call in nearby predators and will work at low and high-speed, making it incredibly versatile. The 4.2” Minnow is the ‘estuary powerhouse’ of the Bait Junkie range and is destined for plenty of mangrove jack in the snags or canals and big flathead in the estuaries, while the 6.2” Minnow is the perfect large swimbait for barramundi, mulloway and Murray cod. The 4.2” Minnow is available in 18 colours and comes with five pieces per pack, while the 6.2” Minnow is available in 15 colours and comes with three pieces per pack. In addition to two new models, the Bait Junkie range introduces an assortment of new fish-catching colours. The Bait Junkie 2.5” Minnow, 3.2” Minnow, 2.5” Grub, 4” Grub, 5” Jerkshad, and 7” Jerkshad all welcome new colours to their line up to deliver anglers more fish catching options. With a total of 12 new colours added to the existing Bait Junkie range, anglers are spoilt for choice when it comes to soft plastic selection. For more information, visit daiwafish au


Gulp 3, 4 and 5” Nemesis Prawn Curl Tail

THE Gulp Nemesis Prawn Curl Tail is designed for targeting both fresh and saltwater species. This beast has a prawn-style head and body that features a finely tuned curled tail which works at super slow retrieve speeds with a wide variety of jig head weights. In testing, this curly tail creature has been a fish catching machine with its heavily spiked head and faceted body, which creates maximum turbulence and scent dispersion of the proven Gulp formula. The Gulp Nemesis Prawn Tail starts from an RRP of $11.99. For more information, visit purefishing.

Shimano Sephia BB spinning reel

BUILDING on previous generations of the Sephia BB reel family, the new models are built lighter and tougher.

Perfect for getting the best out of your jigs and in turn making it easier to tempt those squid into grabbing your lure. Equipped with the sturdy Hagane gear that increases strength while maintaining smoothness, you’ll be working your jigs all day without trouble. The mix of the G Free body, Ar-C spool and One-Piece bail also makes for increased smoothness and comfort cast after cast. X-Ship – brought down from top tier models – offers you more efficient gearing and more power. This in turn gives the angler ultra-light handle rotation with less effort, even under load. By increasing the efficiency of the Sephia BB reels, they’ll be able to perform at their best for longer. Coming in a C3000SHG and a C3000SDHG, these are the perfect reels for chasing squid. On top of this, you’ll finally be able to pair them up with the Sephia BB range of rods for an awesome looking combo. For more information, visit shimanofish.

This combination brings to the market a brilliant range of soft plastics that are easy to use and can be rigged in numerous ways. Rigging options include jig head rigged, weighted and unweighted worm hook rigged or used as trailers for jigs and spinnerbaits. The Keel Tail Minnow comes in 3” and 3.5” with eight colours in the range. For more information, visit wilsonfish

Shimano Grappler BB fishing rods

Mustad Mezashi Keel Tail Minnow

THE Mustad Keel Tail Minnow plastics are constructed from Japanese PVC using German plasticisers and American colouring material.

THE new Grappler BB series from Shimano is an exciting and affordable saltwater series that sits within the existing Grappler family. Featuring the premium Shimano and Fuji componentry you’d find in a highpriced rod, the Grappler BB series has you covered for all aspects of saltwater fishing from casting, jigging and slow jigging. Incorporating features such as Hi-Power X blank technology, Shimano custom reel seats and CI4 reel seats, as well as Fuji K stainless alconite guides. Shimano’s exclusive carbon wrapped HiPower X blank technology ensures blank twist and rotation is reduced when the rod is in motion, giving you increased casting performance, better fight control and a crisper feel when working your lures. For more information, visit shimanofish.

Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 59


New Atomic Hardz Pop 75

ATOMIC has released a new model in their popper range. The Atomic Hardz Pop 75 is perfect for larger species such as bream, whiting, flathead, bass, tailor and mangrove jack. The lure has a slender profile and casts exceptionally well for the size. It is an excellent walker with a swift side-to-side action. The key to the unique action of the Pop 75 is the slim profile. You can use it with a traditional retrieve with a small ‘blooping’ action or try a walk-the-dog retrieve with pauses for more wary predators. This can be achieved by moving your rod tip as you wind. The Pop 75 is available in an amazing array colours, with both natural and brightly visible patterns available. To find out more, visit au or

Berkley PowerBait 3.5” Fork Tail Minnow

THE new 3.5” PowerBait Fork Tail Minnow perfectly imitates a small baitfish. Rigged on a light jig head, it has an erratic darting action that fish can’t resist.

Page 60 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

It features a natural fork tail outline and a V-shaped body cross section, making it easy to rig and swim as though it’s alive. In testing, the PowerBait Fork Tail Minnow has proven deadly on species such as bream, bass and flathead. The Fork Tail Minnow works exceptionally well when it’s left to sink seductively through the water column close to structure. Predators see it as a wounded baitfish and don’t hesitate to attack. When it’s PowerBait, you know that fish will bite and hang on 18 times longer! The Berkley PowerBait 3.5” Fork Tail Minnow starts at a RRP of $9.99. For more information, visit purefishing.

BG evolution doesn’t end there, with a new drag design elevating drag power and performance, and Daiwa’s innovative long cast ABS spool design improving line flow from the spool, resulting in increased casting distances with both heavy and light lines. BG MQ heralds a new dawn in affordable saltwater spinning reel design and performance, with MQ technology now available in a mid-range reel. Built for the harshest conditions, the BG is once again ready to set a new standard in quality, performance, and value. For more information, visit daiwafish

Daiwa BG MQ

THE BG legend continues to grow with the release of BG MQ. The BG’s iconic black and gold looks have been restyled with a new classic black and silver colour scheme housing BG’s most technologically advanced leap forward monocoque body. Monocoque body is the single biggest revolution in spinning reel design from Daiwa, totally eliminating the traditional two-piece body construction. MQ eliminates the use of side plates and features a screwless body design eliminating potential entry points for water and grime, and significantly enhancing overall body strength and rigidity.

Three new Gulp 6” Grub colours

THE 6” Gulp Grub is now available in three new colours that complement its action and the scent dispersion characteristics of the Gulp formula. America, Black Bling and Black Chartreuse Fuze are the new additions to the lineup. Don’t be seen on the snapper ground this year without a pack! Gulp 6” Grubs have an RRP of $11.99. For more information, visit purefishing. au


Berkley PowerBait 3.9” Beat N Paddle Frog

THE Beat N Paddle Frog features paddle tail style feet that beat the water and make a sound and turbulence that fish just want to crush. A super realistic outline presents a realistic silhouette that produces explosive surface strikes. The Berkley professional team have fallen in love with this bait and have had huge success on everything from bass to barramundi. Add the scientifically developed PowerBait formula into the body and you have the potential to put serious fish in the boat. The Berkley PowerBait Beat N Paddle Frog starts from an RRP of $9.99. For more information, visit purefishing.

Mustad Mezashi Casting Jig

THE Mezashi Casting Jigs from Mustad are designed to give anglers lightweight casting options for inshore work. Species such as snapper, tailor, salmon, flathead and mulloway will fall to the

attractive action of these lures in the salt, while freshwater species such as Australian bass, redfin and trout will eagerly chase down these brilliant jigs. They are cleverly designed to give two differing actions on the fall. When Mezashi jigs fall with the triangle side down they give a beautiful sliding action, while if the jig falls on the rounded side it gives off an enticing flutter. To make things even better, when the jig is retrieved it gives an intense wobbling action that pelagic predators adore! Coming pre-rigged with a Jawlock treble on the rear and a 1183SP assist hook on the front, the Mezashi Jig range comes in eight colours and five sizes. For more information, visit wilsonfish

Berkley PowerBait 4” Buzz N Speed Toad

THE PowerBait Buzz N Speed Toad adds a whole new dimension with its unique serrated leg design. There’s nothing better than heart-stopping surface explosions over a well-positioned Buzz N Speed Toad. The Buzz N Speed Toad’s serrated feet cut the water surface, creating strikeprovoking water disturbance. When fish strike and get a taste of the PowerBait formula, you know they’re going to hang on! For more information, visit purefishing.

Shimano Sephia BB JDM

THE popular Sephia BB range of squid rods are back and now feature Shimano’s class leading Hi Power X blank construction to reduce blank twist and provide a crisp feel. Shimano’s Soft Tube Tip has been incorporated to provide a strong yet nimble tip to ensure consistent pressure is maintained on the barbs to keep you firmly connected during the fight. The two-piece construction makes it easily transportable and Fuji K guides have been fitted to provide tangle free casting and improved line delivery. The split EVA butt and Shimano reel seat components provide great grip and comfort. For more information, visit shimanofish.

Shimano Ocea Jigger

THE Shimano Ocea Jigger represents the very best in Shimano reel technology – featuring micromodule gear, Hagane body and X-Protect for the ultimate in strength and durability. Designed for jigging applications, a specially designed forged long crank handle provides anglers with the ability to work a jig down deep and fight a fish with unprecedented ease. For more information, visit shimanofish.

Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 61

AFTA 2021 SPECIAL EDITION Available in 11 colours that include natural patterns and attractor colours, the Jig Head Rigged Flat Shad X will be available in a 90mm (8g), 130mm (28g), 145mm (60g) and 170mm (73g) option. The Flat Shad X Weedless will be available in 11 colours a 130mm (23g), 145mm (30g) and 170mm (44g) option. For more information, visit wilsonfish

Zerek Flat Shad X Weedless and Jig Head

REVOLUTION rarely comes twice in the one lure, but the Flat Shad X revolutionises the revolutionary Flat Shad. At the heart of the Weedless Flat Shad X is the patented belly slits that allow the plastic to easily compress in any direction, exposing the hook to ensure solid hook ups. But the X takes the revolution to another level. The Jig Head and Weedless Flat Shad X models incorporate a Kevlar webbed tail that is segmented to provide incredible movement from the boot tail. This creates a rolling action as well as a beautiful undulating tail that fish can’t help but attack when retrieved at the slowest of speeds. The Weedless Flat Shad X also has a stinger eyelet attached on the weighted worm hook, giving anglers the option to add a treble stinger or attach a flashy blade. In the two larger size (145mm and 170mm), the Jig Head Rigged Flat Shad X’s exposed jig head hook sits proud on top while a supplied stinger hook is fitted under the belly of the lure. But the innovation doesn’t end there! There is also a further stinger attachment eyelet above the eye of the lure on the head. This allows anglers to place a treble up on top in weedy or snaggy country and swap out the bottom stinger for a flashy blade or similar.

Page 62 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

Shimano Twin Power SW C

DESIGNED to challenge the impossible, the new Twin Power SW is stronger and more durable than ever. The inclusion of Infinity Drive reduces handle rotation torque by a maximum of 30 percent when compared to the previous series. Heat Sink drag features in the 10,000 and 14,000 sizes to reduce the amount of heat transferred to the drag washers and line during the fight. The X-Protect seal and labyrinth structure repels water intrusion, with the line roller and clutch assembly, the mechanism is ten times more durable according to integral Shimano testing. The new striking silver and blue cosmetics have been paired up with a polished metal handle and power knob to finish the reel off superbly. This reel is engineered and made in Japan to the highest standard for the world’s hardest fighting saltwater species. For more information, visit shimanofish.

Mustad Mezashi Z-Tail Minnow

THE Mezashi Z-Tail Minnow is built similarly to the Mezashi Keel Tail Minnow soft bait but features a kicked tail to give the plastic a faster tail beat. Built with Japanese PVC and incorporating German plasticisers, the Z-Tail Minnow makes use of American colour material to give the eight natural and attractor colours. The Z-Tail Minnow is ideally rigged on a jig head and gives a high pitch tail action on both the retrieve and fall, meaning species such as flathead, snapper, bream, trout, barramundi and more will love the action and smash this plastic. Available in 3” and 3.5” sizes, the Mezashi Z-Tail Minnow will fool plenty of fish in fresh and salt. For more information, visit wilsonfish au













THE Gulp Nemesis Prawn Paddle Tail is designed for targeting both fresh and saltwater species.

THE Atomic Semi Hardz range is expanding with the addition of a soft touch, extremely realistic popper. The new lure will come in at 50 and 75mm, modelled off the extremely popular Pop 50 in the Hardz range. The new construction is a soft, hollow rubber with a hard face. The lure spits water forward as for a normal popper, but it’s the construction of the body – in a soft, real feel design – that will see fish coming back again and again. The new lure will sit alongside the existing rubber vibe and minnow lures and will be the start of an expansive range in this new construction. It will be available in 10 of the Atomic colours you have come to love. For more information, visit atomiclures. or

THE new Twin Power XD sets a new standard in saltwater durability. Suited to inshore light jigging and lure casting, the Micro Module Gear II and Silent Drive makes the gearing extremely silent and smooth. The main Hagane gear provides strong cranking power and X-Protects provides superior saltwater resistance. The redesigned Long Stroke spool provides improved casting distance and the new MGL rotor delivers ultra-light friction free rotation. Ci4+ construction reduces weight by 3555g when compared to the original Twin Power XD from 2017 and the aluminium Hagane body provides rigidity. The new Twin Power XD features a Cross Carbon drag system that outputs up to 11kg, and all models are fitted with upgraded power handle knobs. For more information, visit shimanofish.


Gulp Nemesis Prawn Paddle Tail

New Atomic Semi Hardz Pop 50 and 75

Shimano Twin Power XD


THE Hardrocker BB is a fast-actioned rod range that will cover everything from spinning off the rocks to shore jigging. With four models in the range, from a PE1.2 to a PE2, there’s a perfect rod to suit your light rock and shore-based angling needs. Build on a Hi-Power X carbon wrapped blank, this range sees blank twisting reduced and with more strength and increased casting ability. Along with Hi Power X, the guides are Fuji K stainless alconite, which aids in reducing line tangle, providing you with trouble-free casting. All models are a two-piece construction, which is perfect for packing up and taking out to your favourite land-based spot. There is medium light to heavy actions, with lure casting weights 5g to 40g depending on the model, so you can fish a great range of metals, hard-body and soft plastic lures. For more information, visit shimanofish.


Shimano Hardrocker BB

This cool looking creature has a prawnstyle head adorned with a heavy set of spikes and a faceted body that tapers to a finely tuned paddle tail. The Berkley engineers spent a lot of time ensuring this bait swims super slow on a wide variety of jig head weights. The Nemesis Prawn Paddle Tail is available in three sizes and six colours to cover a wide variety of environments and rigging options. Match all of this with the Gulp formula and you’re bound to catch more fish! The Gulp Nemesis Prawn Paddle Tail starts from an RRP of $11.99. For more information, visit purefishing.



Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 63

I went fishing with my Dad at the rock wall at the Port of Brisbane and on my first day of using a surface lure I caught a 37cm bream, and on my second day of using a surface lure I caught a 39cm bream. Pictured is the 39cm bream. Alex Vernon

I caught this 67cm flathead on a Z-Man 4” EZ ShrimpZ in the Bribie area. Kobi Johnson

Victoria Point fisher Michael Davey nailed this nice Moreton Bay snapper near Amity before the closure. Stephen Hewlett

To have a photo of your catch featured in Readers’ Forum, simply email with a good-quality picture, your name and details or hop onto our Facebook page and send us a message. Page 64 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 au

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Ipswich Marine Centre 45 Huxham St Raceview Q 4305 P: 07 3294 3944



Karee Marine 1776 Ipswich Rd Rocklea Q 4106 P: 07 3875 1600

Onshore Marine Horizon Shores Marina, Cabbage Tree Point Rd Woongoolba Q 4207 P: 07 5546 2480

BRISBANE NORTH Holt Marine 25 Queens Rd Everton Hills Q 4053 P: 07 3353 1928

Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 65

BOATING & marine Insights into boat insurance

Basic checks are the order of the day


NE of the greatest shifts in the marine world has been the exponential expansion of electronics technology. It has turned the cliché ‘the world at your fingertips’ into a reality. And with that reality comes virtually unlimited access to marine-related information. You can swipe an index finger on a touchsensitive screen and instantly know what the tide is doing, how big the seas are, what the weather is doing, how many litres of fuel are left in your boat, what your vessel’s engine temperature is, how far across the water it is to a fishing destination, what phase the moon is in and how strong the breeze is. You also can check

for marine weather warnings, closed seasons and areas for fish, the latest lifejacket regulations, which safety gear must be carried on your boat in which locations and where shore-based marine rescue services are located. Information here, there and everywhere. As the skipper of a vessel, it becomes your responsibility to consider which of that freely available information you need to familiarise yourself with. You have no excuse for setting to sea when there’s a gale force wind warning for the location you had intended to head to that day. If you’ve decided to cross South Passage Bar halfway through a massive run-out tide into a 20-knot easterly, you can’t say that

the scary conditions prevailing in that location were unexpected. Boating is all about responsibilities and expectations – doing your homework, checking the available information and forming a reasonable opinion about what is expected to be encountered that day. That then leads to you making an assessment about whether or not you do go out and if so, where. If you neglect to undertake those checks as part of your responsibilities, you can be held liable across a number of fronts. There are the obvious ones such as whether police believe you might have recklessly endangered the lives of others, which could result in criminal prosecution. But there are others as well, including whether or not your insurer believes you have acted incompetently in putting to sea in conditions that are totally incompatible with the design parameters of your boat. Marine insurance policies are designed to give you peace of mind and protection against mishaps and

unexpected outcomes. They are not there to give you a ‘go free’ card for absolute stupidity. Like Mr T of the ATeam television series said: “don’t be a fool.” If you ignore the safety information that is freely available, if you do act like a fool, if you behave incompetently or recklessly – including driving a boat while under the influence of alcohol or non-prescription drugs – then your insurance policy may become void. That means you are totally exposed in terms of any liabilities that may result from your actions. And with virtually every mobile phone having a camera, with people flying drones across the water, whether from another boat or the shoreline, and with highly sophisticated compact sports cameras forming a common part of everyday boating, there’s a fairly good chance that any marine stupidity is going to be recorded. In fact, there are even weekly video uploads and broadcasts on social media channels, such as those shot at

Baker’s Haulover Inlet in Miami, which chronicle the wildly unimpressive actions of ‘skippers’. Others show partying clowns trying to take pontoon boats into conditions that would challenge a well-built runabout. But the good news is that acting in a responsible matter is ultra-easy to do. Having a great time is simple, particularly if you own a boat and are the skipper. Creating living memories with your family and friends is effortless. Having carefree days on the water, knowing that your specialist marine insurer is backing you every minute you are on the water is extremely comforting. Take advantage of it, rather than jeopardising it. Any special conditions and excesses should always be explained clearly in your insurance policy’s product disclosure statement. If you need further information, 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 before deciding whether to purchase a policy.

Page 66 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 au



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BUNDABERG BUNDABERG MARINELAND 95 Targo St, Bundaberg (07) 4130 0500

MACKAY REEF MARINE 26 Prospect St, Mackay (07) 4957 3521

Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 67

BOATING & marine

Quintrex’s new 2021 Cruiseabout clean-cut packages


ROMPTING Australians to think ‘where next’ with their adventures, Quintrex released an all-new line up to the public – inclusive of the family favourite, the Cruiseabout. Marketing and communications manager Madeline Bishop said: “Between cruising the waterways solo and heading out with a group of family or friends, or venturing out for a morning run and loading up for a boat camping trip, boating provides an endless source of travel opportunities and we are excited that we get to share that with so many people.” This year, Quintrex will launch its first brand-specific ‘boat bundle’ strategy aimed towards ease of consumer optimisation.

While still able to opt for individual features, consumers can now choose a boat suited to their budget and lifestyle with a group of clean-cut packages: • Cruiseabout – the most cost-friendly option that features only the essentials • Comfort bundle – offering optimal comfort and sun protection with a bimini and envelope, tonneau cover, upgraded seats, an upgraded rear lounge and backrest, bunk infill cushion, cockpit table, plus a sound system and speakers • Fishing bundle – to assist fishers in hooking that big catch with a berley bucket kit, transom cutting board and ski pole duo, VHF radio, and LED cockpit lights and switches • Captain’s bundle –

built specially for the captain with an upgraded steering wheel and a mechanical tilt to hydraulic tilt steering upgrade • Cruiseabout Pro – the deluxe model inclusive of all premium options and features incorporated in the boat bundles, plus upgraded seating. The 2021 Cruiseabout will see the new 2021 transom with the duckboard positioned higher on the stern to glide over the water, a redesigned dashboard for a more seamless finish and to fit larger electronics, a fresh aluminium deck fascia design, new split bow rail and bowsprit design, dual maxi brackets, increased underfloor storage and much more. To optimise the overall experience and ergonomics for all drivers, tilt steering has

been newly introduced to the Quintrex line up with Cruiseabout models 5m and under featuring mechanical tilt steering, models over 5m receiving hydraulic non-tilt steering, and all Cruiseabout Pro models boasting hydraulic tilt steering. All Pro models will also feature the new upholstered side pockets, along with updated bow cushioning and deluxe rear lounge upholstery that deliver a seamless finish due to hidden fastenings. Reflective of the new range comes an all-new look for the Quintrex

brand as it launches a fresh stripe design, set to trademark all boats under the brand’s umbrella as it rolls out across the entire range. “We hope that the stripe design will become as recognisable as the Quintrex name, so our boats make a statement on the water from near and far,” Ms Bishop said. For the full information about Quintrex’s reinvigorated Cruiseabout line up, including the all-new option packages and updated features, visit or contact your local dealer today.

Mercury the winning edge for Kirra SLSC


OUGH surf, treacherous currents and big

waves. These are the punishing conditions that the current Australian Inflatable Rescue Boat Champions at Kirra Surf Life Saving Club must battle at every competition. But these courageous teams go into the water, confident that their Mercury 25hp SeaPros will not only power through but also give them the winning edge. For Kirra SLSC’s IRB

coach Andrew McAuliffe, having the reliability of a Mercury engine is essential in helping the club take out gold during competition season. “These engines go through hell,” Andrew said. “And yet we can still rely on them to safely and efficiently run us through whatever conditions we’re facing. “We put these motors through very harsh conditions and they just keep going for us. “These motors sit on

Page 68 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

the beach rescue-ready. “They’re being hit by salt, sand and heat. “There’s not many mechanical pieces of equipment that you could put on the beach week in week out, year in year out and still have them operate perfectly year after year. “In fact, we’ve got Mercury outboards that are seven or eight years old that still run as smoothly as they did new. “The brand speaks for itself at this point, and it rightly has the reputa-

tion of building incredibly robust machinery.” According to Mercury Marine’s commercial business manager Glenn Davidson the club is worthy of its accolades. “Not only are they the current Australian Overall Club Champions but they’ve also taken

out the title of Open Overall Champions and Under 23 Champions,” Glenn said. “Impressively the team recently took out the Sharkskin Ocean Roar series, having beaten the nearest rival by 50 points after four rounds. au


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...Stessco has it!

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SUNSHINE COAST Sunshine Coast Yamaha 14 Machinery Ave, Warana 07 5346 9981

ROCKHAMPTON Rockhampton Marine 289 Campbell St, Rockhampton 07 4819 1181

Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 69

Another 90cm winter barramundi from downriver around the Nerimbera area.

A healthy 90cm model barramundi taken up in the town reaches on a Zerek Fish Trap in Flying Bear.

August options on Capricorn Coast


Dan Baker and a nice Fitzroy threadfin.

A good sized stripey taken on a Maxx lure.

A juvenile trout taken on a Nomad Vertrex Max lure from the close in islands. Page 70 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

OW time flies – it seems only yesterday we were dusting off the winter woollies and now it’s almost time to pack them away again. I believe we have been very lucky – we have received only a couple of fairly cold snaps but apart from that Jack Frost has been all but absent. This means we are probably in for a scorcher of a summer. I don’t know about anyone else, but I would say August would be one of the toughest months on the Capricorn Coast. Obviously, barramundi and threadfin are more of a warm water species, so tempting them to bite can be quite difficult, particularly when water temperature falls under 20C. One useful place to try your luck this month is the town reaches of the Fitzroy River, especially in the afternoon. If you can get a midday low tide, the sun will heat the rocks and then bring the water temperature up. You could say the big rock bar in town acts as

Capricorn Coast by JOHN BOON

a giant heat exchanger. Throw in nice stable weather patterns and you might get a shock at what could climb onto the end of your line next. For quite a few people, fishing the town reaches of the Fitzroy is a no-go zone. They see all the rocks exposed at low tide and have no confidence to go there and explore. Though there is a safe passage if you stay on the south side of all the rocks. You can watch how the locals move about from the bridge. This is a great option to get your bearings as to where you can and can’t go. Just be careful on a big tide such as a full or new moon. Low tide can get down to .4m, which makes navigating difficult because many of the rocks are slightly under the surface. On a neap tide, your low might be 1.2-1.5m and this gives you an extra meter of water to

move around in. You can almost go wherever you want on a high tide, and this is one of the best times to fish in town. The techniques I use to fish the town reaches are either to fish the edges, the bommies or current lines looking for transitioning fish. I have a fairly good idea which bommies will work depending on wind direction, however I’ll still do a lap around because the behaviour of fish will change from one day to the next. The Humminbird units have the cool feature of being able to create live mapping. If I’m having trouble locating barramundi via my Humminbird Helix, I’ll start scanning the edges. There’s a lot of timber along the edges of the town reaches. So, turn the sensitivity up on your sounder and go past each snag nice and slow. You can also try cast* continued P71 au

August options on Capricorn Coast * from P70

ing and working each set of timber rather than driving over them. It has worked for me in the past. Something else to try is positioning yourself to target fish moving in and out of the town reaches. Look for current lines and back eddies. This doesn’t always work but if you can get the technique and timing right, you may have a red-hot day. I prefer to position the boat so I can cast at the selected area and also watch the sounder. If you can see constant fish moving through, then you know you’re in the right spot. If you’re getting no

interest and not seeing much on the sounder screen, then it could be time to try a new area. So, what’s been happening inshore and offshore? Offshore has continued to fish well, with most boats heading wide and catching a nice feed of reef fish. Plenty of nannygai and red emperor have been holding on the fern patches. Recently, I spent a day searching the local islands off Emu Park, specifically to fish and find new spots. After a lot of sounding, I didn’t find too much for the effort put in. Though I did manage to discover a nice little

rocky reef that wasn’t charted and spent a bit of time sounding around and targeted the bommies holding bait in around 10m. I had an absolute ball dropping Nomad Vertrex soft vibes and caught heaps of different species, including coral trout, stripies, gold spot cod, mackerel and salmon. I was able to secure a nice feed for the Esky and let the rest go. It does take a bit of patience to sound out new spots and the best piece of advice I can give is persistence beats resistance every time. Well, that’s it for this month – stay safe and make sure you get the kids out for a fish.

Gordon Baker with son Dan landed this super 1m threadfin near the town reaches of the Fitzroy River.

from a 4/0 down to the smallest hook, jig heads, speed clips, swivels and flies. It’s an amazing bimini twist tool, and users can tie this knot using only two hands and a HookEze – it’s so… easy. Hook-Eze is also a handy tool for joining mainline to trace using the FG or Yucatan knot. It even has a built-in line cutter that cuts up to 50lb monofilament and heavier braided lines. We received such a great response to our original model, and there was clearly a demand for one for larger hooks, that we developed a larger version that takes from a 10/0 hook all the way down to a 1/0 hook, including jig heads, swivels and more. So now, anyone can tie perfect knots, from children to the elderly

with arthritic hands, those living with a disability or simply anglers with cold numb fingers – it takes the dexterity out of tying hooks and tackle to line. When you’re finished fishing for the day, put your hook back inside the Hook-Eze and clip it on the fishing rod. Now you can put your rod in the car or boat and the hook is protected, so there will be no damage

to upholstery or injuries to passengers or pets, allowing you to travel safely fully rigged. We have over 500,000 happy customers and Hook-Eze is the ‘best seller’ on Amazon US and ‘Amazon’s choice’ in our product category with thousands of customer reviews. Scan the QR code for more information and for video demonstrations on all the ways

Brenden Warren landed this nice barramundi in Coorooman Creek.

Hook-Eze takes the hassle out of tying knots


REMEMBER the days when I had to tie hooks on for my friends and family because they were not confident enough to do it themselves. It saddened me to see them losing fish because they couldn’t tie a strong knot that would withstand the fight when they got a decent fish on. I soon realised that quite a few people didn’t know how to tie their tackle properly. This gave me an idea, and I designed and developed the Hook-Eze Fishing Knot Tying Tool – now everyone can tie their own tackle with a perfect knot that won’t slip undone and lose fish! However, Hook-Eze is not just a hook tying tool. It can help you tie a large variety of hooks

you can use Hook-Eze to make fishing more fun for everyone! If you want to take the hassle out of tying knots and for everyone to tie their own tackle so they catch more fish, then hop on our website and grab a twin pack today, they also make the perfect gift for any angler. Fish with confidence! For more information, visit


When you’re finished fishing for the day, put your hook back inside the HookEze and clip it on the fishing rod – no hook damage to upholstery or injuries to passengers or pets, allowing you to travel safely fully rigged. Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 71

At the end of term, students can go on fishing excursions, when it’s ‘game on’ with the class competing for either the biggest or best species.

As an Outdoor Bound elective at the Open Learning Campus of the Cairns School of Distance Education, fishing is one of the units – students study survival, tide phases, tackle, filleting and cleaning, camping and rigging lines.

A lesson in patience

M Growing up on the banks of the Bloomfield River, you learn two things from a very young age – to sidestep because you don’t want a big lizard hanging off your leg and to fish.

Taught to fish by his Uncle and Grandma, the author with his Poppy’s gifted Shimano Calcutta Baitcaster catching a legal barramundi at the mouth of Holloways Beach on a popper. Page 72 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

Y favourite pastime is having a joke with people. Interestingly, I always find it funny, however occasionally my quarries do not. As an example, when I hide their phone or car keys they begin to panic and worry. For me that’s the fun – to see the look of fear on their faces is priceless. Also, I often make up stories and have been known to tell a grey version of the truth for greater effect. A week ago, the tables were turned. The joker became the jokee. My name is Nigel and I am a good natured and occasionally cheeky 13-year-old from Wujal Wujal community, north of Cairns. Growing up on the

banks of the Bloomfield River, you learn two things from a very young age. First, once you can walk, you learn to sidestep because you don’t want a big lizard hanging off your leg, and second, you learn to fish. My Uncle and Grandma taught me, and I would put my favourite lure on the table for anyone thinking they could out-fish either of them. All with a handline too – a fishing rod of any description was considered cheating in Wujal Wujal. I moved to Cairns when I was 12 to live with my Nona and Poppy, and to go to school. I have never been one for maths and English. At home credibility was not measured in As, Bs or Cs, it was

measured in the friends you had, football ability and your skill on the river. I was fairly good at all three of these, but knowing how many times 42 went into 6532 seemed irrelevant to me. No one was ever going to catch that many fish! Fortunately for me, I was offered a place at the Open Learning Campus, which is attached to the Cairns School of Distance Education. At this school my program is flexible, and I get heaps of support with my academic schoolwork. Best of all though, in the afternoon we have an Outdoor Bound elective. Naturally, I picked fishing as one of the units – finally a subject * continued P73 au

A valuable lesson in patience * from P72

I am sure to get an A in. In this subject we also study survival, tide phases, tackle, filleting and cleaning, camping and rigging lines. At the end of term, we are allowed to go on fishing excursions, when it then becomes ‘game on’ with the rest of the class as we compete for either the biggest or best species. Living in Cairns, the top of the tree is barramundi. My Poppy knew how much I loved fishing and generously gave me his Shimano Calcutta Baitcaster with braid. He said, “If you want to catch a barra Nigel, then this is the ultimate weapon.” I was very excited and promised to look after it and never lose it. Words I genuinely meant at the time but would live to later regret. At the end of the school term, our teacher announced we would be going to the Stratford Jetty and would be targeting barra. I was jumping out of my skin as I knew the place, I had fished there before, watched carefully the rigging and spots others had had success with and, best of all, I had my Calcutta. It was about 11am when we got there – not ideal for barra – but I did not care. This was not maths or English, it was a school day, the sun was up and I was fishing. Life was good! As soon as we arrived, all the other students sprinted to the end of the jetty where the deep water was, thinking

that was poll position, but I knew better. Staying close to the bank was the secret and floating a prawn bait back about 80m to a shady section was the tactic. The others thought I was crazy, but this was something I was sure of. After an hour – though possibly closer to 15 minutes – my float was asleep, my line was slack, and the midday sun was starting to bite harder than a 3m saltwater crocodile. On hearing a commotion at the end of the jetty while the class jeered over an unfortunate toadfish, I decided to lean my rod up against the rails and go check the fish out. On reaching the others at the end of the jetty, all of my wishes came true. My float disappeared under a mountain of foaming white water, my line drew tight and my rod groaned as it folded in half over the steel railing. The only problem with the whole scene was that I was now standing over 20m away. Using all my Wujal Wujal sprint training, I attempted to cover the distance in less than a second and even contemplated diving from the 10m mark, but it was all too late. Once my reel started to lift off the ground, the outcome had been decided and my fishing rod cut a very graceful path as it exited over the rail of the jetty and into the murky waters of the Barron River. The rod was gone and so was my promise to Poppy.

To add insult to injury – and this could have been part of the subconscious nightmare, but I swear it happened – about a minute later I saw a massive barramundi emerge out of the water near where my bait had been… and laugh at me. I decided to reply to the barra with a bit of not-so school-specific language, drawing not only the attention of my teacher but also three of the surrounding suburbs. At the end of the day and in the car on the way home, all the other students tried to console me and avoided stating the glaringly obvious. I had made a dumb error – an error I’m sure other fishers can relate to. It may not have been a maths or English lesson that day, but I learnt so much. I will never ever leave my rod unattended again. I will appreciate gifts much more because the broken promise hurt me as much as losing the rod. And, most of all, I learnt patience. As my teacher said to me, “What is important in both fishing and life is that if you put yourself in good positions, your turn will come”. All I know is that at that point, you don’t want to find yourself 20m away. Nigel G (and my fantastic teacher aide Miss Deb) Permission has been given by the author’s school and guardians to allow his photos and story to be published.

Armed with the Shimano Calcutta Baitcaster with braid given to the author by his Poppy, he and the class headed to the Stratford Jetty to target barramundi.

The author’s float disappeared under a mountain of foaming white water, the line drew tight and the rod groaned as it folded in half over the steel railing… just before the rod went over the rail and into the murky waters of the Barron River. Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 73

Steve Rehn landed this 1m plus queenfish while trolling slightly wide of the launching ramp at Portland Roads on the Cape’s east coast.

David Dobrick from Brisbane can’t get the smile off his face with this chunky golden trevally grabbing one of the author’s favourite lures, a Halco Scorpion 90mm, while trolling the reefs south of Weipa.

Busiest Cape season ever


One of the tastiest fish in the sea, this beautiful fingermark fed Ned and his party that night back at their camp.

This stonker gold spot estuary cod was a Halco Scorpion eater and took a bit of dragging away from the bauxite bommies.

Ned scored with this excellent grey mackerel, a superb table fish, and he managed to get it into the net before the sharks arrived. Page 74 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

ELL, my prediction that 2021 would see a record number of visitors head this way has proven to be spot on! Unprecedented numbers of vehicles have been traversing the Peninsula Development Rd and most of the major offshoots. From Cooktown all the way through to the northern peninsula area – Bamaga, Seisia and such – almost all of the various accommodation venues have been packed to the rafters and have had to turn heaps of people away. As a former board member of both Cape York Sustainable Futures and Tourism Cape York, I can assure readers that concerned locals have been lobbying government for well over 25 years to improve the capacity of national parks, as well as the establishment of facilities at strategic points throughout the Cape to cater for travellers looking for rest stops along the major roads. Sadly, these repeated requests have fallen

Trip to the Tip by DAVE DONALD

on deaf ears, leaving many visitors frustrated at the lack of services available during what has turned out to be a bumper season. Maybe now, the government will finally listen – but we’re not holding our breath! However, though a few disgruntled people were among the hordes of tourists, most of the groups I stopped and chatted to have been pleased with their experience and definitely want to come back. The general consensus is that allowing two to three weeks to take in this area – as big as Victoria – makes for a rushed trip, prompting the comment that they intend to take much longer next time. Of course, the inevitable idiots have had an impact – endangering themselves and other travellers by driving too fast and not keeping an eye on road conditions. Tow trucks in Weipa, Coen and the northern peninsula area have

been kept busy retrieving damaged vehicles, campers and caravans that have ended up on the side of the road for various reasons, with drowned motors, ruined front ends and bent chassis the most common problems. Meanwhile, the fishing has been excellent for our northern winter, with water temperature at around mid-20C still. Consequently, the rivers have produced plenty of small barramundi and the occasional trophy specimen has turned up. A couple of lure casting forays in the Hey and Embley rivers with visitors produced plenty of action, including nice mangrove jack, grunter, estuary cod, blue and king threadfin salmon, queenfish and pikey bream among the barra. Gold Bombers, Hijackers, B52s, paddle tail soft plastics and vibes proved to be the best producers. * continued P75 au

Busiest Cape season calls for improved capacity * from P74

The offshore scene has been firing also, but sharks have taken plenty of hooked fish. As mentioned last month, my experience is that you can usually land a couple before the ‘Noah’s Arks’ get too aggressive, so I tend to move on before that happens. The sharks are not always problematic, particularly if you can identify spots that are not heavily targeted. Fishing with friends from southeast Queensland, we trolled my favourite Halco Scorpion lures around the bauxite reefs south of the Embley River mouth, scoring big fingermark, gold spot estuary cod, golden trevally and three mackerel species – spanish, grey and doggy – in choppy conditions. Of course, there were

the usual ‘unstoppables’ and a couple of bite-offs among the strikes, plus the loss of the only two longtail tuna that ‘fell off’ before they could be netted. There was plenty of good-natured banter when a large groper grabbed a hooked golden early in the fight, eventually severing the 80lb leader on a bommie after both my anglers took turns for more than 20 minutes to coax it to the surface. Yeah, there’s always something big around the place, ready to gatecrash the party – be it groper or bull shark. With the weather starting to warm up, the action can only improve from here on. Weipa’s new boat ramp After almost three years of lobbying, Weipa’s improved Ev-

ans Landing boat ramp opened early July, around three weeks ahead of schedule. Making this happen involved a heap of work from the local Weipa Marine and Boating Group, a small band of keen fishers and boaters who were very unhappy with the inadequate and unsafe struc-

ture that was originally established. As one of those involved in the group, I can attest to the fact that it was a stressful and frustrating process that came to a head prior to the recent state election. The boating community of Weipa owe a great deal of thanks to

the perseverance of the group. Visitors and locals can now launch and retrieve their boats in even the strongest of winter trade wind and be assured that they can do so safely. It’s a fantastic result for the community with the highest per capita boat ownership in the state.

