Kings supply a royal show
  |  First Published: October 2013

Snapper continue to dominate catches east of the south passage bar and it’s a charter skipper’s delight at present with most days bagging out within a few hours.

As I’ve stated in earlier reports, we’ve been fishing the wider grounds in depths between 70-90m. I’ll keep working these reef lines until catch numbers start to slow and then I’ll start working the shallower water inside 60m, such as the 29s and Shallow Tempest.

In past years, I’ve had some quality catches of snapper along the 29 fathom line in October, especially if there are good current lines pushing in close bringing in blue water and bait fish. The days that it has fished well, there’s been a fair bit of run in the water and that helps get a good drift along the main structure of the reef or along the drop-offs on the reef edges.

Now until Christmas, Shallow Tempest usually starts to fish well for quality snapper, spangled emperor, mulloway and XOS Moses perch. Most of the snapper are in the 4-6kg bracket and seem to be gorging themselves on the baitfish schools that are present before they return to the deeper water when the water temp rises.

Floatlining with as light as lead as possible is the go but be prepared to be dusted occasionally by large yellowtail kingfish that are also in there stacking on weight.

Along with the snapper of late, we’ve been getting quite a few rosy jobfish. Although we’ve had to release plenty between 35-38cm (min size in 38cm), we’ve boated reasonable numbers of legal ones, which has been good to see.

Talking to other anglers back at the ramp, most have been doing well but the odd one has struggled. After chatting a while, I find that the less successful anglers hadn’t moved far and predominately worked the same area all the time. We are very fortunate fishing east of the south passage bar with plenty of reef lines not too far away from each other. The 29, 33, 37 and 42 fathom lines are only a few kilometres in between, so if it’s just not happening where you are don’t be afraid to do a few clicks to find feeding fish.

Over the past few months to present the wider grounds have been fishing more consistent than the shallower grounds and quite often you’ll get a hot bite happening in the middle of the day. So if it’s not happening in close, do a bit of exploring.

With the water temp starting to warm a little more this month, kingfish and amberjack should start to be a little more active and they’ll respond well to both livies and jigs, although if you like your back, live bait is the way to go. Livies fish on a single hook paternoster rig will also attract the odd pearly and trag jew.

Enjoy your fishing, take care on the coastal bars and if you’d like to join me on charter (max. 8 persons) give me a call on 07 3822 9527 or 0418 738 750.

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