When opportunity knocks open the door
  |  First Published: September 2012

Unfavourable weather conditions are a part of life where ever you live these days so making the most of the good days is what fishing is all about. A good plan and the right dedication can see all of us enjoying this great sport and everything that comes with it, including the environment.

I hear plenty of anglers moaning about conditions and how tough it is to get out and get amongst the fish. I find one of the most important things to remember is that if fishing conditions out on the ocean are tough and unmanageable, then turn to the estuaries or the local dams and try something that you probably haven’t done in decades. The estuaries offer plenty of variety and although the fish may not pull your arm off in our neck of the woods, the stealth and angling ability required to get a feed is enough to get the blood pumping.

Offshore around the Sunshine Coast this month will still see you bringing home quality snapper. There has been a good share of big fish out wide and on the closer patches, which has given everyone a chance to get amongst them.

Pearl perch will come on in a big way over the coming weeks so if they are amongst your favourite species list then get set to score. The Barwon Banks is still my favourite for the bigger species and those unexpected catches like quality red emperor and coral trout. It’s not always possible to head out over 40km to sea but when it is we make the most of it.

Closer reefs as mentioned have quality snapper and plenty of trevally to keep the kids interested throughout the day and evenings. Cobia will really start to show their form this month as we head through to the early months of spring and into summer. I have seen more cobia taken this winter than I have for a long time so early signs are very pleasing for the coming season.

This month working around Wide Caloundra and Murphy’s will pay off particularly on the lead up to the new and full moon phases. The Gneerings have produced some cracking fish over the past couple of months and there is no reason to doubt that the records will continue to tumble across the many patches of reef making up the popular area. The benefits of fishing around this time of year are plentiful so plan your trips carefully offshore so that you can reap the rewards.

Fishing the estuaries is rewarding with many hard fighting species like flathead, tailor, mulloway all at your finger tips. Schools of tailor prowl the still waters of the Pumicestone Passage, Maroochy River and the estuarine systems around Noosa looking for a feed of bait. Herring and hardiheads make up a lot of their diet, so find the bait schools and you can be sure the predators won’t be far away.

If you are land based then use you smarts and begin to think like a fish. Ask yourself where you would hide to ambush something coming out of this area, or where would I look for a feed and you will soon start to answer your own questions. Finding fish can sometimes be as easy as thinking like one and that may mean looking around structure like pontoons, jetties, bridges, anchored boats and other areas.

Look for eddies where the rushing water comes in to calmer areas because that is where the bait will congregate and keep an eye on what others are doing on a regular basis. There are plenty of advantages to fishing from the shore, whether it be on the beaches or within the many estuaries we are blessed with on the Sunshine Coast.

The bream have been nailing my old Strike Pro deep divers around the boardwalk of late but I am still yet to take a bream on a popper. I’ve enjoyed catching whiting, flathead and plenty of tailor on poppers, but a humble bream on a popper has eluded me for years.

The Blue Hole around Caloundra has proven to be worth a look particularly around dawn and dusk for both quality bream and the odd mulloway. The deeper waters along the Boardwalk strip will also hold the same species provided your patience holds long enough to enjoy the rewards.

Happy Valley has small dart in amongst the waves and plenty of whiting on the bottom of the tide, but it doesn’t really matter what time of day you approach it. Fresh prawns or live yabbies have been successful and the bigger bream are nailing smaller herring that have been presented on a long shank hook. Normally a number 4 or 1/0 will do the trick.

The rock wall at Mooloolaba is another fantastic area to fish particularly in the evening. Target species include monster bream, mulloway and a truck load of other heavy hitting species. Generally on the new or full moons you will need to get an early start because prime positions fill quickly. You can fish right around to McKenzies Bridge, some 2km away within this area, so the options are endless.

There are plenty of choices for the keen angler this month. Why don’t you think about a species of fish you haven’t targeted for a long time. Perhaps it’s time for all of us to begin exploring past methods again reignite our love for fishing.

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