We finally know the results of the snapper review with a new bag limit of four fish at 35cm with only one over 70cm starting from 1 September this year.
To be totally honest I’ve had a gut full of the whole show, as have quite a few others involved in the review process. I think it has turned out to be a waste of time and effort with a struggling government making a totally political decision, in an attempt to win back votes before the next election.
I don’t think there was any reason to change the five fish at 35cm going by the catches of the past few years but limiting the amount of big fish taken is probably a good thing. Whether we like it or not this is what we’ve got until the next review in 2014 and let’s just hope we don’t have a Green aligned government then or we will all be selling our boats.
My last word on this, is that we all want a sustainable snapper fishery for future generations and the only way to do that is to have proper management tools in place for all three sectors: professional, charter and recreational. I believe the government missed the opportunity to put this into place, search of votes instead. As far as catch estimates go, the water is already fairly cloudy, and I think it will be a lot muddier in 2014, and where will that leave us?
Onto the fishing and the snapper season should be in full swing this month with most of the reef lines having good numbers of fish. My logs over the past few years have shown the next few months to be the most productive of the year and it all points to being the same this year.
There’s nothing quite like float lining with lighter leads and getting smashed by a good snapper, so ditch the paternoster rig and try float lining and I’m sure you’ll be converted. If your bait is getting to the bottom easily, continue to lighten the lead until it gets a nice angle away from the boat and it takes more of an effort to reach the bottom.
Snapper love to hit a bait that is on the drop and the quality of fish is usually much better than what you will catch on a bottom dropper.
Don’t go overboard with the line size, 30lb is plenty and mono is the go when bait fishing for snapper.
The fish should be widespread at the moment with the 20, 33, 35 and 42 Fathom lines east of Moreton Island holding fish, as well as deep Tempest and down off North Stradbroke Island and the CathedralsReads: 1221