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  • Writer's pictureMeade Murphy

Hays Inlet is Back!

Happy New Year! For recreational fisher folk still on annual leave, it is time to take the wife, kids or grandkids out fishing.

What a choice of fishing destinations we have to choose from! From Fraser Island to the N.S.W. border, it is one of the most diverse fisheries in the world. Our offshore reefs are producing good catches of coral fin fishery from Fraser Island to the Gold Coast.

“We caught 28 Whiting and one Bream and not one undersized fish.”

Pick of the reefs has been the Ribbon Reefs formation off Caloundra, which produced good catches last year. Moreton Island is also fishing well with plenty of Darts on the surf gutters during the day, Whiting at Reeder’s Point at night, and Bream at night on the flooding tide at Kooringal. Last month I caught 15 Whiting and four Dart in Tailor Bite using blood worms at dusk before returning to our clubhouse for a few beers.

The Kalinga Bank side of the middle bank at Jumpinp in produces a few Whiting, Bream and Flathead on the run-out tide when the water turns dirty. You can pump Yabbies down there with numerous Yabby banks there. Maroochydore River is fishing well at night as the water is too clear to fish during the day. For the best results, fish on the run-out tide.

The best news is that Hays Inlet is starting to produce a few fish after all these years. 20 years ago, S.Q.A.F.C.A. clubs stopped fishing in this small estuary when the fish stock dropped dramatically. In 2008 we made it a green and yellow zone and left it to the kayak Flathead fishermen hoping one day it would recover.

Then in 2019, when Unity Water upgraded the Redcliffe sewage system to a U.V treatment plant, we started to notice a return of seagrass on the banks. In late 2020 a few of the old guard of S.Q.A.F.C.A. began to get double fishing figures whilst fishing with the grandkids in the Inlet. Then in late November last year, the social chairman of R.C.A.A. caught 30 Whiting there in two hours, and the class of fish was excellent.

Last month I thought I’d better see this for myself. I drove out to Scarborough and dug for a few rock worms. Leanne and I headed to where we were told to fish – 200 meters east of the sewage pipes, to the end of the mangrove island in the middle of Saltwater Creek at the start of the flooding tide. We caught 28 Whiting and one Bream and not one undersized fish (pictured). You will need to use either live Yabbies or worms to get a decent feed of fish no matter where you choose to drop a line.

The Moreton Bay Working Group had a meeting on 2nd December last year. This was nearly four years since our last meeting. To view this meeting, visit:

Stay warm and safe out on the water.


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