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Warmer weather brings on the pelagics
  |  First Published: November 2013



It has been a very fast start to summer this season with hot weather and strong northerlies blowing in since the beginning of September.

Normally the bluebottles follow inshore with these winds keeping you on your toes when you are enjoying the water. We don’t hear too many reports of anglers getting stung but it happens quite often because the bluebottles attach to your mono or braid line and are wound onto your reel, stinging you somewhere along the process.

The fishing has slowed a fraction, which is fairly normal at this time of the year, but get set for the explosion of tuna and other faster predators across the Sunshine Coast. Mahi mahi can be targeted around the buoys and FADs or any piece of debris on the water, like a log or old net. When you get close to these temporary structures you should stop and remain around 30-50m away and cast a chrome slug or spinner around the area. If that does not reap the rewards then put on a pilchard or other bait and give it a run.

Trolling is the next best method to attract these fast hitting predators and a mixture of shallow, surface or deep divers may get you a fish.

Pearl perch will still be hiding around all the areas with wire weed and working out in deeper water areas will serve you well to get a hold of what they call ‘the chicken of the sea’.

Wide Caloundra is a popular spot to target wahoo and mackerel, and when they are quiet there is always a chance of picking up some quality reef species for a feed around the area. The heat of the summer months makes targeting species easier in the early mornings or around dusk into the evening. The fish are less lethargic during these hours so try and plan your trips with corresponding tidal changes where possible.

Trevally will be fairly well spread this month and quite often are so thick that you can’t get bait to the bottom. If you find these circumstances try moving about 10-20m away from the pinnacle, wreck or spot that you are fishing and fish the gravel areas around the mark. Quite often fish will school outside of the target area waiting to pick up scraps and individual fish that stray into the target area; a very good example of this is snapper.

Deeper water spots up near the top end of the Barwon Banks would be ideal to try over the coming weeks because the bigger fish will move into these areas throughout these periods so take a good look around and find either the bait or the fish. It is important to set aside part of every fishing trip to explore new ground because you may find a spot that no one else knows about.

Cobia will be around in numbers this month so hit the wrecks and areas like Hutchies for best results. Live yakkas or slimies make the best bait for these thumping fighters but if they are not available then big pilchards can do the trick. Kingfish on jigs is a good challenge at this time of the year but again you will need to be fishing the deeper marks.

This month flathead are the main target in the estuaries along with summer whiting as they school up. Fresh prawns, yabbies or flesh baits are the pick of the baits and if you have a cast net then look around Gemini Pontoons for some herring, as flathead love them.

Mangrove jack have been smashing baits around the mangroves near McKenzies Bridge and within the canals areas around Pelican Waters. Further north near Twin Waters Resort there have been some thumpers caught on mullet flesh. Jack will hit just about any bait that comes into their strike zone and if it is live, it will stand no chance.

There are still bream around the pontoons inside the Pumicestone Passage and throughout the canal systems for those that love targeting them. Smaller soft plastics like Damiki and DOA Prawns are working a treat. The same rules for the estuaries apply in that you should target the fish around dark and into the night through to the early mornings.

Normally the Pumicestone Passage is so busy with jet skis, sailing boats and boats throughout the day it makes the fish run and hide. The other option is to fish the deeper channel area from the Caloundra Bar around Happy Valley down to the Boardwalk area as big trevally and tailor cruise along this path.

So this month work the deeper waters offshore for best results and if you are going to target the inner reef systems plan them later in the day or early in the morning for best results. Look for bait schools breaking the surface because the tuna and mackerel won’t be far behind them and look for a few early school mackerel coming in around Sunshine Reef and Point Cartwright. Target flathead and whiting in the estuaries and see if you can get a mangrove jack or two this summer. Have Fun!

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