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Big Hopes for the Coming Season
  |  First Published: November 2007




November is traditionally the transition month on the Sunshine Coast where the last straggler snapper and other common reef species are around and the start of the big game fish really starts to hit home. Early signs have been good with mahi mahi around the shallow reefs and FADS backed up with some monster cobia, amberjack, samson and sailfish our hopes are high for a great season. The biggest and best fun so far have been the yellow tail kings along with rainbow runners over 5kg and they are being taken on everything from bait to jigs in deep and shallow water areas.
OFFSHORE

The winter season was a little down on last year if you consider the number of bigger snapper, cod, and parrot that were bought in the year before. There was no lack of numbers in the species but a lot more smaller fish overall this season.

Possibly the most consistent fish was the good old pearl perch that seemed to be just about everywhere around the reefs in strong numbers. The Barwon Banks certainly had its ups and downs with more on and off days than I care to remember. We certainly spent a lot more time looking for the fish than catching them on many occasions and then other days you just could not miss. Some say that’s fishing and I just have to agree!

Caloundra Wide was very productive overall and should continue throughout November and December. The 5 & 7 Mile reefs in closer are always a stack better throughout winter so I would be spending more time working Brays Rock, Currimundi, the spoil grounds, coffee rock and Rapers Shoal with some lures and trolling baits. This should get you into some nice early mackerel particularly spotties and a host of other pelagics that will be cruising the shallow reefs.

Old Women Island will be worth a go for rat kings, trevally and rainbow runners and still the best spot to pick up some monster squid during the full moon periods. Murphy’s again was quiet but did produce the odd whopper sweetlip and some nice snapper with the sweetlip hanging around the Outer Gneerings in big numbers. The only problem there is the little pickers can drive you absolutely mad but night fishing can reward you with some big ones.

Trolling Point Cartwright and around the first beacon would also be worth a try in the coming months with plenty of opportunities for pelagics and tuna within these areas. Jigging will be a good sport to try this season with all the bait fish around there will be a good chance for first timers to bag a big one. Serious fishos will venture out to the deeper waters in search of the marlin, big sail fish, tuna, cobia, kings and wahoo and the bottom bashers should fine plenty of trag, maori cod, pearlies, parrot, reds and other reefies around the big structures on offer out wide.

ESTUARIES

The estuaries are also a bit slow with the bigger bream, flathead and whiting making way for their summer counterparts such as mangrove jack, mackerel and trevally. Deep into the Pumicestone Passage jacks have started taking live herring baits, lures and strip baits which again could mean a bumper season on these great fighters. I would be looking to nail a few live poddy mullet because jacks just love them.

The summer whiting are best targeted using yabbies and worms and both of these can be collected around the back of Bells Creek with a yabbie pump and sieve. The deeper holes around the Blue Hole have been good for just legal sized bream and this will continue thoughout this month. Plastics have certainly taken their fair share of fish with 4” Turtle back worms in pumpkinseed, Gulp 3” Minnow Mouldy Cheese great on bream and 5” Nuclear Chicken and Pink Lemonades accounting for some monster flathead. The best all rounders have been the 4” minnow New penny and 4” minnow Pumpkinseed in the Gulp range.

Using poppers in the early mornings around the Boardwalk in Caloundra right through to the mouth of the Caloundra Bar has certainly enticed a couple of nice trevally around the 4-5kg mark and soon the big queenfish should be nailing live pike and plenty of different lures around Military Jetty and the Boardwalk. The pontoons around Gemini Towers have stacks of live bait around with herring, hardi heads and whitebait being the most prevalent.

The Pelican Waters strip has been great for trevally and a few Moses perch along with bream under the pontoons. Working these areas can be very