Hopefully we will see some decent weather this month. While everyone in South East Queensland knows that it always rains at Easter, with especially heavy falls directly over your tent, I am hoping for some fine weather and light winds.
This month water temps start dropping off, trips with morning departures are in darkness until nearly 6am and the fishery really starts lighting up. The tropical species hang on through April at the shallows and also at Wide Caloundra.
This is also the month to land a legal red emperor in southern Qld as well as hook onto other rarities such as coronation trout, paddle tail, green jobfish and tomato cod.
Fishing dawn and dusk gives you a better chance of hooking something special, especially if you are float lining, preferably with small slimies. These are quite prolific around the new artificial reefs so it is worth stopping at them on the way out simply to gather live bait.
Pearl perch, which I think are the best eating fish down here, start schooling up in good numbers and sizes. Pearlies are quite indiscriminate in their eating habits and will scoff down most baits with gusto. Presentation does not phase pearlies much either, so paternosters work just fine. There have been a number of pearlies over 50cm landed in March, so I expect more of these really good fish to be landed in April.
The usual coral reef culprits such as Venus tuskfish, Moses perch and hussar are about in good numbers, add colour to the box and are all first class table fish. These can be caught in better sizes on the gravel beside the wire weed. You can tell when you have drifted off the wire weed, which is the preferred habitat of pearl perch, when the first tuskfish comes aboard. Not that catching tuskies is a problem; they are delicious as well.
Large amberjack over the last couple of years have not turned up in their usual numbers at Wide Caloundra. I will be using some bigger live baits during April in the hope that the ambos will make a reappearance this year. There is always a smattering of these brilliant and brutal fighting fish along the 95m ledge, east of the wire weed. Ambos will succumb to knife jigs as well so you can use jigs to test likely spots for these fish.
Easter is a really popular time for families to go boating. This usually means crowded boat ramps and numbers of less experienced boaties launching, retrieving and navigating our waterways. Please lend a hand rather than a harsh word so that all of us, irrespective of our skill levels, have an enjoyable boating experience over the break.
If you are still learning the ropes, don’t be afraid to practice your launching and retrieval routine before heading down to the ramp.
Good things to practice include: everyone’s specific roles; making sure the pin can be released easily from the safety chain; checking where the tie down ropes are stored after removal before launching; where to store the winch handle; where the shifting spanner is stored for if you do lose the winch handle or have over tightened the safety chain pin; where are the bungs are stored and then check the bungs are in the boat; check you have the keys to the boat; and the list goes on. A written checklist may look like overkill but it can save a lot of stress at the boat ramp.
Hopefully my new private craft, Valhalla, a 30’ Wellcraft 290 that I bought in Florida, USA will be on the water for Easter and I can spend a bit of family time mucking about in between charters.
For those who would like to fish Wide Caloundra over the Easter holidays, please call Keith at Incredible Charters on (07) 3203 8188 or email: --e-mail address hidden--Reads: 1533