Snapping into business down deep
  |  First Published: August 2015

August is known for strong westerly breezes, but it is also known for red-hot snapper fishing just east of the South Passage Bar.

On charters lately we’ve been pulling good numbers of quality fish and with the fact the water temperatures have been up a little, we should see them really come o the chew as it cools even more!

As I mentioned last month, you always get a late season pelagic or two, but there’s been quite a lot of Spanish mackerel caught around Point Lookout and Cape Moreton over the past month or so.

Don’t get alarmed and think global warming is to blame, it’s just some years the warm currents hang around a bit longer and with them, so do the mackerel. Most of the ones caught have been in the 10-15kg range and in the past before the “grey nurse shark closures” around Flat Rock, June and July was the time to be fishing the area for these quality fish.

If you’re going to target Spaniards at this time of year, you should try using bigger baits such as bonito, tailor and large slimy mackerel.

Back to the snapper, the fact the main season has started a little late off the South Passage, should see the season run later into the year.

We have predominantly been working between 70-90m on recent charters and the pleasing thing so far this season is the quality of the fish landed. Last season saw a lot of just legals to around 45cm, but this year there’s a lot around 45-50cm, which equals to a nice 2kg+ fish.

Floatlined pillies and fresh strip baits such as mullet and bonito have been doing the business for us.

As I mentioned earlier, we have been working the winder grounds with good results, but the closer reefs such as the 29 and 33-fathom lines have also started to produce good fish. The only problem with the shallower reefs is that too much boat traffic can shut down feeding fish. There’s a lot of good ground right along the length of both the 29s and 33s so you don’t have to sit right in tight to other boats – fin your own patch of fish and you will keep them feeding longer. Remember if you have had a productive drift, don’t drive back on your drift line, go wide of the plot track to the top of your drift and also turn your sounder off and you’ll be surprised at how much longer they will stay on the chew.

• Until next month, enjoy your fishing, take care on the coastal bars and if you’d like to join me on a charter (max 8 persons) give me a call at Outlaw Charters on (07) 3822 9527 or 0418 738 750 or visit my website at www.outlawcharters.com.au.

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