Mackay Report

318 Shakespeare St, Mackay | Ph: (07) 4957 2145

March 5, 2020

For those heading offshore, try drifting the channel because you’re going to have plenty of run in the tide. Baits will be the better option, such as squid on a paternoster rig, and you can catch nannygai, red emperor and coral trout. For those wanting to try something a bit different you can use a soft plastic such as the Chasebaits Ultimate Squid, or try slow pitch jigging with the Samaki Choona, Nomad Buffalo or similar.

For the headland fishers we’re looking at big high tides, getting up to the high tide mark you can chase black-spot tuskfish (blueys), they’ll be good right up in the shallows. You can also try big soft plastics or vibes for a few barramundi.

For creek fishers, the grunter have been on the move, so on the bigger tides get up on the mud flats and use baits like mullet, gar or ribbonfish. You can also put a few pots in because this last bit of rain should see the crabs stirred up and hopefully on the chew.

February 12, 2020

There are neap tides on Sunday, and for those guys heading offshore I recommend heading south to around Kindemar, Eaton/Denton and Prince and Alarm. Drift the channels, as there are plenty of nannygai, red emperor and grassy sweetlip on the chew.

If you’re heading north, Stevens, Chauvel, Parker and Credlin will all be worth a try in the shallows for coral trout and red emperor.

There are plenty of barra on the chew up around the Seaforth area. Murray, Mathers and Mystery have been fishing quite well. There are a lot of smaller fish, mainly caught on baits, both strip baits and live baits. There are a few fish being caught on lures but bait has been working better.

If you’re heading down south, Rocky Dam, Boundary, Plane Creek and Cape Creek have been producing some good fish as well, along with some big king salmon.

For inland fishers, if you’re chasing that big metre barra, get some soft plastics or vibes and fish the headlands.

February 6, 2020

If the weather holds, islands like Slate Island, Round Top and Flat Top are producing blueys, grassy sweetlip and some stripy bass, so they’re worth a go. During the week Singapore Rock produced some good mackerel, so this weekend they should be there if the weather holds.

As for barra fishing in the creeks, there are big tides so fishing either side of the high or low tide will be the better times when you get a bit less run. Bakers has been producing some really good barra during the week at the ledge and upstream a bit. Sandy Creek will be worth a look for a good feed of prawns. There were plenty there last week and also produced some nice barra and grunter. If you’re heading further south, Rocky Dam and Cape Palmerston had good hauls of barra reported during the week. North Murray, Black Rocks and Constants are probably still running a little fresh, but these big tides will clean them out very quickly and Mathers, Canoe, Clooney, Rabbit Islands Creek will all be nice and clear. There should be plenty of prawns around and it’s certainly worth a go for barra and grunter in that area.

January 29, 2020

Following the rain after the barra season opening, there will be a few on the chew. Some of the biggest systems may be out of the question with the big run-off after the recent rain; you might want to skip places like Murray Creek and Constant Creek. If you’re heading out to the front of these creeks, places like Mathers, Clooney, canoe and Rabbit Island Creek in Seaforth might be worth a look. If not, Landing Creek or even Wolf Creek at the front of Constant Creek do produce good results at this time of year, after some rain. Also down south, they haven’t had the rain systems that we had in town so places around the Notch Point area are probably a viable option as well. Live bait is always a successful method at this time of year. Places like the front of Rocky Dam have had some mixed results, with a few grunter and king salmon coming in. Slab gar has been a preferred bait. If not, a fresh prawn has always been a viable option.

For those who are fishing dams after the recent rain, some of the weed beds have been covered so surface fishing has been the way to go. Weedless frogs and walk-the-dog style stickbaits have been getting some great results and good fish in both dams.

There are still some prawns around the creeks and some good reports of mud crabs starting to stir up after the recent rain.

