Bait up for Beelbi Creek
Imagine the thrill as the bow of your tinny slices through the still waters of Toogoom’s Beelbi Creek with liquid ease. You’ve launched your boat on the run in tide from the boat ramp adjacent to Goody’s Restaurant at the end of Toogoom Road. The mangroves close about you and nearby Hervey Bay’s busy traffic seems far off as you head upstream.
A good way up, the creek narrows and the mangroves and tea-trees grow closer with the water around their trunks mirroring each bush perfectly. The wind is non-existent on this magic morning and the sun slants down into the shadows. A salty breeze out of the southeast almost, but not quite, masks the steamy smell of the black, sticky mud lining the banks.
Thousands of yabby holes catch your eye in the shallows and in indents in the soft, golden sand. You check to make sure you have your yabby pump. Stingrays streak away from your approach leaving the round indentations of their resting holes on the rippled bottom. Occasionally you hear the flap of an osprey’s wings seconds before its cry breaks the silence of the cool morning.
You are hopeful for a feed of prawns to have as a bonus entrée with your fish dinner as you cast your net for some herrings for bait. Maybe you are just too early or a little late in the season. February to May is probably the best time to try.
Back down-stream a way you’ve had plenty of success with the yabby pump to add to the supply of fresh worms and several of those little black (not the blue) soldier crabs that scarper along the beaches. Mainly in the warmer months there is a good chance you might catch some elbow-slapper whiting. Your tackle might consist of a light line, swivel, short trace and a number two hook.
You do, however, have other options to try on another day. Other species that inhabit beautiful Beelbi Creek include but are not limited to bream, flathead, mangrove Jack and the top fisher-people have been known to catch barramundi.
Fishing in Beelbi Creek offers a choice of going out into Hervey Bay or upstream, but be aware that there is limited travelling when the tide is low and there are submerged rocks and logs, so if you don’t know the area seek local knowledge or maybe join the local Toogoom Fishing Club Inc. Check the local rag, The Toogoom Chatter, for details.