Dart have “switched on” at Moreton Island between Combie Point and North Light.
Every autumn, dart leave the eastern surf beach to spawn in the calm gutters, drains and creek mouths of the western beaches.
“...Dart ... are usually dusk and dawn feeders. They can be caught at night on a full moon, using either blood worms or surf worms.”
Recently, South Queensland Amateur Fishing Club Association (SQAFCA) held the third round of the Light Gear Titles on Moreton Island, and there were a lot of good catches of dart. The dart started to bite from 4pm til dark, as they are usually dusk and dawn feeders. They can be caught at night on a full moon, using either blood worms or surf worms. During daylight the best baits to use are prawns or yabbies.
I fished the mouth of the main creek at Yellow Patch. I caught 13 legal dart over 30cm and released over half a dozen undersized dart. Current South Queensland Light Gear Champion, Mr Tim Lynne, caught his bag limit of 30 good quality five-spot dart at the oaks in front of Heath Island. Check out the large 68cm flathead he caught on a worm (pictured). Even though the flathead was 1.96kg it wasn’t enough to win, and Tim came second to SQAFCA’s A-Grade veteran, Mr Les Clarke. On ya Clarkie! Every now and again us old bulls have to put the young bulls in their place!
Of course, it turned into a typical SQAFCA trip. A thunderstorm passed through, making us take shelter in front of the flat screen tv at our clubhouse, watching the football. I managed to get a quick six whiting in the morning before the weigh-in, taking my catch to 19 fish, which put me in the top 10 in my grade.
If you are going to Moreton Island for Easter, school holidays or Anzac Day and want to catch dart, here are my suggestions:
Use a 4144 light-surf fishing rod, 650 Alvey surf reel, with a 12lb line on the spool. I make 12lb line traces at a metre long with a no.2 hook on the bottom, a glow tube and a glow bead on top of the tube. On the inside of the western beach I use a three-ball sinker. If the sweep is to the left, cast out to the right and let it sweep left to attract the dart (vice versa if the sweep is opposite). When fishing in the surf, I will use a five-flat sinker which, as the name suggests, is flat, not round. Flat sinkers bury into the sand, so every now and again lift the tip of your rod to release the sinker from the sand.
I can confirm that the Moreton Island Fishing Classic will start on 6th September and run until 9th September. The traditional owners of the island have given us permission to hold the competition with a capping of 500 competitors. SQAFCA’s parent body Queensland Amateur Fishing Club Association (QAFCA) will also insure each competitor for public liability. A big thank you to all the sponsors who have donated a large amount of cash and prizes. We will launch the website shortly with all the rules and eligibility criteria, as well as a link to register for this amazing fishing event.
Stay warm and safe out on the water.