I trust everyone has enjoyed all of their Christmas and New Year festivities and is looking forward to what fishing opportunities 2011 will bring.
Holiday time in South East Queensland sees plenty of boat traffic on the water but the fishing can still be very good with numerous options from the border north, especially if you’re chasing pelagic fish.
Down off the Gold Coast, spotted and Spanish mackerel plus the odd cobia are worth targeting on Palm Beach and Mermaid Beach reefs as well as the gravel patch and east of Burleigh Heads. You could also run into wahoo at these spots if the water is blue.
This area also has a bit of protection from southerly breezes, being in a basin that receives shelter from Point Danger.
Moving north into Moreton Bay casting slugs around any of the shipping beacons should see some action from the very aggressive school mackerel. Out in the main paddock of the bay, as well as along the front of Bribie Island, schools of spotted mackerel plus long tail tuna will be harassing the shoals of baitfish that move into the bay this time of year.
Moving offshore out around Point Lookout Spanish mackerel, wahoo and rat yellowfin will be keen to slam both trolled lures and baits. The Group in close to Point Lookout is the spot to target the Spaniards and the Sevens to the northeast of Flatrock is the area to drag the high speed lures around to entice a wahoo.
Over along the front of Moreton Island, the close in coffee rock reefs will produce both school and Spanish mackerel on mainly slow trolled baits; dragging lures around on these shallow reefs (10-15m) tends to spook the fish.
Up north of Cape Moreton are Flinders Reef and Hutchinson Shoal, both of which are well known areas for surface fishers and there are many toothy critters that inhabit the area seasonally.
We are certainly blessed here in the southeast corner with plenty of spots where we can target the seasonal pelagic species each year.
Towards the end of 2010 we’ve been copping plenty of strong southeasterlies that have kept us off the water, but when we’ve been able to sneak out the fishing as been very good. There are plenty of solid amberjacks keen to slam any bait or jig dropped in front of them out off the wider grounds.
There have also been good numbers of trag, and to a lesser extent yellowtail kingfish, but most are on the smaller side.
As was the case this time last year, snapper have put in a good appearance on the wider grounds and there has been some real quality fish amongst them in the 4-6kg bracket.
Fishing the wider grounds at this time of year can be really hard work with the current often roaring to the south for days, or even sometimes weeks, at a time, but you can still fish with good results on most occasions if you use a good sea anchor and the correct size lead that will drift nicely with the boat.
The government sets up advisory committees to look at and advise on numerous fisheries issues. One of those committees was known as the Reef Mac which has now been replaced by the Big Mac.
The problem with these advisory groups is that I believe not all sectors are getting the proper representation they deserve. Certain sectors inside fisheries handpick tho people to attend these meetings because it seems they tell Fisheries what they want to hear and do not rock the boat.
The same happened with this new committee with a lot of the same people reappointed, instead of people who are accurately informed in their sector of the fishery and can give proper informed advice. For example the appointed charter rep, doesn’t own or run a charter business, so therefore has nothing at stake or no money invested in the industry. Yet he is putting forward his views on charter fishery issues that could affect the whole business.
Fisheries need to ensure their representation on these committees are peoples who are putting forward the views of the majority of what their sector wants and not just their own personal views.
Enjoy your fishing, take care on the coastal bars and if you would like to join me on a charter (max five persons) give me a call at Outlaw Charters on (07) 3822 9527 or 0418738750.Reads: 2722