Juvenile joy offshore
  |  First Published: August 2013

Nothing much has changed since last month with opportunities to head offshore, few and far between. The pleasing thing though is that when we’ve been able to sneak a trip in, the fishing has been red hot. Quality juvenile snapper have been dominating catches and it hasn’t taken much effort to boat your limit.

On charter we’ve been mostly fishing in depths between 70-90m and every fish landed has been caught on a float lined pillie using as little weight as possible.

Mixed in with the juvenile snapper are a few pearl perch and the odd rosy jobfish, along with some hefty Australian bonito keen to hit any scraps of bait left on the hooks as you’re cranking your gear back to the boat.

Judging by the amount of snapper caught in Moreton Bay and offshore it certainly looks like being another cracker season. The fishing should get even better over the next couple of months.

Most line of reef east of the South Passage Bar are holding good numbers of fish but the deeper reefs really come into their own this time of year. School-sized amberjack in the 3-6kg range have been around in good numbers but, depending on where you find them, sharks can be a problem. Out on the 42 fathom line around Square Patch, sharks have made it difficult to get any hooked to the boat some days.

On charter we mainly live bait when targeting ambos, but during snapper season I don’t bother stopping for livies, so we usually end up having a jig if we go well on the snapper. Of late we’ve been having a jig on some of the wider wrecks in 120-130m of water and there’s been more than enough action to keep us interested, no monsters but good solid fish.

With the way the snapper are at present, it will pay to have a few other options on standby to put a bit of variety in the kill tank. The wave rider buoy south of Point Lookout should be holding a few mahi mahi and closer up around the Point bottom bashing the shallower reefs can produce some good mixed bags of parrot, Moses perch and pearl perch.

If you are partial to a feed of pearlies, head to the wire weed approximately 70m east of the Flat Rock, the wide grounds in 100-110m east of lookout and the ledges on the bottom of the 35s are all worth a go.

On the 50m and 60m lines south of the Cathederals, soaking a livie might see you putting the hooks in to a solid mulloway or a good knobby.

There are plenty of options east of the bar this month but snapper are definitely the dominant species so get out there and get into a few.

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

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