‘Tis the Season for a Pearlie
  |  First Published: December 2011

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all. Wide Caloundra has been fishing very well and should continue to reward anglers through the Christmas break.

Pearl perch are around in quality and numbers. Incredible Charters have landing fish over 50cm on nearly every trip as well as plenty of solid pearlies over 40cm. These are the best chewing fish in the ocean in my opinion so bleed and slurry them on capture to make the best of the pearlie’s superb eating qualities.

As mentioned last month, pearlies have been taking both bait and soft plastics without delay. While most plastics have caught fish the two standouts are both from the Z-Man stable.

The Z–Man 2844 8” Glow fished on TT jig heads from 1-4oz is being totally inhaled by big pearlies. In fact it was impossible to see the lure in the photos because it went too far down their throats.

The smaller Z-MAN 2865 StreakZ Curly Tails 4” Glow are also deadly when fished on 5/0 suicide hooks on a paternoster. One client caught five legal pearlies on one tail before all his mates started queuing up to use plastics as well. Needless to say we didn’t stay on that spot much longer and moved on to other species.

Trag jew as expected have all but disappeared. Trag have been replaced in the northern parts of Wide Cal by tuskfish, Moses perch and hussar. With the onset of summer and the ensuing warmer waters these colourful and tasty fish will increase in numbers and quality until May.

Kingfish and amberjack have been absent from Wide Cal since autumn. It’s necessary to head south of the Cape or into deeper water to tangle with these critters this year. Hopefully this is a temporary situation.

Incredible Charters has been catching plenty of cobia of late. They have been falling to live and dead baits as well as XOS plastics. Cobia are a bit hit-and-miss, turning up one day eating anything then being impossible to find the next. Try looking for them anywhere south of Murphy’s to the new Wild Banks Artificial Reefs. Find bait schools and the Cobia usually won’t be far away.

The shallow reefs haven’t fired up this year yet. The only shallow reef producing consistently good catches of mixed reef fish such as red throat emperor, Moses perch and snapper is Shallow Tempest. That being said there are a few wahoo being caught off Hutchies by high speed trolling.

If you’re an occasional boater and are dusting your craft off for its annual run at Christmas time, it could pay to have the motor serviced, put fresh fuel in the tank and check the trailer bearings and brakes. Plenty of holiday boating hopes are dashed because of a failed trailer on the side of the road or spluttering to a stop shortly after launching. A little precautionary maintenance is definitely worth it.

On the charter scene Incredible Charters is seeing its clients now falling into four broad categories.

The first is the group of mates, families or work colleagues who are having a work function, mate’s day out or Buck’s day. The INCREDIBLE is a platform for a great day out with the fishing being just one part of the overall enjoyment and experience. Many INCREDIBLE gift vouchers are sold to this cohort. We often see these groups on a yearly basis.

The second is mainly mature gentlemen who have done their fair share of offshore fishing and have sold their boat. These gentlemen are usually accomplished anglers who want to catch some good fish. They often share the experience with sons, grandsons or other relatives and come fishing on the INCREDIBLE a number of times a year. The availability of electric reels is a real bonus for some of these clients.

The third is people who love fishing and set aside the time to head offshore. These regulars may be fly in – fly out workers, self employed businessmen with flexible working hours or workers who use their RDO to go fishing. This group also includes travellers who take the chance to go fishing in the various locations they stop at as they holiday around Australia.

The last and fastest growing group is those who either own boats or are looking seriously at purchasing a vessel. These fishers want to learn more about the how and where of offshore fishing and improve their fish finding and catching skills. Rather than paying too much for self proclaimed experts to “teach” them all there is to know about fishing for a ridiculous fee, these people are coming fishing, learning by doing and going home with a feed of fish as well as having increased their fishing know-how.

It’s not uncommon to have a cluster of clients looking at the GPS and sounder prior to dropping down as well as spending time during the day discussing their boats and specific fishing situations as well. The decky shows how the rigs are tied, bait and outfits prepared, as well as species identification and the handling of hooked fish for both retention and release. All in all, it’s a great way to way to improve your fishing and boating knowledge.

No matter what your motivation for heading out on a charter, if you would like to join INCREDIBLE CHARTERS for a day’s fishing through December and the holiday period, please call Keith on (07) 3203 8188 or email: --e-mail address hidden--

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