Steeply shelving beaches are a sign of deep water close to shore, which is ideal for targeting tailor.

Family fun at Fraser Island

Relaxing by the resort pool is a great option between fishing sessions with the family.
You can check the wind and ocean conditions while taking in the views from your balcony at Eurong Beach Resort.
The bakery is a good place to start or end a fishing session.
Look for flat sand spits with only a thin film of water over them for beach worming at low tide.
A nice western side catch by the family on live worms, with a few bream released as well.
You can check the wind and ocean conditions while taking in the views from your balcony at Eurong Beach Resort.

IT is that time of year again, with my family and I just returning from four nights at Eurong Beach Resort on Fraser Island. This resort is located about an hour’s drive from the ferry landing at Kingfisher Resort, and slightly less coming from Hook Point on the bottom of the island.

Eurong Beach Resort

The two-bedroom apartment we stayed in was in the ‘Coral Sea View’ wing, which overlooks the pool and has a beautiful view of the ocean through the palm trees. During the COVID-19 shutdown, all the rooms had some renovations done, including ours. With a fresh look and feel, our accommodation featured brand-new floorboards, updated kitchen and a spacious living area. Family Fraser Island

This resort is perfect for both a family or mates fishing trip because the rooms are very comfortable and convenient but you don’t pay the big prices you do on many other islands or resorts on the mainland. Combine that with Fraser’s magical natural beauty and variety of quality fishing options and you’d be mad not to contemplate a stay if you’ve never been, are keen for a break or just want to get back to the island. Family Fraser Island

For families it has everything. You can play tennis, swim in the pool or play footy, cricket or volleyball on the lawns, all in the safety of the fully fenced resort. There is also a fully equipped shop, yummy bakery and variety of breakfast and dinner options at the restaurant if you don’t want to drag over Eskies full of food.

That said, if you do want to cook your own food, many of the apartments have fully self-contained cooking facilities as well. Other benefits include wide four-wheel-drive parking spaces and an awesome coin-operated carwash to remove excess sand and salt spray from your vehicle. Family Fraser Island

Fishing choices

During our recent trip, the beach fishing for whiting was the best it has been in several years. While the tailor were sparse, they had been around in May and June and will no doubt be back by the time this goes to print, with more schools around the Gold Coast at the time of writing.

The beach

Beach fishing at Fraser Island in winter and early spring tends to be productive for tailor, whiting, bream, tarwhine and dart, with specialist catches of mulloway, sharks and spanish mackerel available for those who target them. For those chasing whiting, I strongly recommend live beach worms. Family Fraser Island

Pipis will pick up a few fish and quality red-dyed frozen worms will also catch the odd one. The best locations for whiting are the shallow low tide gutters with a blind or closed end where the fish will gather to feed on worms and pipis. Be sure to stand well away from the water when casting or you will spook the fish.

For those who don’t mind dart, fishing the deeper water gutters on high or low tide will pick them up most times of the day. If keen on bream and tarwhine, look for gutters around the rocks of Poyungan, Happy Valley and Ngkala, or fish just inside the back sandbank of middling to deep gutters. Family Fraser Island

For tailor, you want to be looking at gutters close to shore with a back bank within casting range. South and north entry points are ideal. Sometimes the beach has just one long channel running for kilometres parallel to shore.

In this case look for areas of variance, such as the back sandbank dipping in closer to shore or a steep drop in the sand from the beach into deeper water. An entry or exit point is also ideal. Mulloway like deep holes, which are also signalled by steep drop-offs on the beach and will hang around areas where bait congregates, such as patches of rock and reef along the beach. Family Fraser Island

Western Fraser flats

The western side of the island offers a great option for a bit of variety and protection from strong southeasterly wind. The full and new moons are ideal for fishing the western side because these generate bigger tides, meaning higher highs and lower lows. The lower low tides (of 0.5m or less) will concentrate flathead around the entrances of drains and creeks and will also draw whiting to the melon holes and shallow drains/channels that run along the flats. Family Fraser Island

I see some anglers making a couple of common mistakes on the western side. First, do not use unnatural baits for the area (such as pipis and squid), rather, use live yabbies and beach worms. Soft plastics also work very well here but on very light finesse jig heads (1/6-1/8oz in the shallow water).

Don’t use extra-heavy jig heads meant for snapper because they sink like a stone. Flathead, bream, trevally, grunter and even cod are realistic targets on the flats in the low-low tides of 0.2-0.4m. For the bait anglers, fishing the drains as the tide moves in or out can be effective, as can targeting melon holes and right up on the edge of the mangrove line near high tide. Family Fraser Island

That’s it for another month. As always, I hope you jump on and say hi via my Ontour Fishing Australia Facebook page.

About Sean Thompson

Sean Thompson
Sean caught the fishing bug bad one very cold Canberra day 20 years ago when he was bored and picked up and read Angler's Almanac by the fireplace. Since then he has filled his mind with knowledge from fishing magazines, books, the internet, TAFE fishing courses, guiding fishing charters (estuaries, beach, bay and mountain lakes) and of course 'on water' experience. He and a group of mates formed a social fishing club and soon started to share what they learnt and caught online. Sean is the admin for Ontour Fishing Australia on Facebook, which is a page that shares information, reports and sponsor giveaways and welcomes all to the site. He plans to move into blogging on his new website when time allows.

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