FINE CATCH: Dylan Price has reason to be proud with the excellent black jew caught last year.
FINE CATCH: Dylan Price has reason to be proud with the excellent black jew caught last year.

Fishers spoiled for choice in Gladstone region

FOR those who know this region and the different spots to wet a line there is such a vast number of places to go and also species to catch.

From the harbour with the barra and the enormous king salmon out to the reef with those magic reds, trout, sweetlip, and mackerel, through to the inland systems like Awoonga, Callide, Monduran, and Cania Dams, for barra, mangrove jack, saratoga, bass, and in some spots we are seeing some pretty big longtoms being caught in Awoonga and in the Dawson River.

The local fishing pages on Facebook have seen some pretty good catches of black jew, mangrove jack and a snodger of a grunter measuring 69cm, which Thimoteus Newland caught and released this week, on a humble prawn bottom fishing.

I see Steven Strathdee spent some time out at Cania, and decided to walk the banks flicking stick baits around the snags and had a ball with the perch and bass.

The same thing applies with walking the banks of the Boyne - in "stealth mode" I call it - and targeting those snags which will hold barra, and jack.

In fact, you really don't need too much water for neither species, as the more shallow you get (Kermit the frog "knee deep") the more the little surface poppers, and walk the dog lures, come into play.

These predators will tend to sit, and wait in the lee of a rock, or gravel bank, as the water or tide comes in over the top, bringing with it some dinner, and it's these places you need to target.

To add another dimension, try fishing very light, say down to a 4-6 lb line, with an 8-10 lb leader, and only then the challenge commences.

This weekend is new moon Friday, with huge tides, nice balmy northerlies, and reasonably flat seas.

Tomorrow morning it looks as though the breeze could be down to 10 knots or a little less, from about sun up till around 2-3pm at the time of writing this.

It will swing around to the east after lunch, providing a very nice ride home if you venture out wide.

Sunday looks as though it'll be 10-15 easterlies all day, but that won't bother some.

The low tide around 4ish Saturday arvo is a big one though, and the likes of the Boyne Entrance will be practically unusable from 1 or 2 pm, and those using this access need to plan ahead.

For those chasing a feed of crabs, then this weekend should be awesome with some big chocolate bucks around at the moment, and coupled with the big tides you should be able to access some of those creeks, and drains which can't normally get to.

For those new to the region and keen to get into some crabbing, learning how this whole line of fishing works can be quite tricky and a good start to learn about the "art" of crabbing is to pick up a DVD of Johnny Mitchell's called the Mud Crab, at most tackle shops or via his website.

This year's Boyne Tannum HookUp being the 20th year, has now been open for entries for a little while and there is a steady flow of those booking their spot in this incredible event.

Having it back on the original weekend, being Queen's Birthday long weekend in June (6,7,8 ) is very cool.

And the committee, many of whom have been volunteering there time for many years now to bring you this extravaganza, are planning to blow you away beginning with that major prize boat from Curtis Coast Marine, Haines Signature, Suzuki, and Garmin.

You can't win this, nor any of the other nine boats if you aren't entered.

Entry is easy by simply going on line to and following the instructions.

Remember once it's full, it's full, but numbers are only restricted with senior entrants to 3000, whereas with the kids they are open to as many as they can get.

Finally share a thought for those at VMR Gladstone who diligently man the radios and the rescue boats, to help us out when things don't go the way we plan.

They are in constant need for volunteers on the radios. If you aren't a member then my best advice is to be one.