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Gladstone 28th-29th June


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Headed up to gladstone to fish the Boyne river up at Benaraby for an impromptu trip on monday night. Was inspired by wesfish's barra, but sadly didnt manage to land any.

Arrived early Tuesday morning at 7am before launching beside the bridge up at Benaraby. was pretty excited to see many tarpon rolling on the surface, so quickly set up the boat and yaks before heading downriver. Fishing was pretty slow to start, but seeing many dead barra (1m models) stuck in the mangroves showed that the fish were definitely there. Conditions were less than ideal, 10-15 knots constant wind and 20-25knot gusts. Weather was really cloudy, and we had to endure a 1hr shower on the first day.

Anyway, first fish of the trip was a cod, followed by another shortly after. From then on it was flathead mayhem, one fish after another, they were all hitting 110 and 120cm lures meant for barra. kept 5 of them for a feed (4 blokes). landed a tarpon and small GT later on in the session as well. only interesting point of the day was a stingray hitting a lure :/.

Saw lots of barra come up to the surface rolling, but none seemed interested enough in the lures to strike. the biggest one would have easily been very much over a metre.

Coming back upriver during a rising tide proved to be very very interesting... there was only 20cm of water in many parts of the river, ended up having to climb out to drag the boat and yaks through the shallow sections. longest section that had to be travelled this way was probably almost half a kilometre. All fishermen aspiring to fish that section of the area - please NOTE.

Got back up to the launching site near the bridge and had a go at some large critter that was scattering all the mullet in the deep pools, only to find that they were XXL flathead - 70-80cm.

Day 2 - 30 to 35 knot winds. Drove to the other side of town to fish the Caliope to find that it was too rough to bother launching at all. Drove back to Benaraby to launch again. The fishing was totally wiped out as it was too difficult to set up a proper drift and whoever was in the yaks was getting blown downriver at a great rate of knots. 3 rods broken due to mishaps on this day. ended up with a $1600 flathead for the day. Called it a day at 3pm before searching for a place to have a feed of oysters before heading back to brisbane. Was quite a mission, only the Fish Market (1 pitt st, gladstone) had oysters, and they were waaay below acceptable standard.

Overall a good trip. Rayke helped by checking with another local WRT the local conditions and it seemed that the fish were shut down due to the cold spell. Oh well. will definitely be back in summer. The fish that I saw in the river were definitely worth chasing again.

Accomodation wise, it seems that from now, the only available accomodation nearby Benaraby will be the Awooonga Dam campsite or another small town 20 minutes before Benaraby. The Boyne river tourist park apparently has been bought over by a mining company and only offers single mens quarters and cabins, but they are indefinitely fully booked. Benaraby Hilltop motor Inn is fully booked out as of today till the end of November as well.

Thanks to Rayke, BrianD and Wesfish for the info.

PS - sorry for no pictures, I got tipped out of the kayak on day 2 when my mate over-accelerated the boat while towing me. Camera is a write off --__-

Another thing i noticed is that all the oysters in the river were dead? As in every single one. they were everywhere, but not one was alive. Anyone have any ideas why ?

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Looks like the flathead from day 1 fought back :evil: I hope you kept and ate the $1600 specimen :woohoo: :lol:

Good read, Adrian. You know alot more about the place for next time now than you did before.

haha, crazy lol. we just couldnt believe it.... 3 rods in 3 different incidents! haha. i'm not sure if my mate kept him, might have tho. haha

oh well.. i'll be back in summer!

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good to hear you managed some good fish!! sad to hear no more camping at the tourist park :( and thats some bad luck on the rods

olympus does a good water proof camera, trust me the peace of mind knowing water can not affect it, only hint put a float on it ;) may be water proof but it sinks lol :lol:

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