Summer fishing is running hot
  |  First Published: December 2013

The summer months are running hot and anglers right across the Sunshine Coast have reported good catches of pelagics and reefies offshore and a steady run of estuary species keeping the locals and holiday-makers happy.

Traditionally at this time of the year tuna, cobia, mackerel, mahi mahi, small marlin and wahoo are all being targeted out around Wide Caloundra, so there is no shortage of quality species out there.

The Caloundra 5 and 7 mile reefs are normally filled with mackerel hunters using live yakkas or large pilchards and slow trolling them at the depth of the fish.

Downriggers are a fantastic piece of equipment to deliver baits right into the strike zone but this can also be achieved by using sinkers, (barrel are best) to reach the desired depth. A slower troll speed means the bait will travel deeper and of course the quicker you go in the boat the higher the bait will come up in the water column.

Watch for current lines out wider and troll baits or lures along the length of them when things are quiet.

The Noosa reefs will also be a great area to fish because they are reasonably protected from most types of winds except a northerly. The mackerel and tuna hang around Sunshine Reef all summer and quite often it is first to go off.

If you want to target reef species, the same area is known for sweetlip, coral trout, cod species and many more so it is well worth the trip.

If you are happy to work around the Mooloolaba area then Murphys Reef and the Gneering Shoals are within 3km of the bar entrance and are top spots to take the kids fishing throughout the day or night.

Out wider around the Barwon Banks there are plenty of options but make sure you take plenty of drinking water and sunscreen as it gets hot and dry on a run that far out. The fishing has been consistent with kingfish, amberjack and pearl perch coming out of waters of 60m or more.

Tuskfish are also around in numbers and with their thick white flesh they make an excellent table fish.

So offshore fishing is running hot and provided the winds stay down you will be able to get out this December.


If you intend to fish the estuaries then Currimundi Lake is the spot to take the kids out for some whiting. Peeled prawns or yabbies have proven to be the best baits to get a few for dinner.

There are mangrove jack around the canals and rock walls in Kawana and within the Pumicestone Passage around the deeper drop-offs and mangrove systems in the back waters.

In general summer whiting are always cruising around the shallow sand banks in the passage so this makes it the ideal place to target flathead ,as they will be waiting in ambush for a feed.

Happy Valley and Bulcock Beach areas have bream and tarwhine along the stretch and plenty of flathead. The key here is to fish early mornings or after everything has settled in the afternoons otherwise it will be difficult to find the fish. The noise of the general holiday atmosphere is unsettling and sends the fish packing until quieter times.

Take the family down to Gemini Towers pontoon at Golden Beach on the tidal changes so that they can catch a few undersize bream for a bit of fun. Just a bit of bread on the end of the hook will be enough on a good day to get you some fish and put a smile of the kids’ faces. Any extra bream should be broken up into small pieces and used for berley to keep the fish interested, remember only a little not a lot.

The same area allows you to cast soft plastics up onto the sand bank across the channel and slowly bring them back over the edge and hopefully enticing a flathead to strike, so there are plenty of options.

The deeper channel waters within the Caloundra Bar entrance have some thumper trevally and queenfish around at the moment and they are well worth your time casting poppers or plastics at them. Live herring or pike are sensational baits for queenfish and to get them you will need to fish around the jetties and pontoons with a bait jig.

The boardwalk is well equipped to take the family out fishing with seats, cleaning tables and cover from the hot sun. When it all gets a bit quiet you can pack up and walk to the lifeguard hut and enjoy a swim between the flags. The boardwalk area has very strong currents so it is best targeted a half-hour before the change of the tide for best results.

Once the current really gets moving head on down to the Pelican Waters bridge or Military Jetty and you can fish the same tidal stage again.

The key this month offshore is to find and fish the bait schools. When you are filling up with live yakkas or slimie mackerel make sure you have a live bait on a rig that is back in the bait ball, remember we are not the only ones that chase live bait. The chances are that you may hook up any type of pelagic or reef species that is feeding.

In the estuaries fish them early in the morning and late afternoon for best results. Take the kids out to areas where they have plenty of options of either playing in the sand, swimming or fishing around Golden Beach or Happy Valley and have fun.

Merry Christmas to you and your family and thank you for you continued support.

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