Places To Fish

The Hervey Bay and Fraser Island area continues to live up to its reputation as being prolific and safe for virtually every type of fishing. Hervey Bay and the Great Sandy Strait are a boat angler's paradise. Within their relatively safe waters there are large and small islands, tidal flats, mangrove creeks, reefs, sand flats and a vast number of submerged ledges.

 Hervey Bay is situated at the southern end of the bay, at the entrance to Great Sandy Strait. The best spot here to fish if you are a land-based fisherman is the remarkable Urangan Pier, which fishes well for whiting, particularly in the peak period of spring. Baitfish - hardy-heads, garfish and herring - swarm under the Urangan Pier and attract the pelagic fish. The outer end of the pier is in deep water and the game anglers gather here, baiting up with live herring, to cast for queen fish, school mackerel, spanish mackerel, trevally and tuna. The whiting anglers use local bloodworm and yabby baits. They fish the outer gutter at low tide, and as the tide floods in, the fish move into the inner gutter to feed. Land-based anglers can also catch whiting, along with bream, from Shelly Beach, the Urangan Steps, just west of the Urangan Pier, and the Great Sandy Strait Marina walls in fact almost any beach from Point Vernon to Urangan.

  Round IslandThe run out to the islands east of the Hervey Bay requires care at low tide, as the northern entrance to Great Sandy Strait has shallows, reef and sandbanks. Fierce winds can cause dangerous sea conditions, especially if the wind is against the tidal flow, which is very strong in this area. At the tiny Round Island, between Urangan and Big Woody Island, the reef can be fished for parrotfish, blackall, squire, sweetlip and snapper. The eastern side of Round Island which is shallow at low tide can be fished for whiting, bream and flathead. The main target for boat anglers from Hervey Bay is Big Woody Island because of its locality and proximity to the harbour.

 On the eastern side of Big Woody there are many reefs such as the Graves, which are fished for reef species such as snapper, sweetlip, morwong, parrotfish and mulloway. A little further to the east there is a big artificial reef, which is a great attraction for the same reef species. Trevally and mackerel are among the pelagic fish outside the reef. Between Big Woody Island and Fraser Island is Little Woody Island, the eastern side the island is made up of mangrove and sand banks which attracts flathead, trevally, whiting and bream.

 Sandy Cape, at the far northern end of Fraser Island, is fairly remote, but its beaches fish well for whiting, bream, flathead, dart and tailor. A large part of the north end of Fraser Island has been closed to four-wheel-drive traffic, as part of the land management of the Great Sandy National Park. The restricted area is from Wathumba Creek on the west coast around to the Sandy Cape lighthouse. Keen anglers will have to walk or get there by boat. There is still vehicle access north of Ngkala Rocks, on the east coast, subject to tides and sea conditions and this area is classed as remote. At the north end of the Seventy Five Mile Beach there are great fishing area called Indian Heads and then Middle Rocks an Waddy Point which attracts tailor, dart, bream, mackerel and whiting on the beaches. Boat anglers launch into the bay behind Waddy Point to explore the offshore reefs and the Gardner Bank, some 15 to 20 km's to the east.

  It is the beach fishing on the ocean side of Fraser Island, especially the northern half ofInside Big Woody Island the Seventy Five Mile Beach that attracts large numbers of anglers. These beaches are famous for the northern run of tailor between July and October-November. Anglers patrol the beach in four-wheel drives, looking for good gutter formations. Although this time of year sees a frenzy of fishing activity, there is good fishing year round for bream, whiting, dart, mulloway and flathead. Surf-worms and pipi (known locally as 'eugaries') are in abundance along the beach.

  Many creeks break the beaches on the west of Fraser Island, facing the Great Sandy Strait, and vehicle access is limited. The boat and land-based fishing is fantastic all along the west coast. Four-wheel drives legally cannot travel any further north than Wathumba Creek. There are good campsites beside Wathumba, Awinya and Bowarrady creeks and plenty of yabby patches for bait along the entire coast.

