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Fishing & Boating

11 June, 2021

Muddies snap at bait

G’DAY to the Mackay Community!

We are now full swing into the month of June and are half way through 2021!

This week I focused on my land-based fishing at the Pioneer River and tried a number of different methods of which I would like to share with you.

If you caught my fishing column last week you would have read that Bream are actively on the bite so taking this in to account I opted for live baiting my fishing rod with a herring to see if I could switch up my targeted species.

Herring is a very productive baitfish for nearly all saltwater fish or pelagics and they can be found anywhere from mouths of rivers as far as up where the saltwater meets the freshwater.

The herring were everywhere last week, making it very easy to use a cast net to catch enough live bait to have a decent fish with.

I used a basic live bait rig where I attached a sinker to one and a float on the other just to experiment with what was feeding on the bottom and what was feeding off the top.

A few Bream were caught on the bottom rig and no big trophy size fish came home with me unfortunately.

Whilst I was down at the Pioneer River an older gentleman came to where I was set up and we began talking about fishing in and around Mackay.

This man was 83 and still throwing a 10 foot cast net and hoisting it up full of bait fish.

What a local legend!

He assured me that the herring he was collecting was for his next fishing trip out to the outer reef and would fill his freezer up to the delight of his family.

So with little to show for the first half of my week I decided to dust off my crab pots and focus on finding the big bucks over the weekend!

Another shoutout to the team at Tackle World Mackay and their variety on fresh bait in store as I was very happy to buy my crab bait for a small exchange of $5.95 and I assure you it did the job!

I had enough bait to give my two pots three chances on catching us the delicious taste of fresh mudcrab.

The first set of tides I put my pots in and it looked promising, but unavoidably three Jennies decided to devour the bait and were released back into the river.

What’s a Jennie, for anyone who is not up to speed with fishing jargon?

A Jennie is a female mudcrab and in Qld they are a protected species under the Fisheries Act.

Anyone who takes these will have to face enormous fines and morally you just do not do it.

I returned the pots to the water and unfortunately only got a couple more crabs, but they were all too small to take home and cook up.

Ah well, next time!

Fishing is a trial and error sport but I have more spots up my sleeve and will keep everyone posted!

The awesome thing about mudcrabs is they hitch a free ride with the tide, gathering food and travelling in large groups.

So, on these next big tides I will be sure to still have my pots in the river - but with some weight inside of my crab pots so that they don’t get taken away with the tide.

It’s fingers crossed for a mudcrab feed.

Another great event that was held over the weekend was last Sunday at Blacks Beach the Mackay NAIDOC Inc hosted a NAIDOC fishing competition for kids in the Mackay community.

What an excellent event it was, despite the chilly winds off the South Easterly.

The competition started at 6:30am and finished up at 10:30am with prizes for Biggest, Smallest and the Oddest catch.

A young lad named Ethan took out the biggest catch, being a 31cm Dart Fish and won him the $200 BCF voucher prize as well as a fishing shirt.

Well done, mate!

The event is a great initiative and another will be hosted by the same organisation on June 13 at Mcreedys Creek, Slade Point starting at 10:30am and going to 2:30pm.

It is free registration, all are welcome and kids must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Be sure to bring all the necessaries - drinks, food, sunscreen, hat and a chair - even if your not wetting a line and just wanting to relax by the water.

Untill next time, Mackay community, Happy Fishing! - by Amy Benderebook: @amyporterbender, @womenempoweringwomenmackay Instagram: @amyygirl @womenempoweringwomenqld

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