Hook & Cook

Fishing Fraser

A trip to the world’s largest sand island can be awe inspiring by the natural beauty everywhere you look. But, did you know there’s another reason to get hooked on Fraser Island?

For those that have long wanted to head to Fraser Island just to go fishing here are some suggestions to get those big fish on your line and on the dinner plate.  Throw a line out to attract many fish including, Whiting, Dart, Bream, Mackerel, Tailor, Trevally, Tuna, Flathead and even Sharks.

The smaller species e.g. Whiting are best caught on pipis or worms and the smaller fish can then be used as bait themselves if you are chasing the bigger ones.  In saying that you can catch any species on any bait at any given time.  It’s all about location and timing and if the elements are with you.  For tailor in particular you can’t go wrong with a Western Australia pilchard. It’s best to try and purchase these prior to coming onto the island, however bait is available from local shops in Eurong and Happy Valley.  Bait them face up to the line to ensure they look like they are swimming through the water.

Many keen anglers head up the Seventy Five Mile Beach to the ocean side to wet a line. You will find that July to November is the best time to catch Tailor as they spawn in the beach waves.  Parts of the beaches are no fish zones in the areas of Indian Heads to Waddy Point from 1st of August to 30th of September each year.  You may only collect sand worms or pipis by hand during these closures.

Head up Wathumba Creek for some great mud crabs or a bit of fishing, all along the coast from Rooney Point to Moon Point you can catch whiting, nice size bream, dart and good size flathead.

With plenty of fresh bait around, there is a bit of fun in finding your own bait, be it worms, pipis or pumping some yabbies with the kids.

The best times to catch fish are dawn and dusk but if the local conditions are safe and the gutters are right you can most likely catch a fish anytime.  On the beach look into the waves for Tailor, you could even see a Mullet or a Dart in the waves.  It also can pay off if you can cast further to the back gutter, look for the white water for the larger Tailor.  Beach fishing is a year-round activity, but from August to October, the famous Tailor Run sees fishing enthusiasts come from far and wide to experience the battle between man and fish.

Whether you’re a first time fisherman at Fraser or are looking for exciting ways to build on your next Fraser Island adventure you won’t be a fish out of water after throwing in a line to bring out the hunter in you. 

There are a few things to look out for when you’re hunting Tailor.  Finding any sandy gutters, birds hovering and current movement is a great place to start. To increase your chances fish the incoming tide. Also, look out for other fishermen as the more bait in the water the better; this is when you will see great schools of fishermen catching from even bigger schools of Tailor.  When the fish are on there is a feeding frenzy with a group party going off from the shore.

If the water appears brown, this is likely ‘snot weed’. It doesn’t make for ideal fishing conditions and gets all tangled in your line, so do some sightseeing instead.

While fishing at dusk and watching the sunset can be a therapeutic experience, getting a tailor on your line is so much fun! The nibble can often be mistaken for the waves coming in and out, however there’s no doubt tailor have an infamous ‘yank’ when they’re hooked. Tailor need to be bled ASAP to ensure there isn’t any bad blood, otherwise they’re not enjoyable to eat. Then, pop your catch into a bucket of water for when you’re ready to fillet.  Tailor are not the best tasting fish once frozen. It is best to eat them fresh.

For rules around tailor fishing go to:-

https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/69461/1700_tailor_V1.pdf