Prawns on the barbie, pelagics on the prawns
  |  First Published: December 2016

The Sunshine Coast is enjoying the arrival of warmer water and pelagics from Cape Moreton to the Hards. With holidays just around the corner, we’ll see an increase in both land-based and offshore fishos and why wouldn’t you want to holiday in this beautiful part of our magnificent country? There have been good numbers of sailfish, marlin, and mahi mahi. We’re even starting to hear of wahoo being caught.

Wide Caloundra has an abundance of bait which will attracts all these species. The most effective way of enticing a strike is to troll 150-200mm skirted lures. Don’t be shy when it comes to swapping your lure with a different colour, shape or size, as we all know fish can be fussy. Mix it up and be patient. Most of the time trolling can be hours of boredom, but minutes of mayhem. Always be ready and have your boat organised with everything on hand.

Tag poles or gaffs and make sure the deck of your boat is clear, because the last thing you want to do is trip over a rod or gaff on your way to picking up that screaming reel. The Barwon Banks have been firing with anglers boating yellowfin tuna, mahi mahi and Spanish mackerel. Good reports of bottom species also include snapper, tuskfish, hussar, pearl perch and yellowtail kingfish. The well-known wrecks across the coast have plenty of XOS yellowtail kingfish, cobia, pearl perch and snapper.

There is also a good supply of live yakka and slimy mackerel hanging around, so take the time to gather a few live ones and mix it up a little. We will also see school and Spanish mackerel turn up around Caloundra 5, 7 and 12 mile reefs, Currimundi and the Gneering Shoals. Hardbodied deep and shallow diving lures are very effective methods of enticing a mackerel bite, but if they’re not hitting the lures, try slow trolling a live or whole bait.

Remember that this month always attracts a lot more boats, so be courteous out there and give each other plenty of space. Moving into our estuaries is often a little more challenging, because we also see an influx of powered vessels of all shapes and sizes zipping around. Fish don’t like noise so although it may be difficult, set the alarm a little earlier and zip out to your favourite spot. With our weather warming up, its always a good idea to get out there earlier and hit the usual local hotspots like Pelican Waters Bridge, the Military Jetty and the river mouth.

There’s plenty of whiting around Happy Valley and right along the passage. Don’t forget those polarised sunnies to help you pick out the deeper holes and nail the bigger species. There are plenty of flathead and bream around at the moment – fresh yabbies have proved a favourite. A variety of lures will also prove worthy if presented in the correct fashion. If you are ever unsure on how or what is the best method or product, pop into one of our many tackle stores across the Sunny Coast and the owner or staff member will be more than happy to help you.

Hitting the beaches across Christmas is always a proven performer. There are plenty of dart, bream, flathead and chopper tailor all the way from Caloundra to Noosa. Best baits are fresh pipis, worms, prawns or whole pilchards if chasing tailor. Wherever you decide to fish over Christmas, enjoy time with family and friends, slip, slop, slap and most of all stay safe. If heading offshore, radio VMR73 Coastguard and always let someone know where and when you are going and returning.

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