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Great Sandy Strait - Fraser Island's Playground


Fishing in the Great Sandy Strait.Here are a few fishing tips for the Great Sandy Strait region.

The Great Sandy Strait has many great areas to fish, especially the spots between Kauri Creek and Ungowa. The deep water around Poona and the bottom end of the southern Reef Island are best for winter whiting.

Whiting, bream and flathead can be caught around the two Reef islands (almost directly opposite Boonooroo near Fraser Island), at high tide and in the channel between them at low tide. You should look for little gutters draining off the flats there also. 

Yabbies on the northern Reef Island are of good quality and quantity. There are reef fish at Figtree Creek and along the ledge to the south of Snout Point. Good catches of winter whiting can be taken in the deep water on the western side of the steamer channel near Snout Point. Brownies Gutter fishes well at times for whiting and flathead.

Poona, Black Swan and Shark creeks fish well at times. Camping areas up these creeks can also be found.

Houseboats are perfect for weekend fishing getaways in the Great Sandy Strait.Sand and mud crabs can be potted in most of the areas mentioned.  The area is made for houseboats, which can be hired at Tin Can Bay, River Heads, Rainbow Beach and Hervey Bay.

One of the strait’s best fish habitats is from Boonooroo north to Ungowa on Fraser Island. This area is without doubt one of the best fishing areas in the Great Sandy Strait but it can be a minefield of shallow water, sandbars and blind gutters for the inexperienced boatie.

If you head north from Tuan or Boonooroo Point boat ramps you can fish one of the best whiting spots near Dream Island.  You can catch 32-36cm elbow slapping whiting in three inches of water, which will really get your heart going!  You can see a bow wave on the surface as you start to retrieve them.

There are good gutters and ledges everywhere around Dream and Stewart islands and at Garry’s Camp.  Yabbies can be found on most banks too.  You can usually camp at Garry’s on that overnight trip.

Moving into the strait, winter whiting can be found most of the year between from just south of Maaroom in the north to east of Tinnanbar in the south.  Many yabby banks can be found on the mainland and Fraser Island too.

Maaroom has a lot of whiting, bream and flathead spots. Yabbies can be found on Pelican Bank and on the flats in front of Maaroom.

Good fishing territory can be found all around any of the Moonboom Islands.  Along the eastern side of the Moonbooms runs a deep ledge for reef fish.

On the opposite side of the steamer channel to the east of the Moonbooms are sandy islands where yabbies can be pumped.  You can fish the white sand areas at the top of the tide with some success.  Gutters and creeks can be fished along here too.  Up in Cypress Creek you will find appealing banks and sandbars for whiting, bream and flathead.

The eastern sides of Bookar and Turkey islands are very productive for whiting, bream and flathead. You can catch winter whiting in the steamer channel around here.  Fishermen chasing reef fish have the steamer channel ledge running the entire length of Fraser Island and this area from Little Rocky Creek to Yankee Jack Creek is fantastic reef fish country.  Tailor can be trolled for off the islands on the opposite side of the steamer channel to Turkey Island.

A few kilometres north is Woongoolbver Creek (or Wanggoolba as some maps have it), is the landing point for one of the barge services from River Heads. Here the strait opens up wide, the distant twin points of River Heads clearly visible to the west.

River Heads is the major departure point for vehicles and has magnificent views of Fraser Island, the Great Sandy Strait and the Mary and Susan rivers estuaries.  There are public boat ramps from which boaties can set out for either a day out fishing or to take a 40-minute run up the Mary River to Maryborough.

Back in the strait, the area between Woongoolbver Creek and the next point of interest, McKenzie’s Jetty, is about 6km of mangroves and shallow mud flats so steer well clear of the shoreline.  Lake McKenzie’s Jetty is almost within shouting distance of the only tourist facility on the western side of the island, Kingfisher Bay Resort and Village.

The stretch of water between the two is a popular anchorage for passing boats, which are protected from the prevailing south-easterlies by the height of the Island’s land mass.  It is also a popular fishing location, renowned for golden trevally and big whiting.

Leaving Kingfisher Bay boaties invariably head for the shipping channel that takes them up the narrows between Big and Little Woody islands.