How to Find Wonky Holes

Have you ever wondered where nannygai fish hide? Have you heard about wonky holes but not quite sure how to find them? To take advantage of wonky holes and the fishing opportunities they create, here are a few insider tips you need to know. But firstly, what is a wonky hole?

What’s a wonky hole?

A wonky hole is an Australian slang term for an underground hole or channel where freshwater from the mainland drains into the ocean. It’s formed when the freshwater exits through the sea floor.

But could you recognise one if you came across it?

What does a wonky hole look like?

A wonky hole looks like a channel in the reef or sea floor. When the freshwater from the mainland forces its way out into the ocean it causes this channel.

The term ‘wonky hole’ was coined by fisherman due to trawlers losing gear, trawlers overturning and nets getting caught on the rough and uneven holes. But the name refers to the shape of the hole.

You see, coral doesn’t grow well in freshwater. The freshwater coming through the wonky hole causes the coral to die which creates the irregular shape around the hole.

Where to look for wonky holes

Wonky holes aren’t that easy to find. Why? Because fishermen have located their coordinates but kept these wonky holes a secret due to the amount of fish they attract. So, how do you find wonky holes if you’re not a fisherman?

It can be time consuming. But there’s rumoured to be some 200 wonky holes off the coast of Townville, Queensland, stretching up towards Cape York. Across the Great Barrier Reef wonky holes can be found near Mission Beach and Bedarra Hideaway near mouths of rivers hidden by sand.

It also has been reported that up to 50 holes have been found near Vanderlin Island off the Northern Territory’s East Coast. But some say with GPS technology, it has become easier to mark wonky hole coordinates.

So, why does a wonky hole make a good nannygai fishing trip?

Nannygai are bottom feeders and love deep shoals and reefs, so it only makes sense that they’re attracted to reef where wonky holes may be. With the freshwater that flows into the coral reefs comes nutrients from the mainland within the freshwater. The fish are attracted to these nutrients and therefore travel to wonky holes to take advantage of them.

So, once you’ve found the wonky holes, how do you catch a nannygai or two?

How do you catch nannygai?

But first, what’s a nannygai fish? Also known as nannies, these saltwater bottom feeders love deep shoals and reefs from 30 metres in depth, so these fish thrive in wonky holes. The great barrier reef is home to both the large and small mouth nannygai. Get this, the large mouth nannygai can weigh in at a whopping 13 kgs!

Catching a large or small mouth nannygai requires a sturdy rod with a standard dropper rig, a mix of squid and small fish on a hook too. The best time to catch a nannygai is during cooler months and at night. Coordinates of these fish are heavily guarded by fishermen but with GPS technology, the nannygai can be more readily found. So are you ready for a chartered fishing trip?

Note: There’s a limit of 9 nannies per person and size limit of 40cm when fishing the great barrier reef.

Your next Wahoo Charters nannygai fishing trip

If you’re keen to nab yourself a reef fish, speak to the fishing experts at Wahoo Charters who specialise in reef fishing charters. We can get you out in the waters and hooking a few in no time.

Call our friendly staff to book your next chartered fishing trip or visit our website for a list of our charters, our pricelist or to find out more about Wahoo fishing charters.

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