The vastly improved pontoon system at Evans Landing shown from the air, finally fixing the serious problems associated with the previous structure.

Fishers survive boat capsize in croc infested river


TRIO of fishers consider t hemselves lucky to be alive after the boat they were travelling in capsized in Queensland’s Proserpine River. Albert Withers, son Brayden and friend Connor Redshaw were on a fishing trip when the accident occurred, and what started out as a normal day out for a “flick and a fish on the river” soon turned disastrous. After leaving the boat ramp at midday, it wasn’t long before the fishos found themselves treading water in the croco-

dile-infested river. The men screamed at each other to climb on the top of the overturned boat, conscious of the saltwater crocodiles below, though after floating for what Connor described as “a lifetime”, the trio decided to risk their lives and swim to shore. “The boat was sinking, air was escaping from the sides,” Connor said. As they were bleeding, the anglers made the decision to make the attempt to shore because they couldn’t spend any more time in the water. Having spent many

fishing trips on the river, Albert was aware the habitat holds up to 5m long crocodiles. With that in mind, he advised Brayden and Connor to stay low in the water, avoid splashing and swim to shore slowly to avoid detection by the crocs. And though the trio made it safely to land, they then spent more than three hours wandering through mangroves searching for help. With the sun setting, the fishos came across Bill Fudge, who was looking for a missing crab pot

with his family and was on the last tinnie on the river that day. Brayden sustained a hematoma on his right thigh and a broken toe, Connor suffered a few cuts and bruises and Albert endured torn liga-

ments in his shoulder. Unsure of the cause of the accident, it was most likely due to a trim tab fault. “I told the boys, the boat is insured, our lives aren’t,” Albert said.

The trio tread water in a saltwater crocodileinfested river, swam to shore and stumbled through mangroves for hours after their boat capsized. Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 75

The author and Matt Arkell hold up a big mackerel that was caught while targeting dogtooth tuna.

Far north Queensland spaniards


Spanish mackerel are prolific around Cape York. This one was taken by the author on spear.

The author’s daughter Lyla, holds a mackerel caught off Thursday Island. Page 76 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

IVING on Thursday Island, I’m fortunate to be able to explore remote parts of Cape York and the Torres Strait regularly. One of my favourite species to target and cook up is the magnificent spanish mackerel, which has certainly been making headlines recently. Spaniards tick many boxes because they can be caught using a range of techniques, they grow big, look impressive, know how to get a reel singing and are great eating. I must say, as for many keen north-Queensland fishos, I’m having difficulty accepting the recent stock assessment that claims spanish mackerel are under significant threat and unsustainable. The reason being that spaniards have been at their thickest for about 10 years in the Torres

Cape York & Torres Strait by MATT POTTER

Strait and around the tip of Cape York, as I’ve noted in previous articles this year. And at times they have been a pest because they take our shiny snapper leads when targeting reef fish. The latest data on spanish mackerel – which is actually based on new modelling – came as a shock to fishers in all sectors. The East Coast Spanish Mackerel Working Group, who met on May 17 and 18, 2021 in Brisbane, noted the unfished biomass is below that of which a fishery is recommended to be closed (20 percent), according to the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy and under National Guidelines. While I’m all about sustainable fishing

practices and justifiable regulations, it is hard to digest this information, particularly when we are having our best year on mackerel in a long time. I believe a lot more data and information needs to be collected before further limits are placed on a species that is crucial to both recreational and commercial fishers. Here are a few considerations. The shark factor Blasted sharks! As with many others, I believe Fisheries Queensland should gather further data on how many fish recreational and commercial fishers lose to shark predation because the populations now are ridiculous. * continued P77 au

Far north Queensland spaniards * from P76

The shark imbalance is something fishos everywhere have jumped up and down about for many years. Even in remote areas of the Cape that experience little fishing pressure, shark numbers have increased significantly over the past five years. Bull sharks and bronze whalers seem to have worked out that boats mean an easy feed – they are circling the boat even before a bait has been dropped, and it can be quite daunting to have numerous 2-3m sharks that close. Often there is no choice but to move on because so many good fish and too much expensive tackle are lost, which can be frustrating as we’ve usually travelled a long way to fish an area. Avoiding trebles If we want to reduce the mortality rate of released mackerel, experts need to start looking closer at the tackle used to target spanish mackerel prior to making any drastic changes to regulations. As an example, treble hooks on lures are not only more dangerous for the angler, they actually cause significantly more damage to the fish, often puncturing the delicate gill membrane which results in the fish bleeding out and increasing the likelihood of shark predation once released. The use of single hooks is a far safer and fish friendly option if trying to successfully release spaniards because the back single hook on the lure is

ally set in the jaw. Effective fish handling techniques Plenty of information on releasing techniques for much hardier fish such as barramundi or giant trevally is available, yet there is little education for successfully releasing undersized or unwanted spanish mackerel, which have poor survivability once handled. A few key points would certainly be: • Leave the fish in the water • Use long-handled fish grips to safely control the fish head and stay away from the razor sharp teeth • Remove the single hook with a decent pair of pliers • Hold the fish by the tail and push it off on an angle. We have watched mackerel swim away far healthier with this approach as opposed to bringing them aboard and removing the fish’s protective slime. Environmental factors that affect fish behaviour There are a number of environmental factors that impact on a species movement and feeding patterns, such as water temperature, moon phase and tide. Around Thursday Island, it is the water clarity that largely determines whether you have a good chance of catching mackerel or not. Around a full and a new moon, the current roars up to eight knots through the Adolphus Channel. As a result of this, the water becomes quite milky and stirred up. Mackerel hunt by sight

and prefer clean water, so push out wider. A friend living on Warraber Island, a coral cay island 42 nautical miles or two hours away, records great catches of mackerel in the clean water around the island, while I wouldn’t even try around Thursday Island due to the current and water colour. A neap tide – the first and third quarter moon – is certainly productive for mackerel around Thursday Island because the water clears, and fish move back in closer around the inner islands. In other parts of the country, it can be quite the opposite as fishers have far greater success targeting them around a new and a full moon. My point is, it could be difficult to get a clear picture of the biomass of a species that may behave differently or move to more favourable locations because of local environmental factors in various areas around the state. There is no doubt spanish mackerel will continue to be a hot topic. I look forward to further information and research being released by Fisheries Queensland on this invaluable species. While I stand firm that in my experience numbers are very healthy around the tip of Cape York and across the Torres Strait, as keen fishos we should all think about how we target and handle these fish to increase survivability rates when undersized or unwanted fish are released.

Mackerel are in healthy numbers around the Torres Strait. These were taken on the author’s homemade butterknife lures.

The author’s sister Bronte with one of many mackerel caught in a frantic session.

Recreational fishos everywhere have noted a significant increase in losing fish to sharks in recent years. Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 77

The author’s grandson Wil scored a new holiday personal best snapper before the closure.

Finn and Owen had a good catch of Baffle Creek mud crabs.

Trust your friends to help


Agnes Water grommets ready to pounce.

A simple way to just be. Page 78 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

I all, what a fantastic winter it has been on the beaches of the discovery coast. Watching the kids and families enjoying the oceanic lifestyle, especially during the July holidays, has been a special treat. Mud crab captures continued in good numbers up until July and areas such as Baffle Creek provided many with good hauls. Have a look at young Finn and Owen showing off a number of Baffle Creek bucks. July holidays provided a number of highlights, with one being a new personal best snapper for my oldest grandson Wil before the closure. How good is it to see this next generation enjoying the simple pleasures of the outdoors and scoring quality captures? The waves haven’t disappointed during the break and the points have seen plenty of added obstacles, but it was the school holidays and only for two weeks.


