Early season snapper are on
  |  First Published: June 2012

It was good to get away for a few weeks around Easter to the Gold Coast and do a spot of fishing for myself but the mackerel were non-existent compared to last year.

I only bothered doing a couple of trips for just a few fish; chatting to a couple of Fisheries officers who were checking my catch confirmed the season on the coast was very hit and miss. This is mainly due to the amount of run-out keeping the water dirty close in to shore.

The pelagic season might not be a complete write-off just yet, if we can get a run of decent weather in late May and June, then bait should push in close on its way back north closely followed by some hefty late season mackerel and wahoo.

Bigger baits are the go this time of year with large slimies, small tuna and tailor my preference, but if you can’t get your hands on any, don’t be afraid to try large minnow lures like Halco Laser Pros or Rapalas. Early mornings, late afternoon and the tide changes are all prime bite times for mackerel, so don’t hesitate to have a quick troll on the way to or way back from reef fishing; you might put a bit of variety in the kill tank.

There should be some larger late season Spaniards and wahoo around. Snapper numbers should also steadily increase as the water temperature continues to drop. Snapper numbers have been encouraging already and on charter we’ve had a few good early season sessions with fish to 5kg.

Out on the wider grounds, amberjack, Samson and yellowtail kingfish should be worth targeting on both jigs and live baits and there should also be a few pearlies on the 90m and 100m lines off Point Lookout.

Political Promises

On another note, the LNP romped home in the election as expected, now let’s hope they start doing the right thing by anglers, as promised. Rezoning the green zones must be top priority, along with the $10 million net licensing buy back. The new Fisheries minister should make sure he doesn’t make the same mistake as the ALP did in the Moreton Bay Marine Park licence buy back, wasting millions on mostly useless licences, with the majority of the pros who took the money, back in the water the next day on other licence.

The LNP must get this right and only target the high effort licences and pay these pros accordingly, not waste time buying latent effort licences (licences with little or no history, that are not being used).

While it is a complex issue, I think the LNP needs to get rid of the latent effort licences out of the system so that they suddenly don’t start fishing, but they must only be given what they’re worth, which isn’t much. I think the high effort licences are the ones worth removing, but these pros need to be ‘properly compensated’.

Early season snapper have been showing up in encouraging numbers.

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