Solid hauls from South Passage Bar
  |  First Published: November 2011

The fishing offshore from the South Passage Bar over the past month or so has been very solid.

The snapper have continued in good numbers with the 35 fathom line, the Round Patch area and Deep Tempest area all producing quality fish. The fact that the snapper were late should probably see healthy numbers of fish continue to be caught into the month.

On charter lately we’ve had some great sessions on either snapper or amberjacks and kingfish, depending on what the clients want to target. The weather limiting our opportunities has been the only drawback.

As the water temperature continues to rise, deep water jigging and live baiting should really start to hot up and we should also start to see the first of the pelagics starting to show up on the radar.

The Point Lookout area over the past couple of years has seen some early season Spanish mackerel turn up in late November and early December, so it might be worth a troll later this month.

Point of View

There has been a lot of opinions floating around different forums of late and I’d like to add my perspective to it to jog a few people’s memories.

Firstly, the artificial reefs. When the Moreton Bay Marine Park debacle occurred a couple of years ago, professional fishers were offered compensation Through licence buy back, which did little to reduce effort as most went back to work under different licences. Charter operators who also lost large amounts of logged fishing grounds weren’t offered any compensations because we are classified as ‘platforms for recreational fishing’, although we are managed virtually the same as commercial fishers.

Our compensation was the be the same as for recreational fishing, in the form of ‘artificial reefs’. Now it’s good to finally see some reefs created north of Moreton Island and it would be good id we get a few down the southern end of Moreton Island, for example south of Hendersons Rock. These reefs would benefit anglers who fish from the southern end of the bay.

But now we have recreational fishing groups like Sunfish and Eco-Fishers pushing for charter boats to be banned from fishing these artificial reefs.

These groups need to be reminded that charter boats by definition are ‘platforms for recreational fishing’ and because a recreational fisher for one reason or another isn’t fortunate enough to own an offshore boat and their choice is to fish on board a charter boat, why should they be discriminated against?

These groups should instead be lobbying the government to have more fisheries presence on the water to deal with the increasing problem of sham amateurs who are already taking huge amounts of fish like cobia off these artificial reefs without blinking an eye. These ‘shamateurs’ are a bigger problem than these fishing groups want to admit and are by far a bigger threat to our fishery than a few charter boats.

The artificial reefs that have been created north of Moreton Island are doing their job at present, so these fishing lobby groups should be doing exactly that: lobby, not carry on about which recreational anglers should have access.

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