Truth is the little grommets weigh about 30kg wet and can paddle rings around an old surfer such as myself. I still managed to get my share, so in the big scheme of things, life is good. It’s hard to complain when we have such a peaceful environment to live in and the act of simply fishing a beach gutter at dusk brings such a serene ending to the day. As Ben Smith mentioned in an article last month, fishing is so important for our mental health and wellbeing. Believe me, there is no shame in reaching out to friends and asking for help, but also going a step further and seeking professional help is an option easily available with the assistance of your own general practitioner. You’re probably thinking, ‘Chief, you’re surfing, fishing and getting

outdoors – why the hell would you be in need of help?’ Many of you I’ve fished with over the years and met at tackle shows would say I can be very excitable and see things so positively. Living life on a high is fantastic but in many cases the lows and negativity on the reverse side can be equally as strong and have devastating consequences. Personally, I’ve been medicated for the past 10 years to help deal with anxiety and depression and have no shame in admitting the balance this has brought to my life. Instead of having massive swings in personality, I feel my life has an even flow. I have an incredible appreciation every time I’m on the water, whether it’s surfing, fishing or purely enjoying nature. I decided to write * continued P79 au

Protection of marine plants


ARINE plants such as mangroves are protected in Queensland, in fact all marine plants are protected under Queensland law through provisions of the Fisheries Act 1994. The destruction, damage or disturbance of marine plants without prior approval from Fisheries Queensland is prohibited and heavy penalties apply to any unauthorised disturbances that impact them. Protection also applies to all marine plants, no matter where they grow – on all private and public lands. Marine plants grow on or adjacent to tidal lands and include mangroves, seagrass, salt couch, algae, samphire succulent vegetation and adjacent plants, such as melaleuca paper barks and casuarina

coastal she-oaks. Living with marine plants Marine plant protection applies to all land tenures, including private, leasehold or public lands, and whether the marine plants are alive or dead. Coastal residents and landholders must apply for prior approval to undertake certain activities – such as building a jetty – that require them to cut, trim or remove mangroves or other marine plants. Several activities – such as maintaining an existing jetty or boat ramp – may be undertaken without application for approval where the proposed activities are covered by accepted development requirements. In these cases, the accepted development requirements must be followed, including no-

tifying the relevant department prior to the work and placing signs during the works. Importance of marine plants for sustaining fish stocks Marine plants as well as rocky foreshores, mud flats, reefs and sand bars are a fundamental part of marine fish habitats in Queensland. These habitats provide shelter, food and nursery areas, particularly for estuarine dependent species. Marine plants and marine fish habitats more generally are a vital natural resource that help to sustain fish for the future for commercial, traditional and recreational fishing. Play your role in protecting these important fish habitats for the future. For more information, visit

Marine plants are a fundamental part of fish habitats.

Play your part in protecting marine plants for the future.

Trust your friends to help * from P78

about this in the hope it may get one of our readers to break through the stigma and reach out for help. It’s so important to keep the awareness out there. One bloke doing his bit is Mat Fennell – nickname of Fenndog. He’s walking 4800km from Cape York Queensland to Tasmania’s southernmost cape, raising awareness for suicide and men’s mental health. If you’re interested, do yourself a favour and check out his progress – visit

his GoFundMe page ‘Cape to Cape for a life worth living’ and donate. Kenoath Clothing Co have proudly sponsored and also produced a commemorative cap to help raise money. It was the Kenoath crew who originally informed us of Fenndog’s admirable journey. When seeing Matt’s association and backing from organisations such as Black Dog Institute, RU OK? and LIVIN, both Tonia and I were straight on the case to donate and support

this amazing walk. I’m sure you’ll agree it is worth taking a break from my normal outdoor article to help bring this event to readers’ attention. This is very close to my heart and I hope if any Bush ‘n Beach readers need to reach out, please realise there is no shame in asking for help. Again, check out Fenndog Aussie Gypsy or donate at GoFundMe ‘Cape to Cape for a life worth living’. It may make a difference in your own life.

Mangroves are protected in Queensland.

Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 79

The monitoring program for king threadfin relies on community involvement through voluntary participation from commercial fishers, seafood processors and recreational fishers.

King threadfin begin life as males and change sex to become females.

King threadfin monitoring update


ING threadfin begin life as males and change sex to become females. The scientific term for species exhibiting this trait is protandrous hermaphrodite. The timing of the transition to female varies and can happen by the time they are legal size or when they are much larger. The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries monitoring team have found that most of their sampled king threadfin smaller than 95cm in total length are still males. Most king threadfin over 95cm have transitioned to female. The future of profit-

able commercial and enjoyable recreational fisheries relies on our natural resources being used in a sustainable way. This requires keeping a close eye on fish stocks and the performance of management arrangements for each fishery. By routinely collecting and assessing information from commercial and recreational fisheries, we can make objective decisions to ensure the future of our resources. The sustainability of Queensland fish stocks is assessed using the Status of Australian Fish Stocks framework, a nationally agreed stock status

While their growth rate is highly variable, king threadfin are usually at least two years of age at legal size. Page 80 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

classification system. A weight-of-evidence approach assesses the available biomass and fishing pressure indicators using catch and effort information from commercial and recreational fishers, along with available scientific data and biological information gathered by this program. The stock status of king threadfin was assessed nationally in 2016 and 2018. Queensland’s Gulf of Carpentaria stock was assessed as ‘depleting’, due to the reduction in biomass over time and changes in the sex ratio within size classes and age structure. The east coast management unit of king threadfin – multiple genetic stocks – were evaluated as ‘sustainable’. Biological monitoring of king threadfin was identified as a priority due to concerns raised during the stock status process and a f isher y- dep endent monitoring program

commenced in late 2015. The program aims to collect representative length information from commercial and recreational fisheries and determine the sex and age structure of the harvested fish. King threadfin, also known as king salmon, spawn in inshore coastal waters and begin life as male and change to female. Their growth rate is highly variable within and between stocks, and they are usually at least two years of age when reach minimum legal size. The oldest fish that has been aged was 22-years-old and this species has a high discard mortality rate. Threadfin have a single genetic stock in the Queensland Gulf of Carpentaria, separate from the fish on the east coast and on the Queensland east coast appears to comprise numerous relatively isolated stocks which have yet to be well defined.

Background King threadfin are caught primarily by Indigenous, recreational and charter fishers by line and by commercial fishers using set mesh gill nets. In 2018, the Queensland commercial harvest of king threadfin was 98 tonnes from the east coast and 235 tonnes from Gulf of Carpentaria waters. Risks to the sustainability of the king threadfin fisheries have been identified, including low releasesurvival rate, variable growth and late female maturity. River flows affect the king threadfin fishery, with low flows associated with both lower catchability and a reduction in the number of young produced or surviving. In Queensland’s Gulf of Carpentaria, drought conditions and a decrease in commercial fishing effort have contributed to the decline in commercial catches since 2010. * continued P82 au


NOW OPEN 27 TO 31 O CTO B E R 2021


Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 81

* from P80

Research has also identified changes in the age and sex ratio composition of the catches recorded in 1986-1990 and those from 2007-2009. The more recent catches contained a greater proportion of younger and smaller fish, and observed a reduction in the size and age when male fish transition to female. The Queensland east coast genetic stocks are small geographically and therefore vulnerable to local depletion. However, commercial and recreational catches on the east coast increased in southern and central Queensland, after the floods in 2010/11 and follow-

ing years of higher than average rainfall. Industry participation The monitoring program for king threadfin relies on community involvement through voluntary participation from commercial fishers, seafood processors and recreational fishers. Thank you to everyone who has been assisting with the collection of data on king threadfin. This biological monitoring will provide important information for assessing the status and managing stocks in Queensland into the future. For more information, email: fisheries monitoring@daf.qld. or phone 13 25 23.


Coq Au Vin Ingredients •1 whole chicken cut into 8 pieces •7 50ml bottle dry white wine • 2 tsp olive oil • 500g cup mushrooms • 4 cloves garlic •1 00g bacon, roughly chopped •2 00g shallot onions, roughly chopped • 1 leek, halved and sliced • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard • 6 sprigs thyme • 1 bay leaf • 2 tbsp plain flour • 2 tbsp butter • 1/2 cup cream • Salt and pepper tbsp chopped fresh parsley •2 Method 1. Place chicken pieces in a dish. Pour in white wine and refrigerate overnight to marinate. 2. Remove chicken from dish retaining stock. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.

3. Preheat oven to 160C. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and garlic, stirring until brown. Remove from Dutch oven with slotted spoon. 4. Place mushrooms, leek and onions into Dutch oven and lightly brown. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside. 5. Increase heat to high, put chicken in Dutch oven and fry until skin is golden. 6. Remove chicken from Dutch oven. Turn heat to low and add butter and flour, stirring for 1 minute. Gradually add stock and mustard to the Dutch oven stirring constantly to combine, bring to a simmer. 7. Add chicken, mushrooms, garlic, bacon, shallots, leek, thyme and bay leaf to Dutch oven. Place in oven and cook for 2 hours or until chicken is tender and cooked through. 8. Remove from oven and put on medium heat. Add cream and bring back to a simmer. Discard bay leaf and thyme. Serve topped with chopped parsley.

Prep time: 45 min | Cooking time: 120 min | Serves 4-6 Page 82 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 au





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Our camp at Weipa.

Fish and trip to Cape York – Part 1


ELL, what a great couple of trips I’ve done over the past few months. The first trip was with my friend Dave Kowitz fishing up around Weipa, the second was with my family to the tip of Cape York – our first visit in 30 years. The first trip, Dave and I headed up the Cape – easily the earliest we had ever been fishing there. I must say the road was as rough as I’ve seen it since the early 1980s, with dozens of washouts 60-80cm deep across the road, all the creek crossings washed out, and mud and wheel ruts full of

Heading north by CRAIG TOMKINSON

water for kilometres. The rain was torrential in spots as well. We were lucky – when we got to the Archer River, the water was only slightly lapping the causeway but a few days later we heard that, with the heavy rain we’d driven through, up to 8.5m of water was over the causeway. We got to Weipa, loaded up with fuel and tucker and headed off to our camping spot – as only a couple of people had camped there, we got a great spot. The first few days

Page 86 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

there it bucketed down – massive storms with strong wind and lightning – as loud as I’ve heard, frightened the poop out of us – we had to sleep in the front of the 80 Series LandCruiser because it was too wet to set up camp. On day three, the rain stopped mid-morning long enough for us to set up a big tarp between two tree trunks, then we set up our tent and unloaded our gear under it. It still poured with rain and blew a gale, but the cheap big tarp held… just.

