HI all, for the past four weeks we’ve been enjoying the hospitality and beauty of a stretch of coastline from Bundaberg to Agnes Water, and what a month it has been. We were lucky to be invited to the re-opening of the Pacifique Surfriders clubhouse in Bargara and to view the members’ restoration of the once old Country Women’s Association hall. Discovery Coast
They have done an excellent job, from the polished wood floors to the fantastic mural above the club’s entrance. The club was originally formed in 1963 and holds a wealth of Australian surfing history. It was second only to WindanSea in Caloundra, which has the title of the oldest Queensland boardriding club.Discovery Coast
Times have changed since the early days of surfing, but the club is still active and afloat. It has been beaches, beaches, beaches for us over the past month – whether surfing, fishing or trolling outside the breakers on the kayak, it’s been basic grassroots fun.
I’ve never enjoyed my fishing so much as the past month. Blue threadfin salmon have made an appearance on the stretch of surf around Moore Park Beach and have surprised more than one unsuspecting angler. The evening high tide around the full moon was most productive.Discovery Coast
And the recent run of local prawns would be an important factor in threadfin being so active. Sharks have been extremely vigorous too, particularly just outside the shore break, with whalers and juvenile hammerhead making fishing that little bit harder.
My early morning surfs have been a little interesting, especially after a few solid hook-ups in the shallows on previous evenings. My right hand has had a hammering because of not getting it clear of the Alvey handles when palming the spool.Discovery Coast
I don’t know who’s more surprised – the shark when you sink the hook or the angler when they realise the brute force of the fish and its instinctual explosion of energy. I mentioned earlier that I’m enjoying my fishing more than ever and part of the reason is due to targeting surf whiting on soft plastics.
Walking the beach flicking into the gutters and shallows and coming tight on good fish in centimetres of water, even sight casting to fish passing as you wade, really is a fun way to enjoy a few hours and to me it’s almost a noble experience.Discovery Coast
I don’t have to carry a lot of gear and often you’ll find me barefoot, wearing a pair of boardies, with a wading shoulder bag and my light spin combo. My choice of fishing outfit is a 6’ Shimano Ian Miller-designed Raider Yak 601 spinning rod and a little 2000 Daiwa Sol spooled with 4lb braid and 4-6lb leader.
A small 1/12 weight jig head loaded with an 80mm Shimano Squidgy Wriggler in Bloodworm colour is a deadly combination for whiting in the shallows. In my experience, whiting will savagely attack the plastic by zeroing in on the pulsating movement of the curly tail.Discovery Coast
It’s common to find yourself in a tug-of-war situation without actually having the opportunity of setting the hook. A little creative customising to the plastic – by taking about 8mm off the front with your braid scissors – really does improve your strike rate and stops the fish grabbing the plastic too far behind the hook point.
Wading in knee-deep water, casting towards the sand and hopping the wriggler out through the shore wash provides unbelievable fun. Small minnows also work a treat, especially with two sets of pinpoint size 12 trebles, typically situated on the mid and tail area of the lure.
I feel both of these approaches take the humble surf whiting fishing to what I call ‘action filled little sessions’. It’s the aggressive nature and explosive leaps on hook-up that truly excite on a visual level. The older I get, the more I realise that our coastal areas have many alternatives to offer and it’s up to us to decide how we simply enjoy them.Discovery Coast
Over the next few articles, you’ll notice we’ve added a 4.2m Horizon 420 Allrounder to the stable. I’ve had the pleasure of organising a new Garmin sounder, electric trolling motor and tricking up the boat with a few Railblaza products. Railblaza offers a variety of mount systems, including interchangeable rod holders drink holders, bait boards and extendable sounder mounts.
Go and check out the range at Road Tech Marine – you’ll be presently surprised. We’ve just arrived in Agnes on a building swell and a few fish on the chew at Seventeen Seventy, so life just keeps getting better.Discovery Coast
Don’t forget… get out on the beach and enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer.