Stanage Bay is welcoming to autumn visitors
  |  First Published: April 2017

Turtles are just about at the end of their season on the local beaches and islands, thus moving the tiger sharks to deeper water. The tiger sharks like munching on the young defenceless turtles. Usually by April, it is safe to swim again. Not sure where some people get their information on the shark decline. Obviously they have never visited Stanage waterways to fish.

The road has stayed basically in the same condition as last month. Once again, the property Couti Outi, which is north of the Shoalwater Bay army training turn off, is full of corrugation and potholes. Please, slow down. While there have been patches of light rain on the road, we have still had nothing at the township of Stanage or in the waterways around Stanage.

The muddies made their usual show on the last set of tides. Please do what the local pros do and only take full, bigger than legal size muddies. Patience will win, and leave you with the monster muddies that Stanage Bay is renowned for.

The estuary is fantastic for keen fishers who work the tide changes to their full advantage using live bait, soft plastics and hardbody lures. You can expect to hook barra, golden snapper, grunter, bream, cod, flathead and whiting in the estuaries at this time of year. I haven’t heard of anybody fishing the grunter hole at low tide this year, which is very strange. Maybe it’s too hot for the tinnies. Last time I fished there was plenty in the water, until we caught them. The Heavy Pro Pots, which were designed and born here at Plumtree, are still available with good crab pot bait.

On the islands and reef, keep within the limits of your boat when it comes to weather – safety is always a winner. The worse the weather and the smaller the boat, the closer you should fish. Keep this in mind when you go out. While it may be calm when you leave the boat ramp, a change in the weather can put you in danger before the return trip, some hours later.

Thirsty Sound QF24 Coastguard is one of the most reliable, if not the best regular radio channel operated in Australia. VHF radio, channel 81 is tuned in 365 days a year from 6.30am to 9.30pm, before switching over to emergency channel 16 for the night.

Make sure to log in before leaving and don’t forget to log back out upon arrival at the Plumtree Boat Ramp. Bear in mind, 81 one is not a chat channel. Ask the coastguard radio operator which channel is best from boat to boat. When you are having beers on land, see how good your mates are with the phonetic alphabet, just in case you have to spell your boat name over the radio.

Keep those cameras on your phones charged, for the pics will be worth sending at the boat ramp, where 99.9% of the time you will get Telstra service. You might have to walk around a bit to find it though.

Your pictures may include beaut legal species of coastal trout, grassy sweetlip, red emperor, nannygai, mackerel, trevally, snapper, parrot and cobia. You can also see the many local fish on www.justfishingstanage.com, if catching them is not enough for your appetite. Until next month, take the time to smell the fish and keep those rods wet.

If you need a lure that fishes and crabs well, be sure to call into the tackle shop in the boatyard and talk to Von or Tony. Pub talk is always good for humour, although not always accurate. Use dead bait, ice, hooks and sinkers from local shops, where you will also get the best local knowledge waiting for you here at Stanage Bay.

Don’t miss out on the amazing fishing and crabbing at Stanage Bay! Call us at Stanage Bay Marine & Accommodation on (07) 4937 3145, check out www.stanagebay.com, email --e-mail address hidden-- or look us up on Facebook.

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