After a few more days, the weather calmed down and we kicked back and enjoyed the Cape. Our first fishing trip was around the fifth day and the fishing was unreal – on the first spot we anchored at we landed good fingermark and black jewfish. Fresh fish for lunch… yum! At the start of the second week, the sun came out, the winter weather pattern had set in and the wet was over. We then had wonderful sunny weather for weeks, and with hardly anyone around we almost had the place to ourselves. Our friend John was

catching barramundi and mangrove jack on 3” white curl tail soft plastics at will – plus a heap of mud crabs. John and I had a deal that he would catch the fish and I would fillet and skin them, so he dropped a few at our camp every day for days… it was hard to take, I tell you. We fished 20km up and down the coast from our camp for the first couple of weeks, and blackspot tuskfish were on the chew everywhere we fished. We used green endeavour prawns and trawler squid as bait, though we released heaps because we had * continued P88 au

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C AMPING & outdoors

Dave’s personal best and our first legal red emperor after years of trying.

Dave with a nice fingermark.

Fish and trip to Cape York – Part 1 * from P86

our bag at the first few spots we found. I scored my personal best of 62.5cm and Dave got his PB too with a 63cm bluey – a cracking fish that equalled the boat record. We caught a few nice fingermark, grass sweetlip and trout, but they were a bit harder to find. Around the fourth week, we loaded up my 5m Quintrex with 100L of fuel plus ice and tucker and headed up the coast for about 120km to a spot I had fished with my friend Rodger on my last trip. The fishing was unreal last time, so I was hoping for the same this time. It took Dave and I around three hours to get to my marks. I anchored on the first mark and it was dead, I was disappointed. It was a weekend with

oily calm weather and the number of boats up there blew me away – there were 10-15 boats as small as 3.5m and the nearest boat ramp was 70km away! We looked around and found new ground over a few hours, but the fishing was so slow... it might fish better later in the year. So, with our tails between our legs we started heading back to camp. On the way back, we were going to have a look for mud crabs on the shallow sand flats in one of the river mouths when Dave and I spotted an orange flare going off on a boat about 500m away. We went over to the 5m plate boat anchored up where the fishos said they’d had electrical trouble and that the motor had died. I asked if they had fuel and the boatie said they

Page 88 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

had over 100L. He was a bit upset as he had set off another flare a short time earlier and at least one or two boats had gone past only 200m away and hadn’t stopped to help. Once I knew they had extra fuel, we hooked up to them and then spent four hours at 5-6 knots towing them back to the ramp. We got back at around 5.30pm. We gave Dan the boatie a hand to get his boat to the bank and he was so grateful he offered me a handful of cash and a brand new 50L alloy fuel tank full of fuel. I said no, but I did cheekily ask if he had a couple of starter scarlet or red marks out a bit wider… he said it’s a deal. We shook hands and exchanged phone numbers and we headed back to camp, getting

there at around 8pm. A day or so later, after ringing Dan and chatting, he gave me a few marks. With the weather looking good, we loaded up the tinnie again and we headed up the coast for 30km and out 23km to the 22m line to one of Dan’s marks. Dave and I got out there and it was blowing a good 20 knots. We knew we were in for a flogging on the way back, so we thought we’d make the best of it. About 500m from one of Dan’s marks, I ran over a great show on a 1-2m rise over 30-60m, with a bit of live bottom. We anchored up and were on straight away with small-mouth nannygai around 3-4kg, fingermark, good trout, cod, northern moses perch and slightly under legal red emperor. The anchor pulled

because we didn’t have enough rope out or adequate cable ties on the 10lb plough to hold it. It took three more goes at setting up the anchor and, with around 100m of rope out and three cable ties, we finally stayed put – we could have sunk the boat with the number of fish because they went off. We caught a great feed and left them chewing then headed back in. It took two and a half hours at six knots to get in close and as we were back at camp late, we put more ice on the fish and cleaned them the next day. Time went quickly and before we knew it, our six-week sortie was up, and we loaded the gear and headed for home. The road home was unreal, the best I’d seen in years. Until next time, stay safe. au

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C AMPING & outdoors

Dinner in the middle of nowhere before spotlighting back to camp.

Great Cape captures and camping


HAT a fantastic time of year on the

Cape! The mid-dry season – or ‘winter’ – here is magical, with mild weather and perhaps an occasional cool night inland. So far, the ubiquitous southeast trade wind has been relatively light.


At the time of writing, we hadn’t had enough ‘winter’ to really slow the barramundi bite down, and with August upon us, perhaps it won’t. Reports of great cap-

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tures came in from all over the region – from Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park in the south to Port Stewart near Coen and the broader Weipa area, and through to Jackey Jackey Creek and the Escape River near the Tip. Camped beside the Wenlock River recently, we enjoyed great fishing and it was interesting to see how the bite varied according to the moon phase. As I’ve so often seen, barra develop lockjaw around the last quarter of the moon then come

back on the bite with the advance of the new moon. The moon phase didn’t appear to affect sooty grunter, which seemed to have a more consistent appetite, except perhaps in cooler climates. What was also interesting to note was the pronounced ‘nighttime’ bite. Most nights – from dusk until kookaburra dawn – saw greatly increased fish action, with much splashing, swirling and frequent explosive barra boofs that couldn’t be missed. In fact, at times it was difficult to sleep waiting for what was going to happen next!

While a variety of lures produced, the Jackall Squirrel lures were unquestionably the top performers. They had just the right action and size to entice both barra and sooties to chomp and did the job beautifully. We were camping with our families from Weipa and all had a cracker time – not just with fishing but also exploring, enjoying top camp tucker and experiencing the great nature around us. Each morning and afternoon a couple of palm cockatoos would fly over our section of river, calling with their magnificent whistling calls. * continued P91 au

C AMPING & outdoors

Great Cape captures and camping * from P90

They were an absolute highlight. The best part of the trip was seeing the kids getting into it all, without any devices and not even asking for them. If they weren’t fishing, they were collecting firewood, setting or checking yabby pots, searching for lizards and other critters, or sitting around the fire yarning. Speaking of tucker, at times we pan-cooked sooty grunter fillets alongside barramundi, done in a seasoned coating or panko breadcrumbs.

And though I can hear the howls of dismay, that sooty was absolutely prime eating – as agreed by us all. There’s a variety of freshwater grunter known as the leathery grunter, which is as its name suggests, virtually inedible. However, these fish were delicious – a slightly firmer texture than the barramundi and great flavour. In other news, the Cape has been receiving huge numbers of visitors, so much so that at times people have been having trouble finding places to camp.

Fishing action stations – pure fun!

The road traffic has also resulted in long stretches of corrugations developing, so soon after the prime grading job the road crews did after the wet season. More than ever, it is important to travel at a safe speed for the conditions – far too many people are still treating the Cape trip as a race. August will see a slight warming in the weather, particularly in the latter half, which will only benefit barra fishing. Until next month, safe and happy travels!

Barramundi and sooty grunter for dinner – both were delicious!

Cousins Chastyn and Ryan with a nice Wenlock River barramundi. Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 91

Violet is keen on catching bass but not so keen to hold them for a photo. This was one of a dozen she landed in a morning session.

Kevin Clark, freshwater impresario and friend.

Tony with a 40cm plus bass, showing actual scale by holding against his chest for a photo.

Birthday outings pursuing outdoor passions


ROUND this time of year a few of my regular fishing and hunting companions have their birthdays, which always calls for a day in the pursuit of our regular outdoor activities. First on the calendar is Kevin Clark, with

Fishing for Sport by NEIL SCHULTZ

whom I’ve shared many of my most memorable moments on the water over the past thirty or so years. Together we’ve hiked

Lake Monduran

tiny tropical streams for sooty grunter, canoed in sub-zero temperature casting lures to Murray cod, drifted weed bait in estuaries for luderick, trolled big lakes for giant barramundi, bass and golden perch, sped across the wide

blue chasing tuna, and spun for mulloway and salmon from the rocks. We’ve encountered critters ranging from tiny yellow-footed antechinus through to koalas, dingoes, crocodiles, turtles and every bird species imaginable. And at the other end of the spectrum, we’ve been up close to humpback whales. This year our fishing

excursion for Kevin’s birthday was by necessity very brief, for only a few hours on one of the local lakes, slotted in between his arrival for an oversight stay on his way north to Ingham and my departure for an afternoon shift at work. Rather than spend the afternoon chatting at the dining room table,

* continued P93

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07 4157 3881 or email Page 92 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

Graham field testing one of the new Predatek surface paddlers while away on a father/son weekend. au

