Late winter and spring are not normally highly productive times to fish the southern parts of Wide Caloundra. Cooler waters and a scarcity of pearl perch, hussar, Moses perch and tusk fish can mean very slow fishing.
One species available in October in this area is large snapper. The snapper are usually long and lean, spent from spawning and travel north along the ledges of Southern Wide Caloundra. These schools of reds are mostly fish over 60cm, with plenty in the 80-100cm class.
The best way of landing a Wide Cal trophy snapper in October is to choose a prominent lump along any of the main ledges, with the 58m, 76m, 82m and 95m ledges being preferred. Use light sinkers and float line down a berley trail, or fish with plastics. Livies are also well worth a try. Because of the fresh northerlies that usually chase us home in the afternoons, most trips are in the morning.
After an early morning start chasing big snapper, I would head west to the Wild Banks and North Moreton artificial reefs to target cobia. ‘Cobe-tober’ is the best time to target this species as they move into the shallow reef areas. The Artificials have proved to be a magnet for cobia. These big, strong fish provide plenty of sport as well as great eating.
Most cobia in these areas are in the 8-10kg range, with plenty of bigger fellows over 20kg also about, so please consider how many cobia you really need to take home. There is a lot of meat on even a 10kg cobia, so if they are on the chew, consider taking two or three for the boat and releasing the rest for your next foray.
I use an elephant gun 24kg outfit for cobia as these fish are highly adept at going home and rubbing you off on the structure. Drift fishing allows the fight to continue away from the structure and also allows more boats to fish the same artificial reef. Simply get in the queue behind the other boat, wave and smile to your fellow angler and follow the drift line well past the reef before circling back.
I was on the Wild Banks recently while two boats were drifting. The bloke in the other boat fishing by himself hooked and gaffed two good cobia then waved and headed off to try his luck somewhere else. Great etiquette, and great fishing. We bagged three cobia from half a dozen drifts then also moved off.
There are also some stupendous cod in the area around the Wild Banks Artificial, with champion Redcliffe fisherman, Noel Day recently landing a monster cod weighing 31kg. Again, you don’t need too many of these big fish to feed your army, so use common sense and only keep what you need.
Filleting a large cod should be the next new Olympic sport. I kept one close to 30kg a number of years back and have not made the same mistake since. The big, greasy sucker will almost always end up on the floor, and the gill rakers, gills and sharp knives are sure to spill some blood. It will be a true gold medal performance if you escape unscathed.
Yellowtail kingfish have turned up in reasonable numbers from the deep wrecks to the shallow inshore reefs. Most of the kingies have been between 3-5kg, with a smattering of undersized rats accompanying them. Erratic bites ranging from lock jaw to smashing any bait or artificial are very common with kingies. The most consistent performers have been energetically retrieved knife jigs, which have caught fish when they were not feeding on dead or live baits.
Incredible Charters is now in the safe hands of Brendon Watson. If you would like to fish Wide Caloundra or other offshore destinations with Incredible Charters, please call Brendon on (07) 3203 8188, 0427 038 188 or email --e-mail address hidden--Reads: 2179