January 15, 2020

For those heading offshore there is a little under 3m of run-in tide this weekend, so those southern areas like Kindermar and Prince are worth a try for coral trout and Spanish mackerel. For smaller boats, if you’re heading to the channel, around Snare and Prudhoe will be worth a try with paternoster rigs for nannygai, red emperor and grassy sweetlip.

In the creeks you can target king threadfin salmon, mangrove jack and fingermark this weekend. On the high tides try soft plastics or vibes around the holes. Sound around to find the fish. At low tide you can try fishing rock bars with little hardbodied lures or livebaits for mangrove jack and fingermark.

There are still plenty of prawns around the creeks, so if you’re heading to the Seaforth area, waterways like Murray, Mathers, Cluny and Canoe are still producing good prawns. Other good places include Armstrongs Beach in King Gully and Rocky Dam.

Those who want to head offshore or to the headlands, there have been plenty of big blueys on the chew. Big green prawns worked around the rock bar should get results.

January 8, 2020

If you’re heading up the creek this weekend with huge 6m morning tides, try fresh yabbies or live prawns, along the flats of Reliance, Constance Creek and Saunders Creek for king salmon, grunter and flathead. For land-based anglers, this weekend will be perfect with the big tides to fish Blacks Beach, Eimeo, Shoal Point and Illawong beaches for oyster cracker (aka permit or snub-nosed dart), golden trevally, and queenfish.

For dam fishos, Kinchant and Teemburra dam have been producing some solid barra on large weedless plastics worked around the weed beds. In Kinchant, working vibes around structure has also been producing quite well.

There are still plenty of prawns around the creeks and we should see a few crabs still on the move.

December 31, 2019

Small tides will suit the offshore anglers with under 3m run in the tide. For those keen to try plastics around the shipping channels, this is the perfect time to do it. 7” jerk shads and 60g jigs will work fine out there. You can pick up trout, nannygai and red emperor this way. Other good options include casting swimbaits and stickbaits across the reef flats for red-throat and spangled sweetlip (emperor) and coral trout.

If you’re heading up the creeks, the past few days of rain should have flushed out a few mud crabs. In the small tides try running your pots in the deeper gullies and leave them overnight for better results.

If you’re chasing a feed of prawns, the Seaforth area is still producing good numbers, along with Grass Tree and Rocky Dam creeks. Also, with the calm conditions, Armstrongs Beach will be worth a try.

December 19, 2019

With the lumpy conditions offshore, it’s a good time to chase a feed of prawns and crabs in the creeks. There have been good reports of mud crabs in the creeks, especially on the nighttime tides. The crabs seem to be moving a lot more in places like Murray Creek and Constant Creek. Rocky Dam towards the south has also had good numbers of some quality crabs starting to move.

Around the district the prawns have been in good numbers, although the average size has been a little bit down. You can catch them anywhere from creeks at Seaforth, Cluny and Canoe. For land-based anglers, places like the Victor Creek pontoon are always a good opportunity. If not, Alligator Creek towards the south has been yielding good numbers of prawns as well.

For anyone wanting a feed of fresh fish this weekend, the tides are looking good with some good reports of grunter and fingermark coming from out of the creeks on flesh baits. Places like Rocky Dam have had good numbers on the smaller tides, as well as towards Murray Creek.

December 11, 2019

There are grassy sweetlip and nannygai offshore, with a couple of the hotspots being the Goldsmith and Beverley groups.

Lure enthusiasts can try throwing stickbaits or swimbaits around the flats around places like Gould or Wallaby reefs. Other good spots to try include Chauvel and South Hampton.

For those thinking about heading up the creeks, I’d been putting some pots out over the mud flats; a little bit of rain may help you to get a few crab. Strip baits like mullet, gar and ribbonfish should see you with a few grunter and blue salmon.

Land-based anglers should pump yabbies or peel big green prawns and head to local beaches like Town, Illawong or Lamberts and try your luck on trevally species, as there are a few getting around at the moment.

