Another weather change in late January provided some very sultry conditions and particularly strong currents offshore.
We enjoyed weed free beaches during the school holidays but sharp rises in water temperature and northerly winds have seen the weed return. In early February, Fraser Island had plenty of the weed and there was a little around Inskip Point. The area from the Rainbow Beach swimming area to Double Island Point was still weed free.
Dart have been active on beaches with good reports of very big fish being caught around Middle Rock. Worms, poppers and soft plastics will entice the fish. Bream are also mixed in with these large schools but the dart will grad the bait very quickly.
Whiting continue to be quiet although some quality fish have been caught during late evening sessions on live yabbies.
There is a lot of surface action in the water between Big Mick beacon and the mouth of the Wide Bay Bar. Massive schools of baitfish are attracting school and spotted mackerel and small tuna. These species are proving to be hard to catch, probably because the fish are full. I found a 30g River2Sea slug in white or pink was the only lure that could trick them.
Flathead are the best targets on the flats. There are plenty between Carlo Point and Bullock Point off the edges of most sand banks.
One local bloke landed 37 flatties on Squidgy plastics. I have found the rainbow colour Squidgy works well. This guy only kept what he needed and released 35 fish.
Mud crabs are being potted in the same areas, just keep a close eye on your pots as there is a bit of thieving going on.
Strong currents have limited offshore fishing but the closer in reefs have performed above average for this time of year. I have encountered big catches of pearl perch and snapper only 8 miles offshore. Berleying is the key to success in close in country. I also enjoyed another good run of large mouth nannygai that were taking live yakkas.
Mackerel are providing the most fun as they attack the huge schools of bait.
One particular day produced one of the best frenzies I had ever seen. Rod Parker and I spotted sea birds working in the distance and arrived to find large fins breaking the water everywhere. A pack of 50+ whaler sharks, most over 10ft, had bait balls rounded up on top of the water. Small tuna were diving in and out of the bait ball for an easy feed and there were hundreds of mackerel around as well.
Within minutes we had caught our bag of spotties to 6kg. We tried an array of lures but the 20-40g Halco Twisties outperformed all the other lures. I am sure we haven’t seen the last of this action and I think it will continue well into March-April.
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.Reads: 1148