Fishing Report – March 8, 2024

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The hot and humid summer has continued through into March. The water temperature has been sitting at almost 27 °C, and it’s still quite turbid. Ted reckoned the further north he went up the Passage, the more obvious was the line between fresh and salt – but that was a couple of weeks ago, and there hasn’t been a great deal of heavy rain since. Fishing has been steady in the Passage, with lots of fish being caught, and plenty of them have been keepers. Bream are still to be found everywhere, and there have been some good ones brought in. They’re still showing up in big numbers in the Pacific Harbour canals and still taking freshly-netted baitfish. Isaac used the perennial favourite chicken-breast to catch three big bream. He was anchored north of the Ningi Creek yellow marker and was coming away from the top of the tide when the fishing started to liven up. Warren took out a variety of baits but said that chicken breast was the only meal that the bream went after.

Grunters are also abundant. Everton Park Fishing Club held a Passage competition last weekend, and every boat came away a winner, I reckon. Plenty of bream, some of them very good sizes. Darol was especially happy with his grunter – 41cm and weighing 1kg. Stacey says that a couple of weeks ago, there were lots of baby grunters everywhere up at Lime Pocket – but no biggies. Not long after, on a very windy Sunday, she and Brendan were again anchored up at Lime Pocket for only about 5mins, when she got onto a 36cm grunter, then she caught a 65cm flathead up in Hussey Creek, on a white soft-plastic paddle-tail.

There are lots of reports about snapper being caught. Just outside Pacific Harbour is typically “snapper central”; Craig was off Banksia Beach on a midday high tide when he used whitebait to catch a biggie. Poverty Point has been a good spot for snapper, and Ben caught a lovely fat 45cm one not far from Toorbul on the morning rising tide. He also caught a big cobia in the same area – 87cm! Richard is still getting plenty of snapper from the Ripples and drifting past Kakadu Beach, and he, too, caught a good-sized cobia.

Flatheads have been harder to find. South of the bridge, around Sandstone Point, is the only place I’ve heard of lately where flathead is more consistent. Fishability Qld usually brings home a big flathead from every outing, but there have been fewer keepers on their boats, too. There are plenty of other fish, though, and everyone seems to come home happy.

A couple of reminders to be a little careful if you’re out fishing from a boat – one fellow got into a bit of trouble last weekend when his little tinny was being swamped by a following swell. He was towed into shore, and all was well, but this is a good reminder to make sure your battery is working well and to make sure you take your phone.

Scott also had to come to the rescue of a distressed vessel, off the coast, which made an interesting finish to a big day out. He and his mates had gone out to Barwon Banks, about 60 nm (and several hundred litres!) away. Their haul included a few tusk fish, redthroat emperors and a couple of cobia. They got smashed by some cobias they hooked up, which were just too big to bring on board – “one had the head of a hippo”! Trolling on the way back in, there were two big bust-offs, “probably sailfish”, then they came across the stricken vessel and kept it company until VMR turned up. All fun, out on a fishing trip! Recently, A houseboat had a bit of fun, getting stranded on a sandbank near Poverty Point – overnight! Lying in bed, waiting for the sun to come up, they could hear lots of chatter while their crab pots were being raided – but they couldn’t do anything to stop it. Fortunately, one pot was missed, and there was a big muddy still in that one!