Snapper continue to soar
  |  First Published: October 2012

Nothing much has changed since last month with the great run of snapper continuing and showing no signs of slowing down.

Throughout August and into September we only struggled to find fish on one trip, which was two days after the full moon. The radio chat that day suggested most anglers were struggling as well. The next day the fish were back on the job in the same locations and have been solid ever since.

On charter we have predominately been fishing the deeper reefs from 70-90m north of the South Passage Bar, but there have been plenty of snapper caught south of Point Lookout on the Cathedrals in 40-60m of water.

The way this snapper season is progressing we should see good numbers continuing this month and into November.

During the spring months I like to start fishing along the Shallow Tempest line of reefs as it normally produces quality snapper plus the odd spangled emperor and cobia right up until Christmas.

For the game fishing fraternity, we have seen quite a few free jumping black marlin and even had one swallow a snapper and put on a show for the clients before we locked the reel up and busted it off. Thinking back to the same time last year I remember seeing similar numbers of marlin.

October sees the water temperature start to warm a little so we should begin to see some bait schools pushing south, and maybe a few early pelagic critters following them.

The wider grounds east of the South Passage Bar such as the 35, 37 and 42 fathom lines of reefs, along with the isolated wrecks should fish well for amberjack, Samsonfish and yellowtail kingfish on live baits and jigs. You can fish your live bait using a paternoster rig or directly under a large ball or bean sinker. Just keep it close to the bottom.

Braid of 50lb or 80lb is definitely the go for this style of fishing, along with several metres of 100lb leader. This will give the angler a little more of an advantage, however you will still get smashed up by unstoppables.

With the snapper playing the game so well, once we have caught our limit we’ve been doing a little jigging. Hook up rates have been pretty low with about 1:5 being landed. The men in grey overcoats have been accounting for plenty of fish!

Good-sized trag are also active at this time of year and they are very partial to a live bait. While kingfish and amberjack slam the bait hard, the trag will muck around with the bait before swallowing it. So be a bit patient before setting the hook.

Fishing livies I use a single 8/0 Octopus-style hook or live bait-style hook. Just make sure the hook is not too big for the live bait.

Another option for October is the 29 fathom reef east of Moreton Island for snapper. This patch of reef runs for several kilometres north/south and is quite narrow. It fishes well if there is a bit of current around and you can get a good drift along it.

Enjoy your fishing. Take care on the coastal bars and if you’d like to join me on charter (max 5 persons), give me a call on (07) 3822 9527 or 0418 738 750. You can also visit www.outlawcharters.com.au to find out more about my operation.

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