HEADER SOUTHERN QLD
The snapper had been patchy up until the second half of August and the first couple of days of September, when the fish really turned on and catching our bag limit of snapper was no drama at all.
The quality of fish changed from day to day with fish in the 1-3kg bracket some days. Then the next day fishing in the same area brought in fish around 3-4kg.
These fish have arrived a little later than they did last year, so they might hang around in good numbers until late October or even early November.
The wider reefs such as the 35s, 42s and Deep Tempest have been producing the bulk of the fish for us, but we have had a few hectic sessions on the shallower reefs, working the different moon phases.
One thing that did surprise me throughout August and early September was the amount of bait and mac tuna in on the shallow reefs, along with plenty of sharks. During a couple of sessions fishing the shallow grounds, it was a ratio of one snapper to one mac tuna, along with several heads coming aboard. If the snapper weren’t in such good quality we would have moved off, as the mac tuna were a real pain.
We also put the hooks into a couple of marlin and have seen a few free jumpers out wider hammering bait schools. I’m not sure what this means for the up coming marlin and pelagic season, but they have certainly showed up early.
With the snapper playing the game so well at present, we’ve had time to do a bit of jigging out wide on the 42s and along the 37 fathom line. Again we’ve had quite a few hook ups on sizeable amberjacks and kingfish, but getting them to the boat is another issue. Once you manage to get them away from the bottom, they are being slammed half way up by sharks. If you’re lucky you get a head back along with your jig, but mostly the taxmen are getting the lot.
In the coming months once the water warms up and the snapper have thinned out, we’ll start live baiting the wider reefs again, and hopefully the sharks have moved on by then.
The spring months give anglers plenty of options fishing east of the South Passage Bar but snapper will be the main target on both the closer in reefs and the wider grounds.