Unbelievable Reef Fishing
  |  First Published: February 2011

We've certainly had our fair share of wet weather, but we are a lot more fortunate than those in the north and those in central Queensland who have been flooded out of their homes.

Best of all, we are still managing to get out and catch some decent fish.


To my surprise we are experiencing some of the best reef fishing we have had all year with some unbelievable catches of pearl perch, parrot, Moses perch and snapper. We haven't had to travel very far at all; a lot of these good reef fish have been biting really well in close.

On the pelagic scene, spotted and Spanish mackerel are shaping up for another corker season like last year. The spotted mackerel, even on their fussy days, have been easily coaxed onto metal lures. My pick of the lures has been the 65g Raider and the 40g Halco Twistie.

Spanish mackerel have also been an easy target, but live baits are working the best. Both species are in the close waters.

I thought that with all of the rain we have had it might have slowed the mackerel up but the dirtier water still hasn't spooked them off.


There has been lots of fresh water pouring in off the land, which has made the water a little unclear, but it hasn't slowed the fishing up.

Whiting have been the main target as they are biting really well on live beach worms and yabbies. There have also been a few chopper tailor around but there is not a lot of size to them. The better quality fish have been caught late in the evening on the rising tide.


With all of this steamy weather mangrove jacks have been on fire around the Carlo Creek area. They have been a relatively easy target and we have found success just by floating down un-weighted strips of mullet. There have also been some quality bream falling for the same trick.

Further upstream there have been good catches of golden trevally around Inskip Point. It’s a bit like playing a game of patience, but they are there to be had with live bait.

Mud crabs have been a little bit slow, which is probably due to having too much fresh water pouring into the Straits. Once the water starts to clear up, I'm sure there will be plenty ready for the dinner table.

Weatherwise, February can be a bit of an unsettled month, but it’s also one of the most full-on action months of the year with the pelagics. Their size seems to increase during February/ March.

Most readers realise that there is a six week closure coming in on snapper, trag and pearl perch during February and March. It is not traditionally one of my favourite months for targeting these guys, so they can have it. (For full details see Page 104-106 –Ed)

Up here we are spoilt with lots of other bottom dwelling fish that we can target like red emperor, Moses perch, sweetlip, parrot and the list goes on.

To enjoy a day on the water with Keely Rose Fishing Charters phone 0754 863 150 or 0407 146 151 or visit www.keelyrosefishingcharters.com.au.

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