Early anglers make the catches
  |  First Published: December 2014

Summer has well and truly settled in, and the fishing has certainly followed suit. December has always been a mixed month for me, the fishing fires but contending with the extra boat traffic from holiday-makers always makes things a little tricky. Anglers having the most success have been getting out on the water early before the crowds get in.

Snapper have been a common catch throughout the bay. Fishing the reef edges around Peel and Coochiemudlo islands have been the most consistent way to get a feed of snapper, with the chance of other tasty reef dwellers. When it comes to fishing the reef edge, look to position your boat in about 15ft of water and make casts towards the reef.

Lightly weighted soft plastics have been highly successful on the snapper. They like to take the lure on the drop so make sure once you make a cast, to give the lure plenty of time to sink. Most of the time they will hit the lure on the initial drop, so get ready to get stuck into them and keep them off the reef!

I have been doing well on the new Z-Man Slim SwimZ recently. They are a small lure but the snapper seem to love them. When selecting jighead weights for these areas, I like to range between 1/12 and 1/4oz depending on the amount of current and wind. If you do plan on fishing the reef edges make sure you are aware of the green zones, there are hefty fines for fishing in these areas.

West Peel and Harry Atkinson’s artificial reefs have been fishing well, with reports of big schools of mulloway showing up over the last few months. The only problem is that the sharks have moved in too! Soft plastics and micro jigs have been doing the damage on the mulloway.

Using your sounder to locate the schools is the key. The mulloway will move around, so once you find them try and get your lures straight down to them and when you hook one, get it up as quick as you can, the sharks love an easy feed! When they aren’t schooled up, drifting through the reef is a good option as you can cover a lot of ground and you are always within a chance of picking up some snapper. Live baits and fresh dead baits are a good option here, especially at night with some reports of large snapper around.

Pelagic species have started to make their presence felt too. Most Moreton Bay anglers will be waiting on edge for the mackerel and tuna to start showing up. Small schools of mackerel have been showing up towards Amity in the Rainbow Channel, as well as mack tuna. No consistent reports of longtail tuna of yet but I suspect they won’t be far behind if the last few years were anything to go by. Throwing metal lures in the 20-50g range is the best way to target the Mackerel, keep your distance and use long casts to get close to the schools. They have been sporadic so keep your eyes peeled for the birds and they won’t be far off.

In the coming month, look for more of the same. We should see more pelagic activity with plenty more surface action! Snapper should still be in good numbers in the shallows and will be a great early morning or late afternoon option. Mulloway will start to taper off as the New Year rolls in, so get into them while you can. If you are having trouble with the extra boat traffic, the best thing to do is move away from the crowds. The fish hate the traffic just as much as us so fishing a little wider of everyone else or looking for new ground can make a big difference.

Another option is to head into the Raby Bay canals and chase some of the bream and mangrove jack that have been getting around recently. Jacks are great fun and pull like trains!

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