December 6, 2019

15-20 knot NE winds will see most anglers stick to the creeks this weekend. Mid morning high tides will give you a good chance at catching king salmon, fingermark (golden snapper) and mangrove jack. You can get them working live baits and lures around the flats and on low tide in the deep holes and gutters.

Land based fishing options this weekend include whiting, bream and flathead around Shoal Point and Bucasia beaches. You can also try some nighttime fishing around the south breakwater for fingermark and grunter.

If you want to beat the heat you can try heading up the valley to chase sooty grunter in places like Finch Hatton, Cattle Creek or Platypus Beach, and then jump in for a cool swim afterwards.

Suggested reading: How to catch fingermark

There are reports of good coral trout and red-throat emperor around Square and Tideway reefs. The trout have been in the deeper water, around 20-30m. Reefs such as Chauvel, Kindemar, Credlin and Stevens should be hotspots as well.
For those who want to fish the channel between Scawfell Island and Snare Peak, there are reports of nannygai, red emperor and grassy sweetlip.
If you’re heading up the creek, there are plenty of king salmon, grunter and flathead on the move. Lure fishos have been having success working vibes in the holes on the top of the tide, or you can work the flats on the low for salmon.
On the beaches, trevally are taking yabbies, or you can chuck a pilly out for a mackerel.
If you only have a couple of hours to fish in the morning, try the South Harbour wall, as plenty of mackerel are being caught there, including Spanish, school and spotties. They’re taking metal slugs, or you can use a gar/pilly on a gang.

Suggested reading: How to catch grunter

Good reports of inshore mackerel species being taken on chrome spinners and floating pilchards. Doggy, spotty and grey mackerel are all in good supply. There are barra in the dams, with good reports coming in towards the moon.
Some quality fish are being caught in the creeks. With the tides building and the moon coming in, it’s a good time to target grunter.

Report 1/11/19

First up, remember that the barra season is closed until January 31, 2020.

It will be too lumpy this weekend to head offshore, but there’s good fishing in the creeks on live baits and lures. If you’re after the likes of king salmon, grunter and fingermark you can go to the usual places like Murray Creek or Mathers to the north, or if you’re heading down south you can fish Rocky Dam boundary. Cape Palmerston will be a hot spot this weekend as well. If you want to pump a few yabbies you’re in with a good chance of grunter, bream or whiting. Hopefully a bit of rain will result in good catches of mud crabs.

Report 26/7/19

A cold run of weather has seen a lot of winter species on the chew throughout June and July, both creeks and offshore have been productive for those anglers willing to braving the elements.

The Pioneer River has been popular with catches of Whiting, Bream and Flathead. Night sessions opposite the boat ramp and around Cullen Island have produced large Winter Whiting using worms, lobbies and peeled prawns. The upper reaches of the River around Foulden and the Old Hospital bridge have had bait fishos with good quality Grunter and huge Queenies smashing live baits and lures around the rocks near the Ron Camm bridge. Lure Enthusiast working Poppers, Stick baits and Vibes around the beacons at the mouth have been tied up to huge metre plus Queenies and still the odd Barra menacing lures.

Constance, Murray and Mathers all reported numbers of huge Silver and Black Bream around the building tides. Strips of ribbonfish, mullet and gar proving best baits with the odd Grunter, Blue Salmon and Mangrove Jack being caught. The shallow sand flats at the mouth of Murray and Mathers have been teeming with schools of Flathead. Small hardbodies trolled along the flats or casting 3-4” paddle and curl tails have accounted for some big fish.

Rocky Dam, Plane and Boundary creeks have seen their usual run of winter fish. The gravel beds at the mouth of Rocky dam and Boundary around the full moon saw large numbers of big Grunter and Blue Salmon caught on strip baits and large green prawns. The deep holes in Sandfly creek and the King hole in Boundary had Vibe fanatics battling huge King Salmon and Finger mark around the neap tides. Whilst anglers live baiting the rock bars in Plane creek still producing solid Mangrove Jack.

