The weather will settle over the next couple of months as the monsoon troughs stop shooting across the Gulf and upsetting current weather patterns.
Water temperatures will drop as winter arrives which will slow down many anglers’ favourite species. The cooler weather is much more pleasant to fish in and large blue marlin will start to haunt waters near the Gold Coast, Mooloolaba and Fraser Island. Last year’s marlin season was the best in years and the fish averaged around 200-350kg.
Light tackle fishing will keeps its head up with small blacks and sailfish available until early May. There might be a small anomaly this year as the water temperatures are two degrees higher. I think we might be changing from al Nino back to el Nina.
The reefs really fire at this time of year and the night fishing is great with the cooler offshore winds making the ocean glassy. Barramundi fishing stops around April or May but if you put in a lot of time you will catch them. You may also land a few monster bass as a bonus.
Barra are great fish to target but they can be very hard to find – just keep your chin up and keep casting. Monduran hasn’t fished as well as it did in the last three years but you can still nail six or seven fish, especially around the bigger moon phases and warm northerly wind days.
The Monduran Dam Stocking Association have some big things planned for the dam in the future including stocking of mangrove jack and increasing the number of barra fingerlings. It would be good to see more fingerlings stocked this year as stocks are in short supply. It’s important to remember that MASA are doing their best to keep the dam at its best.
I can’t believe how much water has gone out of the dam and it certainly doesn’t make it easier to catch fish. There are herds of cattle feeding where I caught fish last year and a set of stockyards have surfaced out of the water just past White Rock.
April is a great time of year to reef fish as schooling snapper move in onto the inshore reefs around Bundaberg, Hervey Bay and 1770.
Last year while on charter we stopped at the Barjon (10 miles off Bundaberg) and the sounder went black in 20m of water and everyone caught 8kg snapper. The fish moved off as quickly as they moved in and I never found them in those numbers again. You can find snapper right along the coast on any little bump on the bottom such as reefs, wrecks and artificial reefs. Some great places to try are the 2-mile, Barjon, Trawler Wreck, Cochrane Artificial, 4-mile and 15-mile reefs.
Reefs are great for small boat anglers who will find that April is the easiest time of the year to catch a feed.
We have been nailing some huge reds around the shelf in the deep water and around the wreck and inshore reefs. Our favourite fishing spot is still producing fish over 10kg and I guarantee that you will hook into one of these monsters on our charter boat. We catch red emperor, coral trout and redthroat, amberjack, cobia, yellowtail kingfish, parrotfish and scarlet sea perch around this area.
I arrived in Port Stephens the day before the interclub tournament. Last year a lot of 80kg stripes and the occasional black were caught. So far this year the fishing has been good with as many as 16 fish being tagged daily. Unfortunately I arrived just after the good bite finished with around three fish being tagged each day.
I can remember coming home to the best blue marlin bite last year so I can’t wait to get home after this. Light tackle on The Spit is still going off with plenty of great sails and blacks around 20-60kg being caught.
If you’re up our way drop in at the Gin Gin Hotel for the best steak in town, plus we can fill you in on what’s been happening or take you out on charter.Reads: 1969