The water temperature finally started to drop last month enough to kick-start the bigger spawning fish.
Bream around the 30-35cm have been the average, but in the past few weeks better fish topping 40cm and 1.5kg have arrived. It's no secret they love crustaceans and that's why anywhere there are rocks you find bream. Places like Point Vernon, the Urangan Harbour and River Heads are prime locations and accessible by land. By flicking plastics and hardbodies or bait fishing it’s not hard to catch a feed. I personally prefer fishing hardbodies for bream but a mate of mine berleys them up with bread and fishes bread baits under a float. He has caught a lot of good fish this way.
Snapper have also responded to the cold snap with reports of fish being caught at the Burrum 8 mile, Fairway buoy, 25 fathom, the Arty, Rooney’s and the gutters. My last trip to the gutters produced a mixed bag of red emperor, sweetlip, blackall, hussar, stripey, moses perch and snapper, which gave good variety to a "snapper" trip. My biggest snapper were caught on whiting frames rigged on gang hooks and over the years they have become one of my favourite baits for bigger snapper. I believe they can handle pickers better and still have enough substance to attract the bigger fish. Tailor frames are another favourite, but any frames like mullet work fine, you just want a slender profile so they sit well in the current.
Cobia are a good option this month and are regularly caught when targeting snapper at places like the coral patch and the gutters on live baits such as squid and crabs. They can also be found around the beacons by bouncing plastics but ripping metals back to the surface. The Fairway is a prime spot for doing this and has had some big Spanish lately so floating a pilly on a gang is worthwhile if you're there.
Plenty of boats have been chasing winter whiting with clumps of boats visible from the beach at Point Vernon, Scarness and River Heads. Most anglers use squid, worms, yabbies and a few have switched to bloodworm style plastics either solely or in conjunction with bait. These angler are catching plenty of fish. Drifting allows you to cover plenty of ground and find the better schools so that's what most people are opting for. It's also not a bad way to get hold of the frames for snapper bait!Reads: 1045