WINTER FISHING IN HERVEY BAY
As the warmer climes depart, so do many of the popular target species. Its that time of the year where the shorts go back in the draw and the jeans come out. That means adjusting your fishing accordingly and moving onto the winter species that keep fishos occupied during southern Queensland’s cooler months.
Although we have to make some modifications to our style, the winter months offer plenty of catch at Hervey Bay. Fat Breams, Flatties and Whiting stick around to spawn, and once the males have had their run, it isn’t uncommon to land female Bream in excess of 35cm.
These fruitful waters attract fishos from all over Australia. Boats follow the Whiting schools, clearly visible from the Esplanade. Here’s how to cash in on the action in Hervey Bay this winter.
The Whiting schools are one of the winter highlights of Hervey Bay. The parade of boats following the action give away the schools location, usually around Port Vernon.
Bait up with live squid or yabbies and you’ll entice the Whiting into biting. The locals are always trying to find a novel way to get their bait to stand out among the hordes of bait trailing the school. Many will put a small piece of red tubing above their hook, using the bright colours to lure in hungry Whiting.
Big bream are a glamourous species for the winter months, with some reaching a whopping 45cm long! Fish the channels with soft plastics but don’t be surprised if you pin one of our other species, including Grunter and Snapper.
I have the most fun chasing squid. It doesn’t attract the crowds that the Whiting do, and I can’t get enough calamari in the winter months. Hit the flats with some squid jigs loaded up with prawns and you’ll soon have calamari on the menu.
Look for days with some current and find some structure like rocks or seagrass, and use a slow retrieve technique to imitate the natural movement of a prawn. This will coax them into taking your bait.
A lot of our pelagic species respond well to trolling metals and plastics along the bottom and in the midwater. For a varied day out, troll at depths of between 1 and 2 metres or between 4 and 6 metres. This will attract anything from Tailor, Trevally, Barracuda, and Spanish Mackerel.
Trolling for Snapper with hardbodies on 20lb braid is great fun. It doesn’t have to be fast, but use a stronger line as you may generate some interest from Longtail Tuna and it will be worth having something that can handle them.
THE ELUSIVE SPECIES
You can still find Salmon and Barramundi in the rivers, but they are elusive in the winter months, and getting them to bite isn’t easy. Spend some time examining what baitfish they are feeding on in each area and try to match it as best you can. Then, as soon as you get a sunny day and the water temperature starts to rise, even by just a degree, hit the water for the best possible chance of landing Barra or Salmon.
As the weather gets colder, don’t miss a beat. Our winter options are as numerous as our summer options in Hervey Bay. Jump into the Whiting action or beat the crowds by chasing squid, or, if you really want a challenge, try fishing for Barramundi.
What do you like to target in Hervey Bay during the winter? Let us know in the comments section below.