Living on the Fraser Coast for a serious sport fisherman certainly has advantages, it’s the one place in the world, and I mean the ONLY place in the world with such a huge biodiversity of fish life for the keen angler. Inland freshwater has bass, barramundi, Saratoga, sooty grunter and a few others, saltwater has almost everything, being the place on the east coast where the southern species overlap with northern species.
Fraser Island is the highlight, certainly without it the fishing here would be nothing, it’s the largest sand island in the world and its beauty as a tourist destination is world class. Along the western side of Fraser towards the northern end crystal clear flats run for almost 30 km, from Wathumba Creek right to sandy cape which is the very tip. Along this flat we have caught permit, bonefish, tuna, bream, whiting, flathead, yellowtail kingfish, cobia alongside black marlin (actually just before I wrote this blog a visiting Sydney angler caught an 80 kg big eye tuna on the flats in 2.5 meters of water………….amazing!)
Geographically fraser runs out at 45 degrees to the coast so any fish migrating south are funneled inside, this is the case for the run of juvenile Black Marlin early summer. Although the average is small, from 10-30 kg they are still a great light tackle target especially when you can sight fish to them in water as shallow as 2 meters. Sometimes a 50-60 kg fish arrives and we caught on about 90 a few years ago.
The marlin on the fraser flats are cruising fish, working in and out of the bay with the tide, being pelagic they can be here one day and gone the next but generally on bigger tides you will see a few if you look, cloudy days are the worst enemy as you just can’t see them, trolling along the flat edge gets a few bites on cloudy days but sight fishing is the exciting way to catch them.
I have seen them caught on baits, plastics, hard body minnows, poppers and flies. Recently we have been cruising the flats and casting to cruising fish with Daiwa over there stick baits. Watching the fish’s reaction is exciting and rewarding. Generally they race over and explode on the lure, sometimes they just follow mesmerized by the lure, these can be hard as they track the lure to the boat and you simply run out of room, when these fish just follow you need to get the boat moving forward quick and they will eventually bite the lure, it might take a minute but curiosity will get the better of them!
Medium spin gear is exactly what you need here, something you can place a long cast as these fish can move quick. 4000 size reels are great, I caught one on a 3500 certate a few years ago but I’m now using a 4500 saltiga with 40 pound j braid, this outfit knocks them over real quick and they are in great condition for release. One good tip is to retrofit the treble hooks on the lures with big singles, marlin are very hard to keep on with trebles, big singles are way better especially when they start jumping which happens pretty quick. I hang 6/0 singles off the rear loop on the stick baits and rarely drop a fish