When the weather has permitted we have been out enjoying a terrific run of fish right around the Sunshine Coast.
The early signs of spring have been favourable with all the usual seasonal species coming out to play particularly the pelagic varieties. A strong run of snapper was seen towards the closing months of winter with some real knobbies around the 7kg+ mark being taken around the top of the Hards along with a large variety of reef species.
The player of the season has to be the humble pearl perch with top numbers of the species being taken from Noosa to Moreton and every reef or spot of rubble in between. Fish around the 5kg mark were rare but still available to those that were fishing the right place at the right time.
In general the pearlies averaged out around the 2-3kg mark, which make great eating in anyone’s book.
The Barwon Banks has produced a lot of reefies including cod, hussar, iodine bream, emperor, grassy sweetlip, whiptails and parrot over the winter season. There has been more bait schools around and they have been in fairly close compared to previous years.
The quality fish always follow the bait schools and that’s where the majority of big snapper and pearlies were this year. The shallow reefs around Caloundra, known as the 5, 7 & 12 mile reefs, have also been worth targeting for snapper and pearlies right through this month along with the ever-present cobia, amberjack and kingies.
Early morning fishing is equally as productive as the evening and to make it even more effective work on matching the tide with dawn or dusk. There are plenty of live baits around the beacons at Caloundra, Bray’s Rock and Currimundi Reef and spending an extra 30 minutes to find them will make the difference between an average trip and a great trip this month.
The weather has kept a lot of fishos closer in so places like Murphys, the Blinker and the Gneerings have seen a lot of traffic of late. Old Womens Island has been the spot to nail a few snapper and pearl perch when everywhere else was taking too much of a pounding.
Wide Caloundra is starting to also show signs of a very good pelagic season with some decent kingfish and cobia running the deeper reefs. The 60m line out to the 120m is one of the best areas to work your jigs and drop some larger 7” soft plastics over the side to break up the fishing.
The estuaries have been slow around the Caloundra area this season with a late run on good-sized bream. The Pumicestone Passage has had its share of flathead around legal length and one of the better spots to nail them has been along the Bulcock Beach stretch. Soft plastics have taken their share but a string of whitebait or larger prawns have become the killer bait. There have been stacks of chopper tailor around the traps from the mouth of the bar through to Coochin Creek. This season I have caught more tailor on plastics than ever before but I must qualify that by saying I was targeting them around the schools of bait fish.
The Squidgy Pro range of plastics has been my favourite lure and caught me the most fish out of all that I have used. The channels have held numbers of trevally, tarpon, batfish, tailor and flathead and the shallow waters and sand banks have been the spot for whiting and again the flathead. Early mornings are the best time to target these areas by far and again when you get tide and time right you will have a great session.
The pontoons around Gemini and the Powerboat Club are good fishing but it is difficult sometimes with the cast netters constantly throwing in their nets. When I use my net I cast only once every 10 or so minutes to give the bait time to relax a little and get back to where they were.
The bream run is certainly on and will continue this month with the beaches like Kings, Moffat and Shellys all hot spots to catch them. Fish in excess of 1kg are becoming more common catches, but normally fish around 800-900g will still put a smile on your face, particularly if you are catching them two at a time.
Drummer have been around but big thick schools of them are not here just yet. Get your green weed sent up from down south like the smart local anglers do, as there is very limited supply around this end of the coast.
The canals around Pelican Waters and up in Kawana are full of just legal bream and chopper tailor. It is worth looking around these areas because the most unlikely spots hold fish.
Currimundi Lake is open to the main beach now and has enjoyed top naming spot for bream and mullet this season. I have seen huge numbers of bream taken off the Currimundi Bridge in the wee hours of the morning. Normally chicken strips from the leg of the chicken have been the best bait with mullet strips, yabbies and prawns all making an impression.
This month we will see the estuaries continue to provide strong entertainment around the Sunshine Coast particularly with the bream and flathead.
The beaches will start to give up more dart and whiting and a late season greenback is always a big chance.
Outside on the reefs it’s time to add those livies to the tank and enhance your chances of a cruising cobia or kingfish as you target the many reef species available around the area.Reads: 1777