Pelagic pandemonium
  |  First Published: January 2016

The Sunshine Coast is really enjoying a hot summer with plenty of evening storms, but I think that makes the fishing even better.

On offer to those anglers who do plan well, there are some of the hottest pelagics around including wahoo, kingfish, cobia, mahimahi and more. If that’s not your fishing Valhalla then you can target any number of reef species that are on offer around the reef systems.

The inner reef systems are best targeted during the summer period around the early morning and evening periods. The best fishing is when a tide change occurs at those times of the day, but bite periods can differ. Summer fishing for pelagics always works better with live bait or very fresh bait. Live slimy mackerel or yakkas are the best to troll or float out for the mackerel. Alternatively, you can drop them deep on the snood rig to cobia on the wrecks.

The Inner and Outer Gneerings are still a great spot to target for a quick trip. Starting at only 4km offshore from Mooloolaba, it is a long system that offers a lot of pelagic action and plenty of reef species such as pearl perch and tuskfish. Soft plastic fishing in this area is always eventful provided you find the bait and target the feeding fish. Beyond this area there is Murphys Reef and the Caloundra 7 and 12-Mile, which all have a great number of reef species to target.

Caloundra Wide is firing with mackerel, wahoo, tuna and other species when the fishing gods flick the switch and everything becomes hot.

Overall, from Caloundra to Noosa there is always a feed of fish to be caught. There are plenty of bait schools working the surface, which have tuna chasing them and all species from snapper to sailfish playing amongst them, so watch out. So the key for these remaining summer months is to plan your trips carefully and don’t spend long hours in the hot sun without protection and plenty of hydration.

The Pumicestone Passage is a fun spot to fish at the moment with flathead and whiting being the main catch and a few queenfish and trevally have been caught on hardbodied lures in Lake Magellan and the canals around Minyama.

The good news is that mangrove jack have been exploding around Coochin Creek and parts of Bells Creek. Live poddy mullet or prawns make a big difference when chasing these great fighters. You also need to be ready to strike as soon as that line tightens or moves or you will miss your target.

Fishing around Military Jetty or the pontoon at Gemini Towers will also reward you with bream and whiting provided you work around the mornings or evening because of the traffic in the passage over the holiday period. If you want to find some large trevally, work the channel areas of the Caloundra Bar up around Happy Valley on the tidal changes. You can still target large flathead and trevally from the shoreline during low tides in this area.

Fishing along the Bribie Island side is always a great spot to catch whiting. Live yabbies or prawns are deadly on the whiting but bloodworms are even better. If you can’t get live bait, then use fresh prawns and peel them for best results. Remember that a little berley goes a long way, even when fishing for whiting or bream.

The beaches are busy with holiday-makers and locals enjoying the summer weather. Dart, whiting, bream and flathead are all targets along the stretches of beach from Caloundra to Noosa. The best baits for fishing the beach are pipis, sand worms, fish strips or prawns. A small paternoster rig is one of the best rigs to use in the surf, but remember the golden rule; always use the smallest amount of weight you can get away with.

Remember to plan your trip carefully offshore and target early mornings and times around sundown for the best results. Avoid being out in the hot sun all day without sunscreen. Always register with the Coast Guard before heading out offshore so that you know you are safe and will come home for the family.

Finally, I have been writing for the magazine now for over 10 years and this is my last monthly report. Thank you for reading my articles and I hope that something useful has come of them over that time. I wish you all a Happy New Year and hope you have a fun and safe holiday period. Have Fun!

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