Fishing the Fraser Coast waters

002929 350x236Frequented by humpback whales during the months of July to November and the gateway to Fraser Island, Hervey Bay offers excellent fishing, whether land-based or from a boat. Rivers, creeks, foreshores, rock groynes and some fantastic fishing spots only minutes by boat from the Urangan Harbour make Hervey Bay the perfect holiday destination for the keen angler.

Fishing is not limited to those with boats; the foreshores produce good numbers of fish in season. Unlike Fraser Island's eastern coast, there is no surf to contend with, making the beach a popular fishing option for families.

Anglers fish the foreshores for the tasty whiting during spring and summer. Local worms and yabbies are top baits. The sandy shoreline between Pialba and Urangan can be fished with considerable success during the early morning and late afternoon, though fishing during the night002748 350x233 will sometimes be productive for larger specimens. Bream make regular appearances where there are rocky foreshores during the winter, and are well established from June onwards. The best time to fish is towards the top of the tide, especially under cover of darkness, when better numbers and a better quality of bream tend to be caught.

Flathead and sportfish such as trevally and Australian tarpon (ox-eye herring) are often caught at Point Vernon. This is not an area recommended for children as the rocks can be hazardous.

The shallow, rocky reefs just out from the foreshores of Point Vernon, Scarness and Pialba are worth fishing over winter for bream.

flatheadReef species such as slate bream and sweetlip can be caught from December to June at Moon Point and Christies Gutter. During the cooler months anglers can look forward to capturing snapper and tailor.

Moon Point is a popular angling destination due to the diversity of fishing to be had. Moon Creek is tidal and holds small populations of bream, flathead, whiting, mangrove jack, estuary cod and threadfin salmon, as well as mud crabs. There are two entrances but the southern one becomes dry at low tide. A boat is needed to fish this creek and the sand flats in the vicinity.

Whiting and flathead can be caught along the beach. Yabbies will almost always produce good results. At low tide, they can be pumped from the beach extending east-west to the south of Moon Creek. Whiting can be caught on the sandy bottom at Bogimbah ledge, south of Moon Point, over the summer period, though September is the peak month in which to target these fish on the western side of the island.

East of Urangan Harbour, the main fishing attractionsandwhiting at Big Woody is the Roy Rufus artificial reef that runs northeast of the island. Many reef species can be caught here, with the prime time being either first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon and through the night. Commonly caught in these shallow reefs, known locally as the 'Arties', are snapper, slate bream or morwong, sweetlip, parrot fish, coral trout and scarlet sea perch. Pilchards, herring and hardyheads are popular as bait.

During winter, many anglers concentrate their efforts on snapper, with fish to 8 kilograms sometimes caught.

Moon Point Bank is a large sandbank west of Moon Point, with the smaller Pelican Bank closer inshore. It is marked with a red beacon to the south, the prominent sandspit extending northwards. With remarkably clear waters, this area offers boat fishers some great whiting and garfish angling. Depending on sea and wind conditions, most anglers work their way around the spit and cast lightly weighed yabbies into the sudsy water on the spit and allow the winterwhitingbait to wash over the bank. Good numbers of dart (swallowtail) frequent this area and golden trevally work the shallow banks around the sandspit, particularly to the north. A well-placed fly or lure cast to the front of a school of fish is seldom ignored. Hardyheads are a baitfish that congregate in this area and can be caught using a casting net.

The shallow reefs close to the city of Hervey Bay fish well all year round, but further north, in the more open parts of the bay, the reef fishing can be extraordinary. Rooneys, African Gutter, the 25 Fathom Hole and the Southern and Northern Gutters produce quality reef fish including snapper, scarlet sea perch, red emporer, sweetlip, hussar, golden trevally, parrotfish, cod and coral trout. Large cobia and Spanish mackerel can also be caught. Other reefs including One Mile, Arch Cliffs and Wathumba Creek are highly regarded for snapper, trevally and mackerel.
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Fishing Facts
The protection of the world heritage listed Fraser Island from prevailling winds for most of the year creates some of the world's most ideal fishing conditions. The interface in the Fraser Coast between warm northern and cooler southern ocean currents offers twice as many target species as are commonly found in other areas.

Hervey Bay's seagrass beds (the second largest on the east coast of Australia) act as a nursery for many larger species as well as a nursery for many larger species as well as supporting a massive resource of bait fish, juvenile prawns and other crustaseans which attract numerous schools of various pelagic as well as demersal specias.

Maryborough and the Mary River is the Southern limit of the great northern sportsfish, the barramundi. It is also the northern limit of the great southern sportsfish, the Australian Bass, which can be found in local creeks and dams.

The Fraser Coast is a fishing paradise that houses almost every fish and fishing experience that anglers dream of. Sunfish the peak state body representing recreational fishers describe Fraser Island as the 'holy grail' of beach fishing, while Fraser Island flats have been well documented by Australia's leading saltwater flyfishers as being the best the country has to offer.

Sunfish also rates the Fraser Coast region as offering some of the best sportfishing, sheltered beach fishing and some of the most magnificent and practically untouched deepsea fishing in Australia, and possibly the world.

The region has a species of fish and a choice of fishing to suit almost every angler, be it whiting along the many beaches, creeks and rivers to red emperor on the off shore reefs, or marlin and sailfish for the big game enthusiasts around the top of Fraser Island.


Make sure you know the rules before you go fishing Visit:  Queensland Government: Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

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