Birthday outings * from P92

we’d much rather spend the time chatting in the boat, so we ducked over to Lake Wivenhoe for a few hours birdwatching, sipping coffee, reminiscing and oh, maybe wetting a lure or two. As forecast, a bitter cold front blew through before we launched and though the wind was light, the air temperature and barometric pressure plummeted. Echoes on the screen of the Garmin showed inactive fish hugging the thermocline at around 12m, however we did manage to pick up a decent fish before a pleasant couple of hours in great company was forced to a halt. Next birthday on the calendar is number one son Graham, who is not only a keen angler but donates much of his free time helping farmers remove introduced pest animals from the landscape. To this end, we often spend time together at the reloading bench assembling fine-tuned ammunition to ensure pinpoint accuracy in the field when it matters. As we’d not long returned from a fishing and hunting outing, we did something different to our usual local fishing day out. This year, we arranged a trip to the SSAA range at South Ripley to test a few hand loads using new projectiles – shooting them over a chronograph to measure speed and to determine the most accurate powders for each. Only three days after is number two son Tony’s birthday, so as

tradition dictates, we arranged to spend a day on the big lake, kicking back and checking out a few spots we’d not fished for quite a few seasons. Our day was very relaxed – we spent time photographing the abundant birdlife, including an immature swamp harrier as he ghosted along the shoreline, only metres above the grass at nearstalling speed. As we followed the contour line, we kept an eye on the sounder and verbally noted any interesting traces. Thoroughly ‘chillaxed’, we progressed around the lake’s fringes interrupted occasionally by lure-eating bass rudely disturbing our zen. A fortnight later, an asterisk on the calendar marked granddaughter Violet’s birthday. And you guessed it… it was back over to the local lake for a morning of wildlife spotting, while in pursuit of a fish that would pull a bit of drag from her favourite purple fishing outfit. All of the usual suspects were encountered along with a few special meetings including a trio of dingo pups, a koala strolling along the shore and we fed a few catfish to the local white-bellied eagle family. True to form, Violet kicked butt in the fishing stakes – racking up double figures of mostly bass with a pleasing by-catch of golden perch. While birthday outings are done for the year, on the bright side Father’s Day is around the corner.

Mice-filled fish in NSW rivers


HE only positive side to the mouse plague of NSW appears to be that anglers are catching massive fish brim-full of mice. The rejection in late June of bromadiolone poison by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority – made due to safety and environmental apprehension – has alleviated concerns of secondary poisoning in aquatic species. Narromine farmer Stu Crawford wrote to the APVMA asking it to consider the impact bromadiolone could have on native fish. “I wanted to alert

them to the fact that fish are eating mice and there’s the potential for that poison to enter the food chain through that,” Mr Crawford said. “It has huge ramifications and it’s not worth the risk.” Narromine fisherman and agronomist Mick Harris said he had noticed Murray cod eating mice on the Macquarie River. “We’ve seen a lot of mice either being regurgitated by fish as they’re caught, as they’re brought into the boat, or released — so cod vomiting or regurgitating up dead mice,” Mr Harris said. He said a friend had recently caught

and gutted a Murray cod that had five mice in its intestines. While managing the mouse plague was complex, he hoped it could be done without detrimental impact to native species. Dubbo fisherman Aaron Graham had also been pulling up fish full of mice. “I haven’t seen the cod this healthy in years,” Mr Graham said. Nevertheless, the concern remains that the use of poison to bring the mouse plague under control may pose a risk to the native species that feed on mice – including Murray cod.




APR MAR MAY JUN JUL Atkinson * 5 3 5 4 4 Awoonga 45 46 43 42 42 Bjelke-Petersen * 8 8 8 7 6 Boondooma * 24 25 23 23 23 Borumba * 82 78 81 81 82 Burdekin Falls * 101 105 102 99 96 Callide * 22 21 22 21 21 Cania * 34 37 31 31 31 Coolmunda * 100 15 101 101 100 Dyer/Bill Gunn * 6 2 5 5 5 Eungella * 83 83 83 83 82 Fairbairn * 20 14 18 17 16 Glenlyon * 53 14 54 54 69 Hinze* 104 101 101 99 97 Julius * 98 99 60 91 89 Kinchant * 94 85 98 99 99 Leslie * 27 10 27 27 53 Macdonald* 102 100 101 100 101 Maroon * 97 60 100 100 100 Monduran/Fred Haigh * 42 41 40 39 38 Moogerah * 42 12 42 42 43 North Pine/Samsonvale * 100 70 100 98 96 Peter Faust/Proserpine * 64 63 63 62 61 Somerset * 80 76 75 72 70 Teemburra * 99 98 98 98 98 Tinaroo* 77 74 94 93 92 Toonumbar 101 103 101 101 101 Wivenhoe * 40 36 42 42 42 Wuruma * 38 38 37 37 35 Wyaralong* 100 90 100 99 100 For updates on dams, visit or *This symbol indicates that a Stocked Impoundment Permit is required to fish these dams.

Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 93

It takes two – Nettie and Len Hill with an 86cm cod caught on a Balista Trembler.

Brett Trueman with a 105cm Murray cod taken on a New England chatterbait.

Water safety for river fishing and tricks of the trade


T’S been a little while since I’ve had to give thought to actual water safety on our local headwater streams. Unlike rivers, most think of these as large wide expanses of water and the use of small petrol boat motors or electric battery powered systems. This is not the case for systems in the southern downs and upper northern Murray Darling region of NSW and Queensland. River fishing means double paddles and, as is the case now, common sense – sight and water safety are your major thoughts at all times. The number one consideration is waterflow. Any flow over 400mm should be classed as quite dangerous for small craft fishing in upper river reaches. Life jacket time I suggest using the

Glenlyon Dam by BRIAN DARE

manual pull-cord types, not the ‘autoinflating’ models. Auto-inflating models will go off in complicated situations, such as under a log or shrub area. River information If you capsize, simply walk your craft up or downstream to shallow water when possible. So, now it’s time to use that cord line attached to the front or back of your craft to pull it along behind you. Lesson one – find out local information and listen to it. Most river systems have river gauge stations, which are stationed along most rivers – look them up, and anything over 350mL should be approached with caution – find

Page 94 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

information from Sunwater Queensland at storagelevels.sunwater. or for Water NSW at a u /sup ply/r eg ion a lnsw/dam-levels Tricks of the trade Always try to fish your way upstream in the morning, pack lunch and goodies to munch and drink, and work up to your lunchtime, fishing to 1.30pm or so. This will give you ample time to do the return trip back to base working those locations where you had a ‘Terry Marshall “nearly”. If you miss a short strike – five or six casts are more than enough – leave the location and return later. But before you do, take a mental note of the location for the trip

back, and you can give it a work over before you leave. Big flows can make it difficult to cast to eddies or logs in tight quarters or small holes of water. In these situations, I love fishing just below rapids for cod. Anchors I have two that I use. The Graham Tschirpig Special and the black poly chain and cement 13cm Boushie, white window nylon sash cord 6m long, roped to the craft. This is ample for everyday use. Equipment You can carry too much equipment when fishing streams. The essentials include: • Fish grippers with cord attached • Wet bag for phone, lighter, small torch, vehicle keys and such • Drink water bottle and food

• Fishing rod and lures • One tackle box with a selection of around 15 types of lures • A pair of pliers with thin cord attached and tied off to the craft • Half waders – I use half waders in the river attached to a belt, which makes for a more comfortable dry trip, as well as making it easier to walk the craft through tight locations during winter while keeping warm • A small container of Super Glue – a good stand-by for cuts or cracks in watercraft • A small set of wire cutters – always handy, on toenails too. I know the following will be hard to do for most anglers, but crush the barbs on your hooks. You don’t need to crush the barb right down – just enough to be able to rip out a * continued P95 au

Water safety for river fishing * from P94

hook from your finger if the unthinkable happens. All too often a trip down or upstream has been called off due to unforeseen ‘hook-ups’. Photos can always be done on a riverbank, which makes for better releasing of fish after the picture is taken. There’s a picture with this article on the gear to use when fishing in rivers and streams. Access It’s all well and good to talk about fishing rivers but it’s another story getting access to rivers and streams. River bridges give good access as these locations are classed as shire or Crown land allocated areas. Go in and talk to local farmers about giving you access – you may not get in on their land, but they may know of a reserve nearby that will give access. Treat the granting of access to private land with respect – don’t bring a mob, dogs or firearms and leave only footprints. In NSW, you may come across angler access blue signs or signs put up by Local Land Services NSW stating passive recreational use only – well that’s you, along with birdwatchers, photography buffs and so on. You have the right to access this land as it’s Crown land and owned by the general public, unless of course a sneaky Act has been put in place to keep us out. Don’t forget your fishing licence – you can purchase a weekly

one for under $11 each in most states. Limits Size limits apply on cod, which in Queensland is 60cm minimum with no maximum, and the closed season applies on rivers though not in impoundments. The size limits for NSW are minimum 55cm with maximum 75cm and closed season applies on rivers and several storages. Weather The Bureau of Meteorology’s long-range forecast to November is for rainfall over the next three months. With the Glenlyon Dam water level still on the rise, we should see more area covered. The rainfall will make for good fishing during summer, as it gives you more sections to fish and check out. Storages At the moment it pays to treat dam fishing like you’re in a river or

small creek. Work the edges of the dam, look for small tight inlets, large logs that have fallen into the dam, rock ledges and watch the birds. One good point to keep in mind is the inflow from storms. Good rainfall of 45mm will top up creeks and gullies running into storages, so fish near them. It may look dirty to you but to fish it’s a food source not to be missed. Use surface lures such as poppers and anything that makes a noise in or on the water. Once the rain stops, give a thought to the fact that the clear to semi-clear water will flow into the dam for at least eight days. Any more depends on how much moisture is in the ground or other small rain events or storms taking place.

Carl Jensen with a 90cm Murray cod caught on a Kingfisher wakebait.

A few pieces of recommended gear to take when hitting the river.

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Ph: 02 6737 5266 E: Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021 – Page 95

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Page 96 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021

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1776 Ipswich Road, Rocklea | Call 07 3875 1600 au Page 100 – Bush ’n Beach Fishing, August 2021