Hervey Bay Fishing Personality
Over the years Scotto has written for pretty much every major Australian Fishing Magazine, owned and operated a tackle store and been a long-term sponsored angler for a swag of major brands. Residing in Hervey Bay, Scotto reckons the winter and spring months are outstanding for productive fishing and very pleasant weather.
Hervey Bay Fishing Spot #1: The Esplanade
- During spring the dropout tides coming off a moon can be as low as 0.3m….. check out the tide chart and look for these very low tides in the afternoon. You’ll find 3 consecutive days or so of these conditions and want to be on the spot for an hour or two before the tide bottoms out.
- The north facing esplanade between Point Vernon and the Urangan Pier are within the yellow conservation park area and has been net free for 16 years.
- An inside channel that runs along parallel with the beach is perfect for bream, whiting and flathead fishing during spring. When the flats dry out on these very low tides the fish retreat to the channel.
- Small hard bodied lures and small plastics are great, but if Scotto had to choose just one it would be the Squidgies Biotough 100mm Wriggler in Bloodworm colour. He’d fish this on a TT Nedlocks jig head, which makes the tail stand upwards. This is deadly on whiting, flathead and bream. Try working the lure with a double hop, but for whiting it can be made to slowly creep along the bottom by slow reeling whilst shaking the rod tip.
- Small stickbaits and poppers are also deadly on the whiting over spring also.
- Clear, glassed out, blue sky days fish best for these species under these conditions.
Hervey Bay Fishing Spot #2: Point Vernon/Eli Creek
- The target here is once again whiting, bream and flathead, the latter being quite large at times. Grunter are also a possibility in this area and even coral trout turn up at times.
- The same conditions as outlined for the esplanade are perfect for fishing this area (ie the last couple of hours of the runout on a very low, 0.3m tide).
- Once again a 100mm Squidgies Wriggler in Bloodworm is a great option, but to specifically target flathead and grunter it can be effective to upsize to 110 or 120mm lures.
- Alternatively, a 100mm Squidgies fish rigged on a 3/8oz, size 2/0 jig head can be worked a bit faster and is deadly on flathead and grunter. Using a 7’ rod use a quick double hop and then let the lure sink back down. Watch your line for “ticks” as the lure is falling as 90% of bites happen on the drop.
Hervey Bay Fishing Spot #3: Moon Point Flats
- Launch your boat at the Urangan Marina and head towards Fraser Island, going past Big Woody Island to the flats at Moon Point. Here you’ll find a significant channel of 30m deep containing coffee rock structures that rises up to pristine flats.
- In Spring there are two major channels – Bridge gutter and Christies gutter with 3-4km of flats running from the coffee rock ledge to the mangrove fringe.
- One the very low tides previously discussed the flats drain completely into the channels, where you’ll find bream, flathead, whiting and numerous other species, at times. One major attraction is the frequent presence of diamond trevally in these channels under these conditions, especially in Christies Gutter.
- The 100mm Squidgies Biotough in Bloodworm colour is again perfect. If diamond trevally are present this lure can be reeled in flat out, but for most other species a double hope retrieve works better.
- A light, fast action 7’rod with a 2500 spin reel with no more than 10lb braid is perfect. Tie a Shimano Ocea fluorocarbon leader of 6kg to the braid mainline and you’re in business.
Hervey Bay Fishing Spot #4: River Heads and Kingfisher
- Take the river heads road until you reach the boat ramp and ferry launching area. The floating pontoon at the ramp is an awesome fishing platform, keeping in mind that anglers are required to stay out of the way of boaties. Fish around the last hour or so of the low tide.
- The rocks from the landing and shoreline are gnarly and hold good bream, whiting, flathead and the occasional jewfish. The Squidgies Wriggler will once again be successful, although Scotto finds the Squidgies Fish to be more so.
- A soft vibe such as the Nomad Vetrex Max 95 or Samaki Vibelicious worked close to the bottom with small hops will be very effective.
- High-vis braid is essentially as the fish will take the falling lure and it’s important to see the tick in the line and be ready to set the hook.
- Another great option for non-boaters is to get a day pass on the Kingfisher Bay ferry and head over to fish the jetty at the resort. The old wavebreaker barge also sank close to the jetty, forming fish attracting structure. Squidgy Wrigglers, Squidgies fish and small soft vibes are again the go-to lures.
Hervey Bay Fishing Spot #5: Lenthalls Dam
- This system flies under the radar due to the punishing dirt road in and because of the engine restrictions. Check the opening and closing times as it’s a daylight only fishery.
- Bass accumulate and school up in the main basin of the dams during the spring months, and it’s usually the bigger fish (50-60cm).
- Barra are also a possibility and will become more active as the water warms up.
- Finding schools of fish and counting spoons down then working them back through the school is a great strategy.
- Don’t be afraid to troll some lures around as you’ll find fish and can then cast to them.
- Bass are hard to catch once they start sitting under the boat, so try and sit off the schools and make casts to them.
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Ryan is a lifelong Gold Coast Fishing fanatic and winner of the 2022 Flathead Classic. His business Capn’s Charters specialises in lure fishing for flathead, among other species, on the northern Gold Coast.
Haines Group built the 543SF that Scotto uses for all his fishing from 40m offshore to drifting over flats in 30cm of water.
Lowrance have been Scotto’s preferred sounder technology for many years.
Shimano Australia have counted Scotto among their pro team for over two decades.
Tonic Eyewear recently assisted Scotto with prescription sunnies that he finds invaluable for spotting fish and for general use.
Minn Kota’s Terrova trolling motor with spot lock is Scotto’s preferencesneaking around the flats in search of pelagics.
Suzuki are premium quality outboard motor suppliers and power Scotto’s boat with a 140hp four stroke engine.