Weather and work can be the keen anglers’ two worst enemies. Work slowed me down a bit last week but also gave me the opportunity to get out for a quick fish at Bowen, on the Whitsunday coast. I was lucky enough to be spending the night there, on my way home from work. I grabbed a cheap rod and real combo, a couple of packets of jigheads and plastics on Thursday night and drove out to fish the rocks, around Horseshoe Bay, just as the sun was setting.
I was fishing a reel pre-loaded with 12lb monofilament line and tied on a 1/6th 1/0 jighead. I loaded it with a GULP 4” Jigging Grub. There is a series of bays along this section of coast, all divided by rocky out crops. They are covered in smooth boulders and are very easy to access. The locals tell me there are all sorts of reef species hiding down at the base of the rocks. They pull out plenty of Coral Trout and cod. The Mackerel and Trevally are also cruising up and down, at this time of year.
My expectations were high but I doubt I could have landed any significant fish on the light rig I had. I walked along the boulders, casting out about 3-5 metres and trying to pause the plastic just at the base of the rocks. After a few casts and a few snags, I caught a small Stripy Perch and then another. As usual with fishing, it took a while to figure out where the fish would be and unfortunately darkness beat me to it.
The next morning I went back to another rocky outcrop, a bit further south, to fish through the sunrise. I used the same technique and tried a few different coloured, paddle tailed GULP soft plastics. The first fish was a Stripy Perch again, next was some kind of tiny spotted Cod and then a more familiar Pike. They were all tiny. Then something kept biting and releasing the plastic. As the sun came up I could see it was a group of squid floating over the rocky bottom. I tried but I could not hook one.
I had a plane to catch so, after an hour I gave up. The sunrise over Gloucester Island was spectacular, even if the fishing was not. As is often the case, this quick session has just confirmed that I need to get back up here for a real fishing trip!