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Fishing & Boating

3 July, 2021

Three favourite places

G’DAY Mackay Community. Welcoming the start of July 2021, the tides are looking steady for over the next week with the highest tide no bigger than four metre, with sunrise being the best time of day for fish to be on the bite.

It has been blowing a gale offshore as well as weather conditions being less then desirable. But I hope that hasn’t stopped any of you planning to get out and about this next week. There are many fish species still getting around during our winter months and fortunately for us the King Salmon aka Threadfin Salmon and it’s cousin the Blue Salmon aka Bluenose Salmon are two of those species.

‘Kingys’ school up, meaning they travel in large groups together where they swim through the creek and river systems, dependant on condi- tions and where the food source is.

They prefer shallow water no deeper than 10m which make them good land-based targets. So on the outgoing tide, meaning after high tide, the water will start to drop and this enables the Threadfin to patrol drop offs, gutters and holes to ambush bait.

They are a golden yellow when first caught and are a delicious table eating fish. Freshly bat- tered and fried is just a treat and freezing the fil- lets for this fish is highly recommended also.

The Blue Salmon is a close relative but very different in its own right. The ‘Bluey’ has short whiskers, compared to the Threadfin’s large cat- like whiskers. It is much thicker in the tail area and has a silver blue to black colouration.

Storing of this fish after catching is import- ant if to be kept for eating. It should be bled and cooled down directly after catch. The easy accesible bait of choice to lure and catch these species are pilchards, mullet fillets and prawns. A small running sinker rig with a single hook is required to use either landbased or by boat. Spring tides are when they make the most movement so when casting do so away from snags and into open water.

So after last week’s beginners guide to your own tackle box here are three excellent and un- derated fishing spots in the Mackay City Area so that you can snag a delicious fish!

First spot is the Pioneer River which is 120km of Fish Highway! On River Street in the heart of Mackay there are a number of fishing platforms on either side of the Forgan Bridge which cater to all anglers.

Best bait to use would be prawns, squid and herring. It is a safe family friendly fishing spot that is easy accessible, has public toilets, BBQ facilities and a kids’ play park next to one of the platforms, you beauty!

There is parking on Brisbane Street and this is a great place to start your fishing addiction. My second spot is still on the Pioneer River but further down the river system. The Hospital Bridge Fishing Pier is located after the Mackay Base Hospital at the end of Bridge Road where it comes to an end-roundabout with a parking area for those wanting to fish off the platform.

It has wheelchair access, seating and rod hold- ers and again is very family friendly.

I recommend fishing on the two hours before high tide as it gets quite low that far up the river, but the fish still get there - do not worry! Best bait to use is fresh squid, prawns or slabs of mullet. My third fishing spot to go and check out is the Mackay Marina Rock Wall in North Mackay, only 15 minutes from Mackay City.

Again this fishing spot is family friendly with places to fish starting at the Yacht Club. You can drive all the way to the end of breakwater Rd, fish off the rocks and watch the boats venture in after a day offshore the southern Whitsundays.

I do recommend bringing bigger sinkers to withstand the large tidal swell and the best bait to use would be pilchards and squid. Don’t forget to hold on to tight if you get a bite!

But not to worry if you don’t catch a family feed as the Marina holds a number of catering spots, including The Lighthouse Mackay’s fresh local caught seafood on standby for all your fish and chip cravings.

After your angling adventure please always re- member to leave your area better then you found it. Always do the right thing when out in commu- nity so we and the next generation of anglers can enjoy it for years to come.

If anyone heads out in the next week and gives any of these spots a crack please don’t forget to send your photos through as I would love to see your catch!

You got to be in it to win it so get amongst it Mackay! Next week I’ll introduce the beginner angler to all things lure fishing! Until then happy fishing! - Cheers, Amy Bender

ebook: @amyporterbender, @womenem- poweringwomenmackay Instagram: @amyygirl @womenempowering- womenqld

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