Big summer snapper move in
  |  First Published: December 2015

The year is done and dusted already! It has been a mixed year for fishing in Moreton Bay with some highs and lows but plenty of good fishing in there.

The low for me was the lack of the tuna season; it seemed they just didn’t show up in the numbers of last year. On the other hand there has been plenty of mulloway and some great snapper around, with more and more being caught as summer rolls on in. With some good weather this month, we can expect to see plenty more snapper and mulloway being caught.


Bream have been plentiful over the last month. Some great reports have been coming in from anglers fishing the shallow reef around Horseshoe Bay at Peel Island and the same between Bird and Goat islands.

These areas are best fished when there is a slight breeze to put a ripple on the surface. When it is glassed out the fish can often be very wary, so the ripple help get them to bite better and the wind also allows you to cast further and get a good drift going.

Shallow diving crankbaits are a good option, as well as surface lures such as small poppers or stickbaits.


Now is the time of year when we can expect to see some really big snapper coming in. The trick with the snapper is to get on the water before the boat traffic picks up. The holiday season will see a massive influx of boating traffic and the fish will become wary and their bite window will be narrow. Aim to be at the ramp as early as possible, or fishing at night when there are fewer boats around.

Livebait has been a great option when fishing at night, with some of the bigger snapper falling victim to these. The tricky part for some anglers has been catching the livebaits and not so much the snapper!

A small tip for anglers wanting to give themselves every chance they can, be sure to use a quality fluorocarbon leader when targeting snapper. Going slightly lighter than usual will also help get you more bites while other anglers are doing it tough. I like to use the Toray brand of line as it has a thinner diameter than other brands for the same breaking strength. This allows you to fish a thinner line while still having enough power to pull the fish out!


There are still a few mulloway showing up on the Artificial Reef at Peel Island. They will start to taper off in the large numbers that they have been in and the schools will be smaller. They are definitely still there though, it’ll just take a bit more of searching to find them.

I like to spend the time driving around locating the schools, as opposed to waiting for them to find me. Sounding up and down the Peel Artificial Reef is a good idea, and I like to focus on the southern end and will do a zig-zag pattern, while paying close attention to the sounder.

Anglers that have been successful are the ones that can put their lure right in front of the mulloways’ nose. They don’t move too far to chase a lure down so you really need to make sure you get it right down to them!

Holiday Tips

Things can get a little crazy out on the water over the holiday break, so here’s a few tips to help ensure you have a good time on the water.

Boat ramps can be chaotic, make sure you have a routine in place for loading and unloading the boat and can work through it quickly. There is nothing more frustrating than watching someone stop on the boat ramp to load their gear or remove their straps, all while there is a big queue waiting. Make sure you do it before you start to back in!

Get out there early! The early bird gets the worm, and this is especially true when there is a lot of boat traffic. Fish don’t respond well to all the extra noise so try and get to your favourite spot before everyone else.

Fish light to get the bite! Downsize your leader size to help get you more bites.

Show courtesy to other anglers when out on the water, keep a good distance away and try to avoid anchoring right in front of someone drifting. Likewise, avoid drifting right next to boats that are anchored up. There is plenty of space out there for everyone!

Lastly, make sure all your maintenance is up to scratch. Check you have enough fuel and oil if needed. Get your motor serviced if it has been over a year, check your safety gear including lifejackets, flares and EPIRB (if you plan on going offshore)

Have fun out there this holiday break, and if you have a picture or a story you would like to share, send it through to me at --e-mail address hidden-- and I’ll do my best to get it in next month’s magazine for you!

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