|  First Published: August 2014

Cooler weather mixed with calm seas is the traditional equation that brings on the winter species across the Sunshine Coast.

Outside of our normal holiday period influx of keen fishermen the great days and still nights has seen many car parks around the boat ramps absolutely packed out. It’s always a good sign that the fish are on the bite.

This time of the winter brings on snapper and pearl perch and they are both excellent table species. The snapper have been in good numbers around all the known reef areas including those that are close to the shoreline around Caloundra.

Brays Rock and the channel markers close in to Moffat Headland offer quality water to 20m and hold some fantastic rocky outcrops that hold plenty of fish. The area can be reached in just a few minutes from the Caloundra Bar or you can still get down there from Mooloolaba, which is a much safer option but adds a further 30 minutes to the run.

The Caloundra 5 and 7 Mile Reefs have also produced well and make the perfect destination for an evening trip. The evenings one of the better times to target reef species and around dusk they hit hard and fast. I have always preferred an evening run to the reefs particularly when the tide is just turning on the top of the high. There is normally a good solid two-hour window where the fish come on like crazy and it is nearly impossible to work more than one rod each.

Baits at this stage range from fresh squid to pilchards and mullet fillets. Larger soft plastics in 5 and 7” make the better offerings to the fish and usually all you need to do is to find the bait schools on your sounder and work your bait, plastics or jigs through them until you get smashed. Stay with the bait school by drifting down the current line or if you have an electric motor use that to stay with them.

There have been a lot of whales out wider close to Wide Caloundra and the southern end of the Barwon Banks. So many of them come in close around the boats and after 40 years I still can’t help but wonder what would happen if one of them decided to come up under the boat. My mate keeps telling me you would go for a swim; smart man my mate… a regular professor.

The big bream are still on the chew and by using herring, hardiheads or mullet strips you will catch the better quality ones.

The Pumicestone Passage has been a little quiet overall but that is due to the high volume of craft on it throughout the daytime period. Happy Valley is doing well with a variety of options available for all styles of angling. Surf runs out towards the Caloundra Bar and then still water eddies bring fish in like dart, whiting and bream.

They can be caught on soft plastics and small 15g metal slugs.

Another option is to fish the main channel or in around the rocks close into the beach but you must be careful as there are heaps of snags and they have claimed plenty of lures and hooks over the years.

There are whiting around the Power Boat Club area within the weeds and plenty of smaller flathead are there to be caught on the ebb tide throughout the day.

Pelican Waters bridge area has good bream around the pylons at night but there is too much noise during the day and they stay well away from everything. It is better to work the areas around the pontoons as large numbers of bream and trevally hold under them throughout the day.

Military Jetty is the spot to be for bream, chopper tailor, an occasional mulloway and happy moments. Best bait for the mulloway is live poddy mullet or fish strips and night fishing is more rewarding than the daytime.

The deeper waters near the Boardwalk have a few luderick around but most anglers are chasing the large bream or are on the hunt for mulloway.

There are pike and herring available to use of live bait so look around the Coastguard and Gemini pontoons for them.

There has not been too much swell around the beaches but plenty of reports of tailor around the 3kg mark being caught along with dart, larger permit and whiting. The Wurtulla Strip, which is the strip of beach from Dickies Beach through to Point Cartwright, has a number of holes that are reachable during the low tide. Take a look earlier and plan the spot to go to in the evenings to fish because the tailor are around in the evenings and there is always a chance for a mulloway if you have the patience.

During this month, look to fish the shallow reefs or the closer in areas around dusk or early mornings close to the tide changes for best results with the reef species. Snapper and pearl perch are available to be taken on the outer reefs and pilchards or fresh squid are the gun baits for those species at the moment. Find the bait and stay with it when things are quiet out there. Use jigs, soft plastics or baits to get down amongst the bait schools and hang on.

Target the beach areas and estuaries in the early evenings once things settle down a bit with the crowds. Look for holes or gutters through the day and plan your next trip and pick your spot for later that day. Should be a terrific month to get a few fish for the dinner table! Have Fun!

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