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Early signs are good
  |  First Published: May 2014



After a weather torn summer season the early outlook for winter is promising. Good schools of winter species like snapper and mulloway have been spotted gathering around the shallow wrecks and reef areas so let’s hope this is a sign of things to come.

The transition period can sometimes last for a couple of months from summer to winter species but anglers have enjoyed some cracker catches of snapper and pearl perch in the area around Wide Caloundra and the Barwon Banks.

Murphys Reef is one of the better target spots and the secret to catching more fish is to find the bait balls and work your jigs or soft plastics through them. The temptation is to drop right on top of the fish but it is always best to go down at least another 10m and bring it back through the school. This will catch the eye of a feeding fish and they will take it.

Sometimes if you don’t get hit, down you go again and go through the same routine. Once the bait ball moves you have to move with it or find another lot of bait. Ideally you want to set yourself up on the same direction the bait ball is running, although that is not always possible. This is where an electric motor always comes in handy.

Shallow areas will be the spots to target around the new moon phase and fishing in the early mornings or on a changing tide in the evening will reward you well. The Gneerings and the Caloundra 7 and 12 Mile reefs are cracker spots for big snapper between 4-6kg and they love the tide changes to begin the feeding process.

Brays Rock and Currimundi Reef will be worth a look right through to the end of winter, and the good thing about these areas is that it’s only a few minutes out from Caloundra. Pilchards, squid and both live yakkas and slimies will always account for better fish and the old adage that ‘the bigger the bait the bigger the fish’, will hold true this month.

I get a lot of emails asking about the noise factor and I can tell you that keeping the noise to a minimum will help with bigger fish. Dropping a knife or Boga grips on the deck of any boat can spook fish easily as does having the CD playing roaring or walking around the deck all the time. Limit you movement and concentrate on the rod tips and you will see better results. I wonder how many times you have reeled in a rod and found that the bait has been picked off and you felt and saw nothing!

The deeper waters of Wide Caloundra and the Barwon Banks will be worth fishing on the moon phases this month. The deeper waters of 90m will hold some fantastic fish, including pelagics, so be sure you rig up accordingly. Kingfish are still on the bite around the Pinnacles and Three Sisters along with amberjack that are within the schools of pearl perch at the moment. So the reefs will still be a great option when the weather allows it.

The estuaries, like the Pumicestone Passage, have become quiet but anglers need only to wait until the run of bigger bream hit the passage. The whiting are in smaller schools but once you get them close to your area make sure you keep the berley up so they stay around. Some days it is difficult to find them so when you do, don’t let them get away easily.

Bells Creek is worth fishing along with southern areas around Coochin Creek and the weed beds that run down beyond Bells. Tailor are in the system and it’s not unusual to see chopper tailor smashing bait schools around the traps. A surface popper or small 15g chrome slug are ideal to cast at these schools.

Military Jetty still has bream and happy moments with an occasional trevally being caught. The trevally will taper off this month as the weather slowly cools everything down. Smaller school mulloway have been seen around Pelican Waters bridge area and they will be working the channel for months to come.

Live bait is always the best for big mulloway or a hook full of worms. The 7-8” soft plastics like Z-Mans will take some work but if you have the patience you will succeed. Fishing into the very late evenings or in conjunction with the tide changes; up to 3am in the mornings are the better times to catch them. Things have to be quiet because mulloway spook very easily. Berley is again the key to successful fishing for these brutes.

Overall April is a busy time on the Sunshine Coast with the Easter School Holidays falling during the month so numbers swell so there are plenty of keen anglers out to get a feed of fresh fish. Currimundi Lake will have lots of kids swimming in it and plenty of anglers will be catching whiting and small flathead in the deeper channels that run through the lake area.

The beach areas will have anglers trying their luck for tailor and bream in the surf and areas like the Noosa North Shore will be crowded with holiday-makers provided the weather is good. Overall a great time to be fishing whether it be offshore, in the estuaries or around the canals systems. So don’t miss out this month on the Sunshine Coast.

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