Solid catches of snapper have kept us busy on charters of late, and there has been some quality fish amongst them.
On the odd trip, they have been a little tougher, but that usually coincides with either a lack of current or getting blown quickly across the reef, rather than along it.
From all reports, there’s been some great catches of snapper coming from both up and down the coast, and it’s especially good to see consistent catches of snapper coming from the Gold Coast area.
The past few years has seen snapper numbers going pretty strong until at least Christmas, and I don’t see this year as being any different. As I’ve mentioned in previous reports, the number of quality fish getting caught is a great thing to see, as we had a couple of years where the size was down a little, but it’s amazing how nature can turn things around!
In the next couple of months, fishing east of the South Passage Bar gives us plenty of options, and one area I like to fish at this time of year is the Shallow Tempest area, which is north of the Hendersons Rock Green Zone. This area always seems to get a lot of baitfish at this time of year, and you can end up with a real mixed bag of quality table fish!
Large snapper move into the area to feed after they have spawned, along with spangled area emperor, mulloway, cobia, amberjack and yellowtail kingfish. After freespool fishing in water depths between 60-90m, it’s an absolute delight to fish in water in 30-40m.
As always, fish as light as possible and stay alert, as big fish love a lightly-weighted bait and will burn your fingers if you’re not concentrating. In past years, we’ve had to drive away from feeding snapper with only one per angler, as they’ve been better than 70cm.
As the water temperature starts to rise a little, those anglers chasing kingfish and amberjack should see them schooling up and be keen to hit both live baits and jigs. The ledges on both the 37 and 42 fathom lines along with the isolated wrecks should hold fish, but let’s hope sharks aren’t as much of a problem as they have been.
Down south of Point Lookout, the Cathedrals and the 50-60m line to the south has and will continue to produce good snapper in the coming months, along with mulloway for the anglers dropping lines around some of the higher pinnacles.Reads: 217