Barwon Banks a few this spring
  |  First Published: October 2013

Spring has arrived on the Sunshine Coast and another season begins with a bang on the fishing front. Winter was plagued by a continual run of poor weather but that has certainly changed over the past few weeks allowing anglers to get a few fish for the BBQ.

Reports from out wide around the Barwon Banks and Wide Caloundra areas have been exciting with pearl perch, snapper and tuskfish all on the bite. Reef species are spread across the Caloundra and Mooloolaba Reef systems, including areas like Murphys and the 7 and 12 mile. Our closest reef system, the Gneerings, has a good run of pearl perch and small hussar at the moment, which is a good sign for the coming months.

Pan-sized snapper are frequent visitors and will remain around in good numbers for this month.

Spring also brings with it some early schools of tuna that feed on the many bait schools that will begin to appear in the coming weeks. Pelagics will also be hanging around the known wrecks, especially cobia and yellowtail kingfish. The deeper waters around the 90m mark will hold hard-hitting amberjack and trag jew. Fill up on live yakkas or slimies this month before tackling the bigger species, they are the number one bait and will certainly assist you in catching more fish. Work the morning and evening tidal changes for best results and once the sun comes up head out to deeper water areas and fish them until the next cycle.

Work areas like The Three Sisters with larger pinnacles during the day while trolling with deep divers and surface lures. The most important tip for the coming months is to use plenty of berley to keep the fish in a feeding frenzy or to get them into the area you are working. Finding schools of bait is also the key to success out on the reefs as you will need to be flexible and able to adapt to situations in front of you.

The estuaries have been fairly slow so the hotter weather may assist in bringing on the trevally and queenfish to get the action happening. There are already good signs with a few quality queenfish being taken in the Pelican Waters canals. Surface action is slow but there are smaller chopper tailor and smaller trevally smashing schools of herring around the Pumicestone Passage. Good whiting around the weed beds and sand banks at the southern end of Bells Creek and within the upper areas closer to the Caloundra Bar. Gemini pontoon has a stack of smaller bream that hang around most of the day but the cooler times are the best to fish.

The deeper waters of the Cod Hole still have bream in the evenings and some legal sized flathead. Fish the edge of the eddies for the flatheads that are waiting to ambush the passing baitfish. The Boardwalk has also been fishing below par but there is little doubt that the fish are around. Live mullet and big herrings are not attracting them at the moment but they will turn on soon.

The canals around Kawana have mangrove jack starting to strike lures and soft plastics in the mornings along with plenty of live poddy mullet. Bream are in abundance around the same area right through to McKenzies Bridge and within the harbour areas.

Squid will be a strong target on the next moon phase, as will be the prawns this month.

The inner harbour around the long liners and trawlers, have given up plenty of quality bream and some smaller trevally in the evenings. Fishing the deeper main channel can land you some mulloway and flathead but remember not to anchor in it. The rock walls at the Mooloolaba Harbour entrance make a great tidal fishing spot. The current can be reasonably strong so take the necessary rigs with the right weights. Jigheads on the tide change should be around the 1/2oz mark to get right down amongst the fish holding in the channel.

The beaches will be worth trying for the end of the tailor and dart this month. Hopefully, we get a big run of northerlies so that we get some sand back on the beaches but that will affect the fishing if it happens.

Kings Beach in Caloundra is worth targeting for whiting and bream after the swimmers head home or before it starts in the morning. Fishing of the rocks around Shellys Beach has been very slow with only a few wrasse taken recently. The fish seem to stay around the headland near the rocks around from Kings Beach.

Overall you will need to also use plenty of berley to get the fish excited. Many anglers don’t use berley when in the estuaries and on the beach but you will need to change the way you fish if you want to get the best results possible.

October sees the hotter weather continue until summer knocks hard on our doorstep. It is a terrific month to target bigger snapper around the reefs and work the deeper waters through the heat of the day to stay on the schools. Remember to fish close to the bait schools and drift with them to get everything possible that is scattered amongst them.

Look out for the early signs of the pelagics and the schools of tuna that will be smashing the bait schools. Have Fun!

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