One of the regular questions I get asked is, “Where are all the big whiting?” The simple answer to that is they are up the passage hiding. Let me explain… early season the bigger whiting come in to the main feeding grounds eg. the beaches and the sandy areas of the passage. Then as the water heats up with the early season sun, the main body of the fish come into the feeding grounds and chase the bigger fish up into the mouths of the creeks. So if its 30 cm fish you are targeting, then the sandy beaches and drop offs just inside the passage are the better places to land good amounts of whiting. But if it’s bigger fish you are chasing, like this week’s picture, the best place to try is any inflow into the passage. This monster fish came in at 40 cm and was 520 grams and was the biggest of three fish which had a combined weight of 1.3 kg.
I have also had unconfirmed reports of a 22 pound flathead (9.9kg) caught, weighed, photographed and released at Buckley’s Hole. This doesn’t surprise me as I have seen many flathead lays that measure well over 1 meter. For those that don’t know what a flathead lay is, it’s the mark a flathead leaves in the sand/mud after it has buried itself while waiting to ambush its dinner. They are usually seen at low tide on the mud flats and look like an elongated diamond shape in the mud. I have caught a 90 cm fish before so I know they are out there. Remember they all have to go back over 75 cm.
The reefs are also still firing with regular catches of kingfish and amberjacks stretching the arms and tackle of the bottom bashers. Along with plenty of coral munchers like parrot and wrasse but be careful of the pointy end of these fish as you will lose a finger if you place it near their mouth. Still no major reports of pelagic yet but some good size schoolies have been taken off the beacons so the striped bigger cousins aren’t far away.
Bribie Island fishing report courtesy of Nigel Newman from Gateway Bait & Tackle.