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Pop goes the snapper
  |  First Published: September 2012



Once again the snapper season has started with a polite ‘pop’ rather than the expected bang. Some anglers are finding a few fish, but by and large they are hard work to locate.

Those that venture out wide to the Barwon Banks or The Hards have done well, with some crews bagging out on snapper in no time at all. Others have had to work a bit harder but at the end of the day the results are pretty much the same.

A few cobia, amberjack, rosy job fish and sweetlip have also been on the chew on the wider reefs.

Closer to home it seems that North Reef has been the most productive with float-liners coming up with the best results. This generally means drifting a pilchard or squid bait slowly and methodically down the berley trail. Baitrunners are very effective reels for this type of fishing. Then, once a hungry snapper demolishes your bait, it is simply one turn of the handle or a flick of the switch to set the hook.

Make sure your hooks are super sharp and extra strong. Snapper have a mouth full of plates and big conical teeth. Hooks that aren’t up to the task will result in lost fish!

Along with the snapper there have been a few estuary cod, sweetlip, Maori cod and a few good pearlies.

Sunshine Reef has been difficult to say the least. Plenty of experienced fishos are heading to Sunshine expecting the customary three or four fish at each drop. For some unknown reason it has been ridiculously quiet. Nevertheless, the weather will soon be warming up nicely once again, so let’s hope that kicks the close in fishing back into gear.

The Noosa River has been fishing exceptionally well with a few mid winter surprises for some anglers. The Woods Bay area has been well worth the trouble with plenty of trevally on the chew early and late. Some thumping big tailor have been with them.

Plastics worked slowly through the deeper holes has brought some quality fish undone and if you prefer a more relaxing way to tangle with these fish you could do worse than trolling a hardbody minnow or two.

Plenty of bream have been on the chew also in the lower reaches, along with a few quality mangrove jack. Even the odd barramundi is still turning up, which is a great sign for the future of the most southern barra population in Queensland.

The past summer saw countless barra hook-ups in many locations, and many of these fish were around the metre-mark. To bring things into perspective, most summers I hear of two or three barra hook-ups. This time around there may have been 100 or so. We are hoping that they will spawn next summer and we will have the beginning of a fantastic new fishery.

Further upstream there have been plenty of good flathead available. Trollers do well, as do those that drift flesh baits or livies such as mullet or herring. The area adjacent to Harbour Town is well worth a go, particularly on the run-out tide as the adjacent Lake Doonella all but empties and pushes big numbers of baitfish and prawns into the main river channel. Plenty of predatory fish hunt in this area for obvious reasons.

A few quality jew have been landed too, for the most part on soft plastics. Try probing the deeper holes and work your offering slowly. The first ski run and the area where the river opens up into the first lake are great spots for jew and big flathead at present!

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