This week is all about Large-mouth Nannygai.  There are two types commonly caught in Queensland waters – the Large-mouth, and the Small-mouth Nannygai.  The Small-mouth don’t reach the enormous size of the Large-mouth (over 1-meter 15kgs+) and don’t have as good eating quality.  Large-mouth are the obvious target by anglers and must be one of the best eating reef species with perfect white, soft flesh once cooked.  Another great attribute of these fish is their fighting capability.  When you hook a fish over 80cm be prepared, because these fish fight like crazy and will put every part of your fishing outfit to the test not to mention your physical capability. 

Large-mouth are generally found in numbers in deeper waters above 20 meters from rubble country in the middle of nowhere to ledges, wrecks, gutters and drop offs.  The other places these fish seem to be drawn like magnets to are wonky holes.  Wonky holes is an Australian term for a submarine groundwater discharge or a freshwater spring flowing from the seabed.  Modern state of the art side scan capabilities on high end sonars these days are making it easier to locate wonky holes hence all the chat about wonky holes on Australian fishing forums.

Once wonky holes are located, quite often the schools of Nannygai can be found on a 2D sonar hanging a few meters off the bottom and will rise further with the use of burly.

There’s plenty of mad lure fisherman out there having success catching this species on blades, jigs, vibes, and plastics, but for me bait fishing wins hands down.  Baits such as pilchards, squid, prawns, or an oily fish bait like School Mackerel work the best for me.

Large-mouth Nannygai have soft lips, so it pays to let the fish fully engulf your bait before striking. Lip hooked fish tend to tear so constant pressure is a must.

Nannygais suffer terribly from barotrauma and have one of the worst mortality rates around, so it pays to utilize a release weight or be skilled in the release of built-up gasses if you intend releasing fish. 

If you find a spot with Nannygai don’t overfish it, catch a couple, and move on.  Look after your spots and don’t share them.  Most experienced Nannygai anglers release most of their fish after venting the swim bladder of the built-up air.  I recommend that anglers learn how to do this properly, so they only catch a feed and leave the rest to swim away for another day.  You can learn how to effectively vent a fish by watching YouTube videos.

In the 2022 ALLSTARS fishing competition so far, it’s been a tussle for the Nannygai cash prize each month between 2 Gladstone based anglers…Micheal Webber and the owner of Outta Range Marine – Anthony Goulding.  Anthony’s business specialises in Simrad and Lowrance sales, installation and on water training.   So perhaps you can ask Anthony to include some of his wonky hole marks and on water Nannygai fishing training as a part of your electronics installation?

Anthony Goulding from Outta Range Marine with his 96cm Nannaygai caught from the closest port of Gladstone
Micheal Webber with his 90cm Nannygai caught from the closest port of Gladstone
ALLSTARS INSALT entrant Anthony Goulding with his cracking 103cm Nannygai caught from the closest port of Gladstone.
ALLSTARS INSALT Entrant Micheal Webber that caught a giant 97cm,14 kg Nannygai with his very proud son offshore from the port of Gladstone

Hopefully this article inspires you to get on the water and give Nannygai fishing a crack.  ALLSTARS has months of competition still to occur and stories to share.  I have decades of fishing tips and will interview many more successful commercial and recreational anglers to share their suggestions too.

As much as I like to write about fishing, I’d also like to hear from you.  So please email me at to share your fishing trips, fishing tips, fishing stories and photos.

A day on the water is better than a day at work.

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