Sharks Suit Up
  |  First Published: July 2011

Fishing east of the South Passage Bar during May and early June has been hard work to say the least. If it’s not the weather keeping us off the water, it’s the widespread sharks knocking off a high percentage of hooked fish.

There’s been very little current off Moreton Island during this time and when you’re fishing straight up and down, it’s easy pickings for the grey suit brigade.

When there’s a bit of flow in the water, you’ve got more of a change to boat the hooked fish, as the drift will draw you away from the critical area where the sharks are sitting close to the feeding fish.

The sharks seem to be making a habit of taking the easy prey of a hooked fish. I suppose you can’t blame them, when all they have to do is following up a hooked fish directly above where they have been waiting then it’s all too easy.

It seems the sharks are starting to get selective, though on several recent charters I’ve shifted locations to get away from the sharks, only to have the same problem kilometres away.

I’ve spoken to quite a few other charter operators and pro fishers working off Moreton Island and north of the cape and they’re all singing to the same hymn book regarding the shark problem. I’m not sure where the scientists have got their data from that indicates the state’s shark numbers are down, because it seems to be the opposite on our part of the coast.

When you can successfully dodge the sharks, snapper have been starting to come to the boats. Although snapper season isn’t in full swing yet, catches have been promising with good snapper being caught on the 33 and 35 fathom reef lines with some solid fish in the 4-6kg bracket showing up.

The next couple of months should see the snapper really turn it on and judging by the amount of rain we’ve had, it should be at least as good a season as last year, maybe even better.

Down off North Stradbroke Island, the Cathedral line of reef has been fishing well for mixed bags of snapper, parrotfish and trag jew, with a few mahi mahi being taken at the Wave Rider buoy too. I’m a firm believer in the theory ‘no run, no fun’ but the Cathedrals seem to still fish reasonably well without too much current, as long as you’ve still got a little but of breeze to keep you moving along the reef.

The law of averages would certainly have us due for a prolonged run of good weather, so let’s hope that’s not too far away so we can all enjoy some quality snapper fishing this season.

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