Leonard Chandrarajan with a nice mackerel caught close to home on a small hard body.
Leonard Chandrarajan with a nice mackerel caught close to home on a small hard body.

FISHING REPORT: Early bird gets the better bites

FIND out what's biting where before heading out this weekend:


THE last reef fishing closure is coming to a close for another year, which I'm sure will see plenty of local reef fishing enthusiasts smiling again.

It's still been a good week on the water though and there have been oodles of fish to chase.

Tea leaf trevally and various species of mackerel have been the staple here at Hydeaway Bay over recent days.

There have been plenty of them around. They've been easy to find and willing to bite which has lent well to some exciting sessions on the water.

They are a pretty cool sport fish, especially on light gear, and when successful they make for a nice tasty feed or two as well.

I was hoping to enjoy some light tackle action chasing tuna over the last week but they have been hard to find and, when I have found a few, they were quite timid and hard to get a bite out of.

Hopefully this will improve over the coming week.

Now that species such as coral trout and large mouth nannygai are back on the take list I reckon that's what a lot of local anglers will be targeting in the next week.

Getting out of the sack and onto the water early will be the best ploy to enjoy some quality time.

On most days the pesky nor-easters have been charging in with plenty of gusto from late morning onward and it appears as though the same pattern is going to continue for the coming week.

Once the nor-east sea breeze has cranked in each day there hasn't been a lot of sheltered areas to hide in and the breeze hasn't helped the bite also.


THE main boat ramp at Dingo Beach is still closed for upgrades but there has been a temporary ramp installed adjacent to the normal ramp until the normal ramp opens again.

I would suggest that this temporary ramp is suited mainly for small to medium sized vessels only. If you have a large trailer able offshore vessel it may be prudent to launch at either Bowen or Airlie Beach until these works are completed.

Contributed by: Mick Underwood, Reel Addiction Sport Fishing Charters


STILL plenty of mackerel about in big schools working the bait around Double Cone. These fish are smaller Spanish up to one metre, along with plenty of spotted and grey mackerel as while.

Best way to catch these is throwing chrome slugs and small stick baits using your lighter gear.

The reports are they are there early mornings so up and out early.

Grimston Point also has plenty of these mackerel about with daylight also the best time along with on dusk.

The closure finishes today, Thursday, so it's a good time with tides to catch those Christmas coral trout and sweetlip, fishing around the fringing reefs off the islands.

The shoals should still be producing red fish but, with the warmer weather, the sharks could again become a problem.

Weather permitting, don't be afraid to put a couple of pushers out during the tide changes for those trophy fish marlin and sailfish.


GRUNTER, along with blue bone, should be about the Airlie rock wall using fresh prawns as the best bait.

Whisper Bay boat ramp has plenty of bait fish with big queenfish feeding on them, using live baits and vibes early morning you will be rewarded with a nice fish.

Shute Harbour still has plenty of big GTs also early mornings feeding on the herring schools.

There is also an abundance of sharks in the area mainly at dusk and into the night.

Two large sharks have been caught during the past week that I know of, one spinner shark and a bull shark, being the most common ones.


THE dam has been fishing well during this warmer weather with fish coming from the basin trolling deep divers.

The sticks have also been fishing well using stick baits around the snags along with large soft plastics working them very very slow.


GOOD reports of crabs being caught in the Thompson, Billy's Creeks and Proserpine River. The best catches being taken up in the higher reaches.

Wilson Beach and mouth of the river have been producing some good numbers of whiting and flathead with live nippers best for whiting and soft plastics for flathead.

King salmon have been caught on poddy mullet and mullet strips but numbers seem to be down so you will need to work your areas with your sounder to find them.

Contributed by: Bob Spees, Whitsunday Fishing World

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