Anglers wait for the Heat
  |  First Published: December 2011

The start of summer off the South Passage Bar usually means the water temperature rising and the pelagic fish turning it on, but so far neither has occurred.

The water temp has been hovering around 22-23C and we need it around 24-25C for the pelagics to get really active and start feeding hard.

Although the bottom fish slow down this time of year, there are still plenty of options for anglers fishing off the South Passage Bar. The wider grounds of the 35, 37 and 42 fathom reefs are the place to target amberjack, Samson and kingfish on live bait, jigs or large plastics. Trag can also be in good numbers out wide in December, but they can be a very moody fish if conditions aren’t spot on for them to feed.

For the hardened snapper fisho, shallow tempest north of the Hendersons Green Zone should still be holding fish and the quality this time of year is usually top shelf. Snapper 5kg plus, spangled emperor, the odd cobia and the ever present XOS kingfish should all be on the menu. Floatlining pillies is the way to go – keep you sinker as light as possible and don’t go overboard on line size with 30lb being plenty. Be prepared to get blown away a few times but you will get a lot more strikes on the lighter gear.

Over around Point Lookout trolling high-speed lures or slow trolling livies for wahoo, Spanish mackerel and yellowfin tuna should improve steadily over the next few months. When high-speed trolling for wahoo, the ever present mac tuna can drive you mad, but it’s often worth persisting as wahoo can move in at the flick of a switch and you’ll soon forget the annoying mac tuna.

Make sure your gear is in tip top condition as these fish will certainly put it to the test. This time use 30lb line as a minimum as sharks can be a problem and you’ll need to get the fish to the boat relatively quickly.

December fishing can be a real battle with either no current or north moving current and water temperatures still down. The bite periods have been very inconsistent of late both out wide and in close. In saying that we’ve had a couple of cracker days on the snapper, getting our quota of fish over 70cm.

December is storm season, so make sure you also keep a good eye on the weather and be back in the harbour before those afternoon storm hit.

The Christmas silly season is also about to start, so be patient on the boat ramps and make sure your boat is serviced and carrying all the correct safety gear. I hope everyone has a safe and happy Christmas and new year and let’s hope the weather is a bit kinder than it was last year!

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