Variety is the key
  |  First Published: December 2012

The weather pattern during October was all over the place and typical of spring weather, thus we managed only a few days on the water for the month.

On these trips it became evident that the snapper were finally starting to slow down on the wider grounds. By early November we hadn’t given the shallow grounds a good working over, but I’ll bet there are some good snapper to be had in along Shallow Tempest, north of the Henderson Rock Green Zone and close in to Point Lookout.

With the water temperature rising bait schools are heading south with the pelagic species in tow, but this also means an easy feed for the snapper that have been spawning over the past few months and need to regain some lost condition before moving out to deeper waters.

In past seasons fish from 4-6kg are usually quite common and a lightly weighted pilchard or fish strip float lined past their nose usually does the trick.

Along with the snapper, spangled emperor, XOS Moses perch, cobia, yellowtail kingfish and the odd mulloway should be available. I’ll stress again not to go overboard on line strength. Stick to a maximum of around 15kg and put up with a few bust offs as a trade off for more strikes.

The pelagic species shouldn’t be afar away either and although we definitely are in need of some solid rain, let’s hope it’s not as much as last year which saw huge amounts of run off keeping the close in reefs covered in dirty water. This caused the mackerel and baitfish to stay out wider and bypass us.

With the water warming up, amberjack and kingfish should be eager to belt any live bait or jig in their vicinity, but they can be fussy some days so be prepared to try both and also vary the jig colour.

December can be a difficult month on the fishing calendar east of the South Passage Bar, so you need to diversify and be prepared to try different things on different days to score a feed. Do a bit of high speed trolling, have a jig, soak a livie, floatline a pillie and you’ll quite often go home with not a lot of one particular species, but you will take home a good mixed bag of fish.

On another note we as anglers definitely needed to be rid of the last government, but the LNP need to keep their word and start delivering on a few promises. In 2008 they went to the polls saying they would look at the green zones changing back to yellow zones until more science is done. But there has been no changes to any zoning yet and to many in the fishing industry, including myself, this is a major concern because we are seeing a concentration of fishing effort, rather than anglers being spread out.

Areas that you would only see a few boats at are now quite often car parks because many other quality grounds have been totally closed off. Bag limits look after the stocks, but we need to get some rezoning done to spread out the effort. The LNP won most of the bayside seats on the back of a strong fishing vote, so let’s hope they start delivering.

Storm season is also with us so keep a good eye on the weather and be back in harbour before those afternoon storms hit. With the Christmas silly season also about to start have a bit of patience at the ramps and make sure your boat, trailer and everything else associated with it is working well. Also make sure you carry all the right safety gear before heading offshore.

I hope everyone has a merry Christmas and a very happy new year, and stay safe on the water.

Enjoy our fishing, take care on the coastal bars and if you’d like to join me on a charter (max 5 persons), give me a call on (07) 3822 9527 or 0418 738 750.

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