SHARK FISHING QUEENSLAND BEACHES: THE BASICS
Growing up on the Queensland coast, shark fishing was a popular past time. My dad used to go on shark fishing charters to try his luck off the coast of Cape Moreton, then when I got a little older pier and land based shark fishing had caught on.
Stricter Queensland laws in relation to shark and ray fishing have resulted in a stronger catch and release culture is present among Queensland shark fishos. This has been great at boosting Shark populations and looking after our waters most effective predators. I can’t say my techniques will work for everyone but here is some of what I can share from my experience.
WHERE TO FISH FOR SHARKS
Check out the creeks and rivers which litter the coastline. In summer the Bull Whalers come here to have their young, delivering an abundance of smaller, more manageable sharks which can be taken on light gear, after a bit of a scrap. There are the occasional adult Bulls so don’t be surprised if you suddenly find yourself getting beaten by a monster.
For a little more variety check out the structures. Palm Cove and Woody Point both have good jetties for pier fishing. Use Mullet or Mackerel or Tuna as bait and you should be able to snag a decent sized shark somewhere between 6 and 10 foot. There is a bit more variety in the species when pier fishing, with Hammerheads, Long-Nosed Whalers, Duskies and Tiger Sharks frequently being found in these waters.
If you have a 4WD you can also head for the beaches to find some sharks. Find somewhere out of the way and off the beaten track without swimmers. Sharks usually avoid humans, so the more deserted the better. The Fraser Coast or the islands off Brisbane are good shark fishing locations. They also don’t have crocs to contend with, unlike many northern locations.
WHAT TO USE
For the smaller sharks or the pups, a 20lb mainline with a 50lb wire trace and a 3/0 hook should do the trick. You should find this will bring the younger Bull Whalers in and the occasional Estuary Cod as a by-catch.
The larger animals yielded at the piers and jetties will need a bigger setup. A 15-24kg stand-up rod will be large enough. Ensure you have roller guides and circle hooks of around 12/0 size. You will also need bolt cutters for extraction, in case it becomes too difficult with a de-hooker.
On the beaches, the conditions are tougher. I use mono on the beaches as it stands up better to abrasion. A 37kg stand-up rod and a 100lb mono is usually my preferred setup as it gives enough drag pressure at strike and the mono gives a little bit of stretch. I usually fish a shorter rod from the beach to give my retrieve more clout. Something around the 5-6-foot mark with a circle hook of 20/0 with snap swivels usually yields results.
Depending on your level of fitness, you might want to invest in a kidney harness. It gives you the chance to rest a little during the fight. I haven’t bought one, so they definitely aren’t essential, but this is more to the fact that I’m miserly and tight, not that I’m in particularly good shape. The fights become more and more of a slog every year on the water and I’m sure I will be purchasing one in the next few seasons.
If you’re fishing a beach with a current or rip tide, you will need an anchoring system to fish the bottom. Tigers and Whalers prey are much more likely to be at depth so you need to present your bait in the same way.
Is there anything you would like to add to this discussion? Help others get better at fishing by sharing your knowledge and experience.