This time last year the snapper were in full swing and managed to stay on in good numbers right through until Christmas. With the water cooling down late, this year is shaping up to be the same.
On charter we’ve been working in depths from 70-90m but during the spring months I also like to work the kelp beds in depths of around 35m near the Shallow Tempest Reef, north of the Henderson Rock Green Zone. Over the years this has been a very productive area and the quality of the fish is high. There’s also plenty of by-catch, species such as spangled emperor, mulloway, cobia, mackerel, yellowtail, and kingfish all frequent this area.
My personal theory is that the snapper who’ve recently spawned move into the area to feed up on the plentiful springtime baitfish, before moving out to the wider reefs as the water warms up during the summer months. Floatlining is the most productive way to fish the field, but if you are sitting on the anchor, try putting a live bait down on a paternoster rig and watch your line get slammed by one of the many brutes in the area. Again, fish as light as possible –some days a sinker the size of a pea will be enough! The snapper will smash the lightly weighted baits and often burn your fingers if you aren’t paying attention.
Out wide expect amberjacks, samsonfish, and yellowtail kingfish to be very active as the water starts to warm a little in the coming months. These species should respond well to both live-baits and jibs. We’ve done a bit of live-baiting on a few recent charters and both school sized kings and ambos were eager to swallow the live baits on the wider grounds. For those anglers wanting to chase a mixed feed the reefs close to Point Lookout have been consistently fishing well for parrot, Moses perch, squid, and pearlies.
For those anglers chasing billfish, we hooked solid black marlin well over 100kg in late August out on the 90m line and also saw a couple cruising around the same area in early September. There were plenty of bait schools showing on the sounder in that area so I’m not surprised there were a few making an early appearance!
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) 38229527 or 0418738740 or visit my website at www.outlawcharters.com.auReads: 600