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North Stradbroke Island

Well what can you say about North Stradbroke with respect to its fishing options, in a word "unlimited". If you want the calm boating areas of Jumpinpin up through the inside north past Dunwich and up to Amity then there are plenty of options. Or you can slip out over the south passage bar and run up to Point Lookout and fish the group or one of the many other rocks not covered by the grey nurse exclusion zones.

All this before you even put a foot on the island which is serviced by regular barges allowing you to take your car or 4wd across. Or if you just want a quick day trip then fast ferries will have you there in no time.

North Stradbroke or "Straddie" as those of us that love it to death more commonly call it is a fishermans paradise. I've fished 40 knot winds and still caught fish here albeit in trying conditions. Your good weather options are almost unlimited and as I pointed out even in bad weather you can usually find a spot to wet a line.

Starting from the southern end the famous Jumpinpin and its surrounds are bream central during the colder months and flathead country as it starts to warm. Throw in tailor, tarwhine, whiting, jew and a few other blowins and you can see why the boat traffic gets pretty thick around here at times.

A run along water of Canaipa passage has us passing a few of the populated mid size bay islands such Russell Island, Macleay Island, Lamb and Karragarra all with varying fishing opportunities for those wishing to explore. Mangroves, sand and broken reef, rock and rubble areas indicate bream are the main target around here but flathead, snapper, whiting, and tailor are also regulars here as well as big buck mud crabs for those might be carrying a pot or two.

Continuing north we travel through Deanbilla Bay which is worth investigating for bream, mackerel at times and sand crabs as the seasons suggest.

Then comes Stradbrokes main township Dunwich. Bream, whiting, various breeds of trevally and although irregular the odd snapper can be caught from shore (just don't tell anyone). Around the corner is the little ships club with more of the same available close by in this area.

Continuing between Dunwich and Myora we come across channels and sandbanks which look fishy and often are with some true tackle crunchers among them. Large sharks are often present in this area as are huge parrot, big mulloway, snapper, mackerel and assorted other species. It takes quite a bit of time and effort to get up to speed on this area so be very nice to anyone you know that fishes it well.

Towards the Northern end we come to Amity Point which stretches from inside the bay is bounded by the south passage bar and continues around to the surf side till Flinders Beach. Amity can throw up some great pelagics such as mack and longtail tuna, tailor, spotty and school mackerel, bonito and reef species inside the bar and out. The wreck of the Rufus King is worth a look if you are not wanting to go too far otherwise keep running around to the likes of rocks area off Point Lookout. Quality snapper, sweetlip, spanish mackerel, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, marlin, sailfish and a big mix of reefies are all chances of hitting your hooks as you wander along and past this area. Further south the steep rises and falls of the cathedrals give a hint that it might be worth dropping a line in here and many of the above will be lurking.

As we near the starting point closer in to main beach closing up behind the surf break you can at times encounter schools of tailor, mackerel and others pounding bait fish. At such time with careful boat handling you get the chance for some wild top water action.

For land based fishermen Dunwich holds bream, whiting, tailor, trevally plus bait such as yabbies, hardiheads and soldier crabs which are easily gathered close by.

Point Lookouts options are numerous with the headlands offering good cover in less than ideal conditions. Tailor, kingfish, jew, trevally and bream are common captures from the rocks. But be warned rock fishing is known as the worlds most dangerous sport for a reason and some of the rocks here are known as widow makers for good reason.

Almost 40km of surf along main beach means there should be a gutter worth fishing somewhere along there. Even if it is only to pick up pippis or pull worms it is worth the drive along main just for the site seeing.

Amity Point land based can be hot or cold. If the locals aren't out fishing it probably the latter as word spreads quickly when the fish are on. Small macks and bonito on slugs can be daytime options with bream and squid good target choices from the jetty and rocks at various times but getting better after dark.

Flinders beach is the choice for a quiet family camping holiday with fishing available straight out from your campsite. Protected reasonably from the usual south east winds and swell Flinders can hold whiting, tailor and dart. Extremely calm conditions can make fishing a bit quiet at times so the occasional run up to main to get pippis might demand a few casts up there to get rid of any built up frustrations. As with Moreton I will be doing more detailed articles on specific areas and fishing targets so if you want to know more about North Stradbroke drop in every now and then check for the latest on the island.