Fishing Report – June 14, 2024

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This week, I would like to discuss Fishing Zones that have been declared in the Moreton Bay Marine Park (see the Moreton Bay Marine Park User Guide). But what does this all mean for us? With a small snapshot around the southern end, let’s look at Yellow Zones first.

Pumicestone Passage is predominantly a Yellow Zone (Conservation Park Zone).

This allows anglers to fish with two rods, and each rod is allowed one hook. Hook definition is a set of gangs with up to 6 hooks in the set, bait jigs with up to 6 hooks, and the largest hook size, a number 1, down to a size 12. One lure with three hooks (can be single or trebles) or a squid jig. Have a look at Page 6 of the User Guide. Two rods per person are allowed if trolling lures, with up to three trebles on each lure. Cast and bait netting is allowed, with commercial netting for bait allowed south of the bridge only.

The Marine Park has two types of blue zones: light blue for General Use and darker blue for Habit Protection Zone. It is important to understand this boundary as it is a fishing corridor 100m from the shore from the high tide mark. This allows anglers to fish within normal fishing regulations, which are 3 rods and up to 6 hooks. This area starts at Col Fischer Park and terminates at Buckleys Hole. Not all inspectors are aware of the Blue Line. Green zones are no fish zones. You may pass through these zones if you’re fishing and crabbing gear is stowed or secured. $500 on-the-spot fines will be handed out by Fisheries Officers if you do the wrong thing.

I recently noticed some anglers trolling in this Green Zone area (see the maps). There is only a buoy at the southern corner to denote the Green Zone, but no marker at the northern end to notify boaties of the boundary. There used to be large marker signs there, but these signs have been missing for at least two years, making it hard for boaties to know the boundary. Some of the latest sounder/GPS maps have yellow and green dots to let you know which area you are in. If you have the Qld Fishing 2.0 app on your phone, you can confirm your legality to fish where you are by going to the “Can I fish here?) menu item.

Mackerel have arrived in large numbers, with a mix of undersize and legal fish invading the bay. With very nice, firm flesh, it is a favourite among anglers. Fast initial first runs with the ability to pull drag, super sharp teeth that easily cut through lines with only 50% of hooked fish making it to the esky sure gets the adrenalin going. A well-balanced outfit is a 4 to 6-kilo rod with a 2500 to 4000-size reel spooled with a 15lb main and 20 lb leader. Metal lures like the Halco 30-gram are a good lure to start with for casting. Also, trolling with hard body lures and spoons works well. A very happy Sarkis is managing a few on metal lures casting and retrieving.

Sharks have been a nuisance for snapper anglers as lots of gear and fish have been lost. Sharks are allowed to be kept if under 1.5 meters in length, excluding any protected species. The flesh is quite firm and is usually sold in shops as flake with your fish and chips. It is nice crumb or battered. Give it a try to help balance the system. Snapper has been plentiful, with early morning being the prime time – pilchard and squid working well. The offshore scene has been great this week with low winds and calm seas. Angus managed this beautiful black marlin on the troll off Cape Moreton.