The past month’s magic weather allowed small craft crews to get out and about and enjoy the magic fishing, including myself.
My 4.1m Polycraft, although not designed for offshore angling, handles a bit of slop better than most similar-sized tinnies and rides a lot softer and drier. I have been venturing out at night during the week as this seems to be the best weather of late and I have had a lot of fun.
Big sweetlip, cod, big stripies, just undersized red emperor and snapper have been providing great action on light gear. At night I mix it up with bait and soft plastics with the plastics working well on the smaller tides. The big Gulp Squids have been working well and so has the 5” Gulp Jerk Shad. It also pays to have a selection of squid, scad, pillies and if possible livies.
On a recent trip out the front I took my old favourite rod and reel. The reel was an Abu 7000c Syncro that hadn’t seen the light of days for many years. I chose it as the spot we were fishing has a few big cobia that have been smashing me up on my light gear. I loaded the old girl with some brand new Stren 80lb braid and rigged it with heavy leader and a big bait. I held this rod for a while until my other smaller rod started getting a bite. I knew I shouldn’t put the rod in the rod holder but I thought if I adjusted the drag there wouldn’t be any issues. Not ten seconds after picking up the other rod I heard crack splash and saw a bubble trail heading towards New Zealand at warp speed. In 20+ years of fishing this if the first rod I’ve lost over the side of a boat thanks to an old rod holder snapping.
With such good weather over the past month there have been a lot anglers out on the water with most reporting good trips. Big red emperor have been the standout catch. These 10kg+ specimens pull hard and are great to eat so let’s hope they stick around for this month.
Big Spanish mackerel are due this month and a few fishers have already caught them in close. Trolling big livies and big lures should produce a few XOS fish.
Fisheries officers have been camped at Burnett Heads checking and fining anglers who have not trimmed their reef fish fins and those not sticking to size and bag limits. Make sure you get a handbook from your local tackle shop and study it – a bit of homework may save you money. June should see some more great offshore fishing weather but prepared to venture out at night and midweek.
As most readers of my reports over the past ten or so years would know I have spent a lot of time fishing the Baffle Creek area and have a great interest in its future not only as a fishery but also as a community.
So I accepted a position on the community reference panel for the Baffle Creek Water Resource Plan representing recreational anglers. My job is to sit with representatives from local and state government, community groups and other stakeholder groups who are interested in the Baffle Creek catchment area. It is my responsibility to express the interests and wishes of my stakeholder group to the panel so those wishes can be considered when the draft management plan is formed.
I have spoken to many local and visiting anglers and have heard their thoughts about the area but this is only a small section of the anglers who have a vested interest in this catchment.
The Baffle catchment includes five sub-catchments including Littabella Creek, Baffle Creek, Deepwater Creek, Eurimbula Creek and Worthington Creek. If you have any issues, wishes or concerns regarding any or all of these catchments feel free to email them to me at --e-mail address hidden-- or you can post them to PO Box 2996, Bundaberg, 4670.
There will be a series of meetings throughout the year and I would appreciate as much input from anglers as possible. Each month I will be able to keep those interested up-to-date with what’s going on.Reads: 658