DAIWA FISHING TIPS: Estuary Fishing On Fraser Island by Jason Linardos

My girlfriend and I recently embarked on a trip up the eastern coast of Australia. We had been planing it for some time and we couldn’t wait to get away from the freezing winter of Melbourne . She was looking forward to the warm weather and I was looking forward to the fishing. As we were towing a camper trailer I couldn’t bring the boat. So the next best thing was the Kayak plus a myriad of fishing tackle to catch me everything from a Garfish to a GT.

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One place I was desperately keen to check out was Fraser Island. I had heard stories of big charging tailor in the surf during the day to monstrous unstoppable sharks at night. I equipped myself with two new land based/beach outfits and pre tied up some heavy shark and tailor rigs and was ready for everything the beach could belt at me. Unfortunately I wasn’t ready for 5 days straight of 30knot easterly’s smashing Fraser’s east coast. The swell was thundering and the whole seascape was white water. Now a rough beach doesn’t necessarily mean it’s unfishable. In some cases it can be great but in this case what it brought with it eliminated my chances of a successful beach trip. A horrible thin weed that would cling to the braid and bind up so tight on the guides it would stop the braid from being retrieved like a set of brakes. With my plans and my expectations out the window I turned my attention to Fraser’s west coast.

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I knew the western side would be sheltered from the wind but I wasn’t sure what it was like fishing wise. We arrived to Wathumba creek after roughly a 1 hour drive across the guts of Fraser on a sandy bumpy dirt track. The tide was out when we arrived and the place looked pretty featureless. It wasn’t until the tide came in that I started to see the fish activity start to appear. Hoards of silvery oceanic bream started to flood the previously exposed sand flats. Mud crabs started moving about along with luderick, trevally, dart, pike, flathead, estuary cod, big sea turtles, shovel nose sharks and rays. The place was coming alive and I had the perfect tool to fish the estuary.

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First light the next morning the Yak was off the car and I was paddling out into crystal clear water that seemed to keep the bottom visible no matter the depth. The first lure I threw around was a Silverwolf pencil on a 1-3kg Black Label rod matched to a Freams Z I had pimped out with some Custom Project parts. Within seconds a long silver flank launched from the water along with my lure. Now pike are more considered bait back in Victoria than they are sport fish but they sure are a hell of a lot of fun on light gear and surface lures. They would circle around the surface lure about a metre below the surface before launching themselves up and smashing the lure into the air with a few twists and turns like a mako shark. After catching a stack load of pike on the Silverwolf pencil I moved away from them to patrol the other areas of the system. After a few minutes of walking the lure across a shallow flat a big boof came out of nowhere and I was locked on to a little circling big eye trevally. By now the tide as rushing out and trying to wrangle this little brute in a kayak on 4lb gear was much more difficult than I expected. I caught a few flathead around the entrance drop offs on a Daiwa Spike trolled behind the kayak and ended up having a great time in a place I’d never heard of. It goes to show you should always have a back up plan when organising a trip just incase things don’t work out quite as you expect.