Inshore pelagic delights
  |  First Published: March 2017

It’s been an absolute stinking hot summer so far and I have never said this before, but I’m looking forward to it cooling down! The fishing has been red-hot though, with inshore, offshore and the rivers and creeks all producing great fishing on the right tides.

The Burnett River has been a stand out, with the barramundi opening seeing plenty of fish hitting the decks. It has been great to see plenty of fish being released to fight another day as well.

There have been some spear fishers giving the barramundi population a bit of a culling along with the professional fishers. Just remember, the professionals have every right to net for fish, and while the government closes other areas down, they’ll move into areas open to netting, which is the majority of our region. Until the rules change, we need to coexist and understand that there are people out there that actually don’t like fishing but like to eat fish. As for spear fishers, the majority do the right thing, but there are those who spoil the fishing for everyone.

Inshore there has been some great pelagic fishing, with tuna and many species of mackerel hitting trolled lures, live baits and cast steel slices. The 8 and 9 Mile off Bundaberg has been alive with bait and an early morning troll has seen some great fish falling to the ever faithful Halco Scorpion in the red head white bodied model.

Spanish mackerel around the 10kg mark have been attacking in gangs, and while you’re on them they are ravenous. Steel slices cast out and allowed to sink for a few minutes before being ripped back to the boat at high speed have been working a treat. My favourite, as many of you would know, is the Twisty in the 40 and 50g sizes, as they cast a mile and often get eaten on the drop while they flutter down.

On the bottom inshore there have been a few surprise catches of decent size coral trout and red emperor. Big fresh baits have been the downfall of the better quality fish, you just have to be patient with all the pickers.

Further offshore, we have been lucky to have some great weather coinciding with the better tides, and the bigger boats have been reaping the rewards. Again, the mackerel are thick and responding to most techniques, and the reef fish have been big and varied. Coral trout, reds, big hussar, tuskies and sweetlip have all been filling the bags of the offshore boats.

We really haven’t seen much rain in our region so far this summer, and we are desperately in need for it to give all the systems a good flush. If we don’t see any big falls of rain soon, the fishing, heat and wind in March will be much the same as February.

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