  Hawks Nest, just north of Moon Point, has great fishing for sand whiting. The reefs (The Pinnacle, Moon Ledge and Sammy's) and ledges around Moon Point have to be fished by boat. They are heavily fished for sweetlip, blackall, cod, morwong, parrot, snapper and other reef species. Moon Creek, Bridge Creek, Bridge Gutter, Christies Gutter, Bogimbah Creek around to Poyungan Creek yield whiting, bream and flathead as well as mackerel and reef fish on some of the small ledges and rocky points. This area also is very good for the mouth watering Mud Crab.  Directly east of Little Woody Island, some of the best land-based fishing spots are Bogimbah Creek, which has mangrove jack and cod, and Urang Creek, with whiting, bream and flathead the possible catches from the banks near the sea.

  South of Big Woody Island, near the Kingfisher Bay Resort and Village, is good fishing for bream, whiting, trevally and flathead especially around the jetty at Kingfisher Bay Village itself. Like wise just south of Kingfisher in Mackenzie's jetty which also provides good fishing for whiting, bream, flathead and tailor when in season. The main north-south channel of Great Sandy Strait is well marked with port and starboard beacons. On both sides of the narrowing strait there are fascinating mangrove-lined creeks, the domain of bream, javelin fish, cod and threadfin salmon. There is always the chance of catching the more elusive mangrove jack.

  Dotted along this coast are the small settlements of Tinnanbar, Poona, Tuan, Boonaroo and Maaroom, which all have boat ramps. The target fish in the channels next to the sandbanks is whiting, and they share the water with bream and flathead. Some of the best whiting fishing is at Poona Point, Boonooroo Point, in the channels around Boordye Point, and the southern end of Turkey Strait, which is to the west of Turkey Island, but all sandbanks with flowing water at their edge are good prospects.

 Kingfisher Bay in the distance.The, middle section of Great Sandy Strait is studded with mangrove-covered islands and mudflats, and has a tidal range of over 3 m on the spring tides. This has a significant effect on the one true estuary in the Hervey Bay system, that of the Mary River and its tributaries. The Mary River has a huge estuary, which is supplemented by the much smaller Susan River. The estuary breaks into mangrove creeks, with sand flats and islands, creating recognisable fishing places but also creating navigating difficulties. If anglers lose track of time and tide, there is the possibility of being stranded high and dry. The estuary has bream, cod, flathead and whiting at its entrance, near the boat ramp and ferry landing at River Heads. You will only need to move the boat a few yards from the ramp to get to some prime fishing water, between the ramp and the beacon in the middle of the river. There is a hole here, close to the low water mark that carries big mulloway.

  The Susan River branches off to the right just inside the mouth at River Heads and winds through islands and sand flats, which provide ideal conditions for threadfin salmon, barramundi, bream, flathead, whiting, mangrove jack and mulloway. At the junction with the first creek, Bensons Gutter, there is good fishing for javelin fish, mulloway, barramundi and threadfin salmon. Little Susan Creek is a narrow, mangrove-lined section joining the Mary and the Susan rivers, can be fished for bream, javelin fish mangrove jack and barramundi.

  Mangrove-covered islands in the Mary River create stations for flathead and javelin fish. They can be easily reached from a boat ramp at Beaver Rock on the south side of the river. Channels that run through a maze of sandbanks and low mangrove islands are the norm from River Heads to Urangan, and they can be drifted for bream, flathead and whiting, with a possible diversion for catching sand crabs or yabbies for bait. The waters between River Heads and Big Woody Island can be trolled or drifted for mackerel and trevally. The sand banks around the North Picnic Island can be explored for bream, school tailor, whiting, flathead, trevally and javelin fish. Reef fish like coral bream, cod, sweetlip and squire from the rocky ledges that surround the island.

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