Snap-Lock Open
  |  First Published: April 2011

The pelagics have continued to put in a good showing along the coast with plenty of spotted and Spanish mackerel being caught, which should continue throughout April at all their regular haunts.

This time of year normally sees some real horse Spaniards and wahoo turn up, so make your gear is up to it.

On the reef fishing scene, there should be mixed bags available on the shallow reefs and out on the wider grounds. Snapper, trag, pearlies and amberjack should keep the deep water fishers busy.

This is a good time of year to combine trolling with reef fishing and put some variety in the kill tank. Dragging a few lures around at the start or finish of your fishing day can often be the icing on the cake, if you manage to get a wahoo, mackerel or yellowfin tuna to get your reels screaming.

Snapper RIS

To be totally honest it’s hard to write this report and get excited about what’s happening on the fishing front when so many fishing related businesses have been doing it very tough through this six-week closure that we’ve all had to endure. Everyone I’ve come in contact with over the past few weeks have said their businesses have been very quiet since the start of the closure and some are struggling to keep the doors open. Those affected include tackle shops, boat yards, charter operators, electronics outlets plus many more.

The government ignored many approaches to reverse its decision but the opposition’s line is Anna is prepared to cop the backlash from the fishing community but not prepared to cop it from the Green’s, who she needs if she’s any hope of re-election.

Senior Fisheries management also showed again how little they really understand about the fishery they are trying to manage. At the recent Snapper RIS Port Meeting held at the Wynnum RSL, approximately 12 charter operators sat down around the table with a senior Fisheries manager to discuss the future management options. When I stated to her that the six-week closure virtually locked the majority of charter boats up in harbour for the six-weeks because they’re predominately bottom fishing boats who target snapper, trag and pearlies, she stated to the disbelief of the group that we could go to work and target ‘tropical snapper!’

These people are supposed to understand the fishery they’re attempting to manage but if that were the case they’d know that we don’t catch ‘tropical snapper’, especially south of the Cape Moreton. You start to see these varieties of fish north of the Cape but more so from the Barwon Banks north. Now I don’t doubt we have many good people in Fisheries but let’s get the right people managing our fishery.

April 8 is the deadline to get the response forms in for the RIS document and I urge you to have your say. Sunfish’s line is to sign their petition and the government will magically pull ‘Option 5’ out, which has no restrictions. That would be great if that were the case, but the majority of us have the view the Minister is going to rubber stamp one of the four options. My opinion is Option 1 is the best of a bad bunch.

The government has again showed its lack of care for this process with Minister Mulheron being moved sideways and Minister Wallace from Townsville being handed the portfolio. Being from Townsville he will have little knowledge of the snapper fishery, so all he will know is what Fisheries are telling him!

Now that the closure is over I urge you to support your local marine business, they need your support. Book a charter, buy some tackle, get the boat serviced, etc. All these businesses need you support to survive or they won’t be there for you convenience down the track.

Enjoy you fishing, take care on the coastal bars and if you’d like to join me on charter (max. 5 persons) give me a call at Outlaw Charters on 07 3822 9527 or 0418 738 750. Visit www.outlawcharters.com.au.

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