The cool weather arrived, the water temp dropped, but the snapper certainly didn’t disappoint! Good numbers of fish have been caught at most of their usual haunts off Moreton and North Stradbroke islands.
Late June and early July finally saw some reasonable patches of good weather and we managed to crank out quite a few charters, and catching our limit of snapper proved relatively easy most days. The majority of the fish were good solid fish in the 1-3kg bracket with the odd 4-6kg model tossed in. It’s great to see such good numbers of fish early in the season and with any luck we should be in for a real bumper session over the next couple of months.
All the fish caught on charter this past month have been caught float lining pillies with as light a lead as possible. We’ve caught good numbers of fish at several different locations and depths, which again are all good omens.
The one downer so far, have been the amount of hooked fish getting hit by sharks, and they’re not fussy even hitting the smaller fish. Like the snapper, the sharks are also wide spread, so if you find yourself on a reasonable bite be prepared to come up with a few heads.
Over the past couple of snapper seasons I’ve made a change to my hooks. I’ve gone away from using the heavier gauge hooks and I’m now using 4200D Mustad or Tsunami Duratuff Kirby in 5/0, or sometimes 6/0. Both are offset hooks but I prefer to straighten them prior to ganging. These lighter gauge hooks are razor sharp out of the box, are significantly cheaper and our hook up rate has definitely increased.
The problem with heavier hooks is keeping them sharp and setting them on the lighter lines. Most of the snapper fishing at this time of year happens between 60-90m of water and it’s a lot easier to set, and stay connected, with the lighter hooks. Losing fish because of the hooks straightening isn’t an issue because using 30lb mono limits the amount of pressure you can put on a hooked fish.
You might say, ‘Why not use braid and heavier stronger hooks?’ However, braid is nowhere near as good as mono for float lining as it wont run as well off the reel with the lighter leads. It goes too far to the other side of the equation of being too direct, therefore ripping hooks out of the snapper’s mouth. You need to have a bit of stretch in your line when float lining.
Options off the South Passage Bar this month include amberjack, Samson and kingies on live baits and jigs. On the wider grounds, pearlies on the 90-100m line off Point Lookout, especially on those glassed-out days, and there should be a few mulloway on the 50m and 60m lines down on the Cathedrals.
Nevertheless, it looks like being a red hot snapper season so get out there and float line down a pillie and get a feed of these top table fish for the family.
Enjoy your fishing, take care on the coastal bars and if you would like to join me on charter (max 5 persons) give me a call at Outlaw Charters on 07 3822 9527 or 0418 738 750 or visit www.outlawcharters.com.au.Reads: 975