Hervey Bay Fly and Sportfishing guide Andrew Chorley was quick to snap a photo of this Bryde's whale feeding in the shallows off the Sandy Strait on Sunday.
Hervey Bay Fly and Sportfishing guide Andrew Chorley was quick to snap a photo of this Bryde's whale feeding in the shallows off the Sandy Strait on Sunday. ANDREW CHORLEY

Early season whale spotted by fishing guide

A FRASER Coast fishing guide witnessed the rare sight of a Bryde's whale feeding in the shallows off the Sandy Strait on Sunday.

Hervey Bay Fly and Sportfishing guide Andrew Chorley said it was common for this type of whale to be seen along Fraser Island's Eastern waters, rather than down the Strait.

Especially as whale season is still about 10 weeks away.

The Bryde's whale is the only baleen whale species that lives all year-round in warmer waters. 

"It was exciting and more unusual to spot one in the Sandy Strait," Mr Chorley said.

A Bryde's whales feeding from a bait ball at Cape Byron. Photo: Surflife Australia Photography.
A Bryde's whales feeding from a bait ball at Cape Byron. Photo: Surflife Australia Photography.

A yearling humpback was also spotted on Monday by HBFS guide Murray Smith near Coongul Creek, heading north.

Mr Smith said the whale was tracking north and seemed to be on its own.

"Around this time of year we often see just the odd humpback come through usually singles or in pairs," Mr Smith said.

With a bumper season expected, Mr Chorley is encouraging boaties to be wary of the whales while out on the water.

"It won't be long before we see more of the whale migration," Mr Chorley said.

"With numbers growing every year boaties need to vigilant when boating and fishing in Hervey Bay."

Fraser Coast Tourism & Events VIC coordinator Andrew Ellis said the number of inquiries about whale watching was starting to increase with people starting to plan their trips around the whale season from late July to early November.

"We've noticed quite a few locals coming in wanting information for family and friends who are visiting during whale season which is encouraging," he said.