Fraser Island Hervey Bay

PH 0427 230 261

Hervey Bay winter 2018

Well winter is now over. At the time of writing it is early September. It was a very interesting winter season indeed.

Again a hot snapper bite seemed to evade us. We caught some great fish still. Most fish boated with heavy soft plastics. Some light soft plastics in the grub patterns worked well too. And when I did find some good bites, my old mate the tax man ruined some potentially epic sessions. It is a worry to be losing fish so comprehensively to apex predation.

Another worrying event is dolphin predation. In places like Moreton bay it has been a common occurance for many years. A local angler reported watching the dolphins getting the "easy pickings" at the Southern Gutters, just north of Hervey Bay. I have yet to experience it in Hervey Bay, but was often their target in Moreton Bay. The upside is they are too intelligent, and seem to miss the hooks. They usually crush the fish behind the head and spin the body off. Feeding dolphins is a NO NO. They soon equate humans and boats to an easy feed, from there it progresses to eating undersized fish that are released. And then the next step is stealing your mackerel and snapper. So DO NOT FEED THEM!

Anyhow back to the winter wrap up. Even if the snapper didn't play , the big diamond trevally surely did! Most snared on small plastic grubs, the bite usually very gentle. Persistence was the key, as the trevally in the area were not always chewing. A few smaller diamond trevally and pennant fish mixed in. Pennant fish in other parts of the world are known as diamond trevally. My understanding is that what we know as diamond trevally are Indian Threadfish.  Confused? Well I guess that's why we have scientific names. Other fish caught with the diamonds were golden and brassy trevally, with the occasional snapper mixed in. Towards the end of winter the fish became much more obliging.

Longtail tuna were ever present. Early winter we had them busting up regularly. Later in the season they were sometimes busting on surface, but often hooked deep, amongst schools of trevally and snapper. Most of them we sub-meter fish, with occasional biggy joining every now and then. These aren't too fussy, as they are not keyed into one specific bait fish, and will take a variety of soft lures, as well as vibes and jigs. Obviously the main concern is getting the lure down in front of them.

Another feature of winter is whales. Up this way its usually humpbacks, and the occasional southern right whale. Humpbacks in my experience are more animated and curious creatures. I have never had right whales "mug" the boat. I believe humpbacks have longer pectoral fins, so that may also help you ID them if the head doesn't break the surface.

You are not permitted to approach whales and dolphins. There are guidelines regarding this attached here > http://www.environment.gov.au/marine/marine-species/cetaceans/whale-and-dolphin-watching

Please read this and play smart. Obviously if the marine creatures play around you while you are fishing then there is not much you can do. I do recommend you pull any rigs up when you see them directly approach your vessel. Better safe then sorry, I believe, even though I have not snared a whale myself. I have known of others that have, some caught on the anchor. Other times you maybe on the move and they are in your path. Stop and let them maneuver around you, sometimes this is when they decide to come and play. Let them do their thing and slowly power off in a steady and deliberate fashion. At times they may play for 30mins before they get bored of you. So enjoy it, because they are not always in that mood. You will notice quickly if they intend on having some interaction with you. They will change direction and move toward you. This may not be too obvious if you have been stationary for a long time. And the first thing that hits you is the mist from an exhalation.