September Sun Rises
  |  First Published: September 2011

September will see the sun rising earlier in the morning, warmer days with northerly winds reappearing and warming water temperatures.

Usually yellowtail kingfish turn up in droves on the shallow reefs at this time of the year. Rat kings are omnivorous, fearless and great sport. They will eat almost any jig, lure, plastic or bait placed in front of them. Spring kings are an excellent way to enter the world of fishing with artificials, as these little kings jump all over your lures and will convince you that lures actually catch fish.

I will not give you a long diatribe on the silly minimum legal length of 60cm for yellowtail king. I think the sooner the minimum size of 50cm is changed for yellowtail kings to match amberjack and samsonfish, the better.

There are plenty of bigger kings around at this time of the year on all the rocky ledges and deep wrecks. The problem sometimes in September is trying not to hook up to big kingies while you are floating down livies or pillies for snapper. These hoodlums will destroy a lot of good fishing gear with their powerful runs down into any nearby structure.

Kingies are a wonderful fighting fish at any size but can be a bit dodgy on the table. Keep only what you need and send the rest home to tear your arms off another day.

One species I reckon will be in plentiful supply in September is hussar. I have caught these ‘tropical snapper’ at Deep Tempest in August while float lining for snapper. This year I’ve found them on every reef from Wide Caloundra in 60-85m to east of Cape Moreton, including all the shallow reefs in between. Some of these little red fish have topped 40cm. Hussar are great chewing and with a minimum size of 25cm it is easy to get a few keepers to add to your mixed bag.

Pearlies are always quiet up through Wide Caloundra in September and should be regarded as by-catch rather than as a target species. The past two years have seen large trag catches in spring with October the peak month. Trag have not been around in any numbers this winter except on a couple of notable occasions so I am not counting on good trag catches this September.

My money for this September is to catch some great snapper by float lining on Wide Caloundra, top up the creel with some tasty little hussar and get hurt by plenty of yellowtail kingies. See you on the water!

Fishin’ Tuition

A recent survey conducted by Marine Qld found that most people were introduced to fishing and boating via an older male, usually a parent, relative or family friend. While some remain faithful to their mentor’s ways, for many of us it is the beginning of the pleasurable, lifelong journey of piscatorial and boating discovery.

Like human sponges we wish to absorb all we can on our chosen passion, seeking enlightenment from our cohort, the printed word and gurus who present themselves from time to time.

As a young bloke I used to rush down every month to buy the latest fishing mags to garner the pearls of angling wisdom provided there. I was also an habitué of tackle shops and boat yards trying to milk the last drop of information from these extremely patient doyens, while spending plenty in their establishments along the way.

Nothing has changed as the next generation follows down the same path of learning. There are also those of mature age who have come upon this journey later in life but seek knowledge just as fervently as the young.

Despite this huge amount of vicarious angling ammunition, unfortunately, it is really hard to find someone to physically show you the ropes. I experienced plenty of frustration in my early days of trying to turn the printed word into fish on the end of my line.

Here are some tips on what to do and what not to do when searching for some ‘fishin’ tuition’. Below are some ways to realise the fishing success you crave and also to meet some like-minded friends along the way.

Beware of some out there who want to take plenty of your money to provide you with a “one day everything you ever needed to know about fishing” course. Keep your money in your pocket. It just doesn’t work that way. Gaining fishing and boating knowledge is a journey of many steps and many new friendships.

Join an Australian National Sportfishing Association (ANSA) Club, details of your closest ANSA club can be found at www.ansaqld.com.au. I was a member of the Bribie Island Sportfishing Club back in the ‘80s and ‘90s and learned so much from ANSA stalwart Jeff Sorrell and the late Ron Vine. I highly recommend ANSA’s ethics and knowledge of fishing.

Join a local Boat Club that has a fishing section. That way you can have the safety of company on the water, especially when fishing during club days and competitions. Details of fishing clubs like Redcliffe Game and Sportfishing Club are available online at www.fishnet.com.au/clubs/clubsqld.html or through the Yellow Pages.

Take a fishing charter with a local operator. When booking try to explain what would like to learn more about, or example, fishing techniques; sounder and GPS use; when and where to fish; helping your kids catch some fish, and so on. Most of the charter operators I know are only too happy to give you all the help you need to achieve your goals while you also catch some fish during the day.

It helps when you book to let them know that you are interested in fishing tuition so that they can organise themselves and their deckhand to help you out.

I have clients who have come along for sounder/GPS tuition, to catch their first fish on artificials (plastics, jigs) or simply to relieve them of the stress of trying to find fish for visitors or family members. Because of the friendships formed during these trips, I often get emailed pictures of previous clients catching fish on their own boats, asking for recommendations of good charter operators in an area where they are going on holidays, or to rebook because they have an urge to try out some new gun toy.

A word to the wise: do NOT take a GPS on board in the hope of getting some good marks on the sly; that’s not the way to foster relationships.

There are companies that offer inshore charters as well. If you are not having much luck with the local bream, crabs and prawns, taking one of these charters may be the way to pick up some solid tips on what to do.

In the end hopefully you have become a better angler and had a great journey along the way.

If part of your plan to learn more about fishing includes going out with an experienced and helpful charter crew, please call Keith on (07) 3203 8188 or email at --e-mail address hidden--

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