Lightning Fast into the New Year
  |  First Published: December 2011

Lightning is the best way to describe how quickly 2011 went by, the good news is that a new year can bring with it some great fishing and that is exactly what we are hoping for.

In this edition Dominic Fry and I have put together a few notes on the huge number of reefs that are accessible by anglers on the Sunshine Coast. This was designed to assist anyone who comes to the Sunshine Coast for holidays or maybe moving here permanently to understand how diverse the fishing really is. Most importantly it will get you to the different reefs so that you can begin to fill up the GPS and create your own Spot Xs around the place.

Kingfish have saved the day on many occasions lately, so when the fish are quiet a short trip out to the Mooloolaba blinker may mean the difference between a screaming reel or not.

For those who love their bigger brute fishing then Hutchies has had its fair share of wahoo and mahi mahi. Trolling has proven to be the most successful method and for the mackerel a very slow troll using livies or larger dead baits has been a deadly combination.

Larger tuna varieties are in reasonable numbers out in the deeper waters of Wide Caloundra and the Barwon Banks and this should continue for the next month or so. Bait schools are around and by finding them on the sounder and fishing around them you will enhance your chances of a hook up.

If you are going to fish at the anchor then don’t forget to use plenty of berley. Set up your berley trail about 30 minutes before you get serious about the fishing just to give you a good head start.

Tuskfish around the 2kg are a delicious addition to any BBQ and to secure a couple of them next trip try drifting over your favourite spot. That little bit of extra movement using either a paternosta or snell rig will see them attack your bait.

There is also a stack of iodine bream around all the reef systems at the moment. You can think what you like about them but sometimes they are the only fish that will take a bait.

I have answered a lot of questions about them in the past but the easiest way to tell if they will be good on the plate is to smell them. If the iodine smell comes through normally I will return them to the water but if not then a couple are always good for the neighbours or your plate. One thing we do is keep the iodine bream separate to all the other fish by putting them in a plastic bag in the esky.

The best spots to troll at the moment in close are around the Inner and Outer Gneerings, Old Womens Island, Murphys, Blinker, Brays Rock and Currimundi. If you are prepared to anchor and float some baits out then tackle the Caloundra 5 Mile or the spoil grounds down off the northern tip of Bribie Island. Of course there are plenty of deep water spots but you really don’t have to go too far to get the mackerel when they are on.

The estuaries are enjoying the last run of big flathead and by all counts it has been a very successful season on them. Bells Creek and the Pontoons at Gemini Towers and the Caloundra Power Boat Club have plenty of herring around them and that is why the flathead stick around.

Whiting are everywhere and it can be difficult to get an elbow slapper as all the pickers get your bait fairly quickly. Best method is to keep moving just a little deeper until the big boys make it to your line first.

Military Jetty is alive with smaller bream and some good sized trevally. Hardbodied lures and blades are accounting for a good number of them particularly around the Boardwalk and the canals around Pelican Waters. Moses perch and chopper tailor are normally by-catch when targeting trevally.

The change of the tide is the best time to target them so plan your trips well. Fishing early mornings or late afternoons over the holiday period will serve you better as hundreds of holidaymakers tend to make a lot of noise sending the fish to cover.

If you decide to fish along the Caloundra Boardwalk beachfront please check the new regulations. Fishing has been banned by the Sunshine Coast council in the BBQ area and on the swimming beach leaving only a small pocket at Happy Valley to fish and the Boardwalk. A $200 fine will be presented to you if you do not comply with these ridiculous rulings.

I would head around to Kings Beach to target whiting and Moffat for a few bream in the evenings. There is always a good chance of a mackerel or big sweetlip of the beach at Moffats making it a better spot overall.

Dart and bream can be found along the many kilometres of beaches from Dicky Beach to Point Cartwright and fishing the low or high tides will result in some good hook ups. The best thing about fishing the beach is that if it is quiet there is always an option to take a dip in the deep blue.

The rocks around Shellys Beach are worth a try but you can only safely fish them during the low tide. Your rig should be as light as possible and very little in sinker weight otherwise you will spend you day re-rigging because of rocky outcrops snagging you up. Quality bream and tuskfish can be taken in this area but remember to always think safely and watch the waves in front of you at all times.

Overall a terrific month ahead and I look forward to your photographs of the big one that did not get away. The summer sun is really belting down this year so remember to take plenty of water, sunscreen, glasses and a hat out with you when you plan a fishing trip. Enjoy the summer holidays and I hope you catch plenty of quality fish. Have Fun!

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