Emperors of the New Year
  |  First Published: December 2006

It’s hard to predict the weather in January, but the one thing that remains constant is the quality of fishing.


One of the best things about summer is the mackerel. The good news is they’ve begun streaming into our waters and the even better news is that you won’t have to travel far to find them. Large schools of spotties have been found just over the Wide Bay Bar, which is only about 2 miles offshore. You’ll also find them within the same distance offshore of Fraser Island, up to about 12 miles north, and blue pilchards seem to be their choice off the menu. I’ve had reports of anglers reaching their bag limits very quickly, and a lot earlier than they did last year. If these trends continue we should be in for a ripper season.

Reef fishing has been sporadic, but I’ve had continued success fishing bait balls with live bait. We’ve mostly attracted red emperor, large mouth nannigai and cod, and by 10am we had no more space left in the esky.

On the main structured reefs your best bet is to fish slowly; with some patience you’ll end up with a decent feed of squire, parrot, Moses perch and pearl perch by days end. Cobia have also been active, and if you send a live yakka down one of the bommies or wrecks, you’re almost certain to hook on to one of these hard-fighting fish.


Big Mick Beacon up to the North Spit on the Wide Bay bar has seen a bit of action recently. Spotted mackerel, mack tuna and Bonito have all been caught along this stretch on small slug lures. There has also been reports of large flathead caught at the old logging ramp on the bottom end of Fraser Island. Some catches were in excess of 4kgs, and it’s likely that many were oversize. For anyone new to this area, make sure you are up to date on bag and size limits.

Summer whiting are being caught in good numbers on the inside of Fraser Island and in Kauri Creek as well as Pelican Bay. For the serious mangrove jack fishers- now is your time! Quite a few of these fish have been landed in Teebah and Kauri Creeks after taking a bite out of strip of mullet.


Big summer whiting have made an appearance at The Oaks, with a few anglers landing some decent catches in the swimming area at Rainbow Beach on live worms. Bream and dart have also been on he bite at Middle Rock and late afternoon seems to be the best time.

If you would like to have a fish with Ed Falconer on his charter boat Keeley Rose, give him a call on 0407 146 151.

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