Offshore anglers finally had a window of opportunity with a couple days of good weather, the outer reefs such as Coles, Credlin, Chauvel and Kindermah all fired with quality catches of Coral Trout, Red Throat Emperor and Tusk fish. Deep gutters off the reef saw an assortment of Red Emperor, Nannygai, Sweet lip, Spangled Emperor and small 10-15kg Spanish Mackerel in large numbers.

The Shipping Channel was another hot spot with reported catches of Red Emperor, Nannygai and loads of Spanish Mackerel. The Southern sector of the channel around Snare and Double Island had mixed catches of Grunter, Snapper, Black Jew and large Grassy Sweet lip.

In shore anglers targeting Spanish Mackerel have been rewarded with quality fish. Floating Ribbon fish, Gar, Pilchard and Slimy Mackerel or trolling X-rap 30, Halco Laser Pros 190 and Ribbon Fish. Hot spots have been Flat Top, Round Top, and Slade Islands along with the North and South Overfalls.

Report 7/5/19

Good rainfall over the Easter break saw the creeks congested with boats targeting fish, prawns and mud crab for Good Friday. Campers still flocked to the local camping grounds with Seaforth, Cape Hillsborough and Cape Palmerston proving hotspots.

Huge six-metre tides saw the flats around the mouths of the creeks inundated with crab pots and plenty of Muddies on the move. Anglers using strips of Goldfin Mullet, Gar and Ribbonfish around the shallow mangroves on the high tide saw catches of Grunter, Blue Salmon and Barramundi and large 30cm plus Whiting using fresh yabbies.The neap tides after Easter saw the creeks around Seaforth fish extremely well. Soft plastic enthusiast working 4”-5” plastic prawns and paddle tails around gutters and shallow sand flats bagging Barra, King Salmon and Finger Mark whilst 3” curly tails fished along sand gutters on the runout tide snaring large Flathead.

The upper reaches of Mathers, Mystery and Blackrock creeks have seen both live baiters and lure fanatics tied up to some huge Threadfin Salmon. Zerek Prawns, Vibes and small hardbodies proving hard to beat whilst the ever reliable live Goldfin Mullet and Gar weaving their magic on some solid metre+ fish.
With winter only a month away its shaping up to be a fantastic Whiting season, reports of huge elbow slappers being caught throughout the region along with 30-40cm Silver bream. Fresh Yabbies and Bloodworms have been the most productive baits or small pealed prawns for those not able to dig baits.

Rocky Dam, Boundary and Plane creeks have all seen plenty of action with good numbers of Mud crab, Threadfin Salmon, Barra and Grunter being caught. The King holes in both Rocky Dam and Boundary around the neaps saw large schools of Threadys menacing jelly prawns along the banks with only the odd fish falling to live baits and lures, small vibes and plastics fished along the edges around the low tide resulted in plenty of 40-50cm Barra and large numbers of Blue Salmon.
The rock bars and shingle at the mouth of Rocky Dam had baiters battle huge Barred Grunter using strips of Gar, Mullet and big green prawns with the odd Black Jew a welcome catch.
For the Land based anglers, the South Harbour Break wall has been one of the hot spots with plenty of species being caught. Tuna, Mackerel, Black Jew, Finger Mark, Trevally and huge Grunter have all been on the menu with best baits being squid, pillys and prawns. Fresh Yabbies and live herring fished along the gutters at the front of Town, Illawong and Far Beaches have seen anglers with assortment of Trevally species and one lucky angler bagging a 74cm Barra.  

Report 11/4/19

The usual camping areas such as Seaforth, Cape Hillsborough, Cape Palmerston, Knotch point will all see the usual crowds and with loads of bait throughout the creeks will see plenty of great fishing action.
Mud crabs are on the move again, Big tides and past few weeks of rain have seen better quality crab caught. Mathers, Boundary, Plane and Constance creeks all crabbing well with larger numbers coming from Thompsons creek and the Proserpine river.

Its been a slow start to the prawning season with veteran prawners working hard for a few kilo, bigger tides last week seem to have flush prawns into the systems and had prawners with their 10ltr bucket in Cluney, Rabbit island and Murray creeks.
There’s still plenty of Barramundi and King Salmon being caught throughout the district, live mullet, whiting and prawns most favored baits whilst the ever reliable Transams, Samaki and Pulse vibes proving hard to beat. Constance, Bakers and Sandy creeks all producing fish with Prossy river being the hot spot.

Bigger tides saw a run of big Grunter around Freshwater and Glendower points, fresh large prawns and whole squid yielding larger fish with large schools of Spotty Mackerel menacing baits. Taffy island and Sunken Reef saw its usual run of large Black spot tusk fish and some thumper Grass Sweet lip.
With the odd storms still hanging around has seen plenty of the fresh water creeks in full action, the upper reaches of the Pioneer River has had lure enthusiast in battle with big Barra and Sooty Grunter whilst Cattle and Owens creeks alive with Sootys and Spangled Perch. Funnel creek to the south and Connors river have also been producing huge Sootys along with 60-70cm Saratoga.

Report 8/3/19

Consistent bad weather patterns have seen little offshore activity over the past month. The end of February saw creeks finally start to clear as huge 6.5 metre tides flushed systems ready for the neap tides.

The Seaforth area saw its fair share of anglers with reports of Barra, Fingermark and Grunter all on the move. Live baiters struggled to find decent bait and those who did were rewarded with quality fish.

The rock bars in the upper reaches of Seaforth and Cluney creeks saw large numbers of rat Barra caught using 3’ Gulp Shrimp and some monster Mangrove Jack cracking small Rapala Xrap 10s and Rapala Twitchin mullet.

Rabbit Island creek was another hotspot with both baiters and lure enthusiasts tied up to some solid fish. Live mullet on a running sinker rig produced larger Barra, whilst floating live prawns around snags saw a lot of smaller 60cm fish caught. Anglers trolling 120mm 3 metre Classics bagged a few big Barra and a welcome catch of Finger mark.

Midweek saw Mathers, Murray and Mystery creeks busy, the Barra hole in Mathers and Murray saw live baiters with good numbers of Barra, whilst the upper reaches had Vibe fanatics in battle with huge Barra and King Salmon. Transams, Samaki Thumpertail and Zerek Fish trap all proving hard to beat.

McReadys creek has been the surprise creek, plenty of small Barra, Jack and Bream caught using both baits and lures. The snag littered banks in the upper reaches has seen plenty of small Barra caught, whilst the rock bars around the mouth have had anglers battle thumper Mangrove Jack. Baiters using strips of mullet and squid bagging big Bream with the odd Blue Salmon a welcome catch.

Live baiters fishing the small tides in Sandy and Alligator creeks have seen a lot a of small 40-50cm Barra and huge Blue Salmon menacing baits. Lure fanatics working holes and gutters using Zman 4’ DieZel Minnow and StreakZ have snared larger 70-80cm Barra, whilst the ever reliable 4’ Atomic Prong proving hard to beat.

A two-day window mid-week saw the weather gods shine upon us and sickies where taken to head wide. The offshore reefs saw small numbers of Coral Trout caught, whilst the Shipping Channel proved hard to beat. Most spots produced thumper Nannygai and Red Emperor and huge Grass Sweet Lip caught drifting gutters. Reports of Spanish Mackerel surrounding boats and loads of sharks destroying catches.

Swim bait fanatics working the shallows around Gould, Wallaby and Chauvel reefs bagging an assortment of fish, huge Red Throat, Yellow Lip Emperor, G.Ts and huge Maori Wrasse.

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Mackay, QLD
Ph: (07) 4957 2145