All about the snapper
  |  First Published: September 2014

The offshore reefs are really firing up with snapper as the temperature drops and we get that great weather that seems to happen at this time of the year.

For the smaller craft check out Sunshine, Halls and Chardons reefs with nice sized snapper being reported from all, as well as spangled emperor, sweetlip and the odd cobia. Further afield in places like North Reef, Barwon Banks, The Hards and Double Island reefs have seen some great knobbies, mulloway and monster cobia.

When fishing offshore berley is the key. Once you have anchored up on some promising ground, start with a good amount of berley, this will help to bring the fish around. After the initial berley up, slow down the amount dispersed and throw one piece of berley then wait until you can’t see it in the water and then throw your next.

There are also a couple of rigs to greatly improve your catch rate. The Snapper Snatcher rig by Black Magic is always the first rig to go over the side, enhanced with a half pilchard on each hook; putting this down with the berley should see results, in fact the odd double header is not uncommon when using this rig.

Rig number two is a floater rig. This is set up on a medium sized spin or overhead outfit, loaded with 20lb braid and a 30lb fluorocarbon leader. This is down to a small running ball sinker, a lumo bead to a 5/0 snelled hooks, depending on the run depends on what size sinker you will need!

The whole idea is to get the bait into the berley trail with the least amount of weight. The lumo bead is important especially when you are getting up in sinker size, as an attractant and it also protects your knot too.

Slowly let the line out until you get a bite if you are not having any success try changing to a heavier or lighter sinker. As the bait floats down in the current, it looks the same as the berley. The fish that have been feeding on the berley trail see it as an easy meal. There are some anglers that prefer this method over all others. North Reef is a great place to use this method as the reef is quite long with fish holding over a bigger area.

Chicko our resident offshore expert at Davo’s Tackle World in Noosa tells me this is his favorite time of the year to tackle some nice snapper and is more than happy to let you know where and how to fill the esky with a nice feed of reef fish.

On the Maroochy North Shore beaches, mulloway have been on the chew with some nice sized fish to 12.5kg taken in the surf. Noosa’s North Shore has also seen some nice fish taken late at night with large baits of mullet or squid.

Tailor are another fish that is on the improve, with good fish at the Maroochy River mouth on the late afternoon high tides. The Noosa North Shore up towards Teewah has seen some monster schools moving through with good sized greenbacks chasing bait fish in the gutters and holes with some even larger fish taken late at night by the anglers fishing for mulloway.

When targeting tailor the more anglers the better. With more baits in the water, the better likelihood of the schools hanging around. If you are on a good school switch to a slug. Halco Twisters are the way to go with these you will save time and bait and be back in the water faster ready for the next fish. On the southern Noosa Beaches the fishing has also been good for dart, bream and chopper tailor, along with the odd big greenback tailor.

In the Noosa River there have been some great sessions on the trevally with the current line and Woods Bays being the hot spots. In the low light periods, fish have been bashing baitfish that have been brought in on the bigger tides. Surface poppers like the Live Target Bait Ball or the lucky Craft Tone Splash are perfect for when the fish are feeding on the surface so look for those big early morning or late afternoon tides and you should see plenty of action.

This is also a great time to target large flathead in the river. Ensure to wait for midway through the run-out tide, cast you lures up onto the shallow banks where the flathead love to sit in waiting for a passing morsel of food. Soft plastics are the way to go here with 100mm paddle-tails like the Squdgie Pro range in the whip bait a perfect imitation of a small baitfish. We have found that the killer tomato is also a proven performer and has claimed many a hungry flathead.

• Next time you are on the Sunshine Coast call in to Davo’s Tackle World In Noosa or Davo’s Northshore Bait and Tackle in Marcoola to check out all the latest in fishing, our experienced team are happy to help with what’s biting and where, and remember tight lines and bent spines!

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