Bigger pelagics on the move
  |  First Published: December 2014

At this time of year across the Sunshine Coast we really hit our stride with the summer species starting to come on in numbers taking us though into the first quarter of the new year.

Of course, December is holiday time and there is a massive swell in the numbers of anglers, visitors and boat owners that frequent the area. At times it can be quite frustrating to get a boat launched or to even find a parking spot, but patience is the key, so please do one nice thing to help someone else each day.

For anglers, the news is good around the traps with plenty of estuary activity and some nice fish being caught on our beaches.

The Pumicestone Passage has good numbers of bream but you could find yourself spending a bit of time trying to find them. Once you are on the money, you will reap the rewards. Work with structure and don’t be fooled by thoughts that they will be out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the day. Pontoons, bridges, rocks and shaded areas all are good spots to begin your campaign and you will need to be able to cast accurately right up into them to have any chance of success.

There are great numbers of flathead at the moment and to be a shot you just need to work the drop-offs around the sandbars and the sandy bottom areas under the moored boats along Golden Beach. A few curly-tail grubs or 5” Gulp! plastics in turtle back worm colour will serve you well. Blades have also been successful and fresh herring are gun baits for both your bream and flathead.

Currimundi Lake and the canals around Kawana are all reporting strong bream numbers and a hook with a piece of bread is all you need for the kids to have a ball. Use some bread to berley them up in the water to attract the schools and they will be on in no time.

Whiting are around the Lake area as well as within the Pumicestone Passage and the ebb tide is certainly my preferred time to fish for these little dynamites. Poppers early in the morning can be a great way to target whiting, but you will need to be on the schools just pre-dawn.

The Barwon Banks has a wide variety of species running in large schools at the moment from the small slimey mackerel and yakkas in the bait schools right through to the tuna and the much bigger pelagics, which include wahoo, kingfish and mahimahi. Trolling is one of the better methods to use and a mixture of shallow and deep divers mixed with skirts will surely bring you the fish.

Tuna schools can be around anytime of the day but normally you can rely on the tidal changes to get the baitfish moving and start the whole food chain. It is important to remember to work the outer edges of feeding tuna schools and not go roaring straight into the middle of them and cause them to dive. Pick the direction they are travelling and get ahead of them, turn off your outboard and wait. You can just start a strong berley trail to keep them in and around the area once you get amongst them.

There are tuskfish varieties in the shallow areas around the 25m mark and the areas that hold them are easily found on your sounder. The areas around 60m are holding snapper, pearl perch and other mixed reefies, so there are plenty of options out wide.

Wide Caloundra will be the spot for the wahoo and any number of larger predators that hang out around the area. A trip out to these grounds will test the very best of equipment and terminal tackle, so you have so make sure things are in place.

Early morning tides are perfect to set up a berley trail and target some mixed reef species. Always have a floater out in case a big mackerel or tuna cruise past the boat – nothing worse than playing catch up when they are past you! Closer Reefs like Brays Rock, Currimundi, Murphys or the Gneerings are perfect for this type of fishing. I like to be out in the early morning before the sun gets too high, fishing the tide and returning just as others are getting into the water.

This month, it is not necessary to go way out onto the deeper reef areas to share amongst the mackerel, tuna and other pelagics that will be nailing baits. Remember the days are very hot offshore, so take adequate water, sunscreen and sun protection and use the local Coast Guard service to ensure your safe return. Always log on to the Coast Guard and log off on your return!

Fish the estuaries and beach areas for any number of bream, whiting and flathead at the moment but there are other species like queenfish and trevally just waiting to be tempted.

It’s going to be a great holiday period this year with much better weather than the last couple. My fingers are crossed. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to everyone who reads the articles and I hope you catch the fish of your dreams. Have Fun!

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