Hairy times in SE Queensland

Queenslander and Fisho writer Kris Sweres recently encountered a fish on home waters that Sydneysiders may be more accustomed to. The enigmatic hairtail is commonly caught in winter time with one known southern stronghold occurring in the Hawkesbury River. 

But as Fisho’s resident fish biologist Ben Diggles rightly points out, the hairtail is more commonly encountered than most fishos may think, with a known range that exists from as far afield as WA’s Shark Bay, around the bottom half of the country and along the east coast up as high as southern Queensland – roughly where Sweres was fishing recently. 

Kris takes it from here:

It’s a long way down in 50 foot of water with a 1/16 oz jighead, especially when the sounder is showing fish – large fish! The anticipation was running high and with a gentle little thud I stuck it to an initially sluggish beast. About 30 seconds in, the heart settled slightly and I eased up on what I called for a jewfish. All the signs were there: good weight, slack top tide and runs peppered with head shakes. With a gasp my mate hollered, “what the **** is that?”.

I look down to be damn near blinded by the light. A hairtail! A hairtail in south-east Queensland. A hairtail on a 25 degree morning … sure beats beanie clad nights live baiting the mouth of Akuna Bay.

Just goes to show that anything is possible when you’re out fishing…

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Kris Sweres’s mate Ben and his 74.5cm PB lizard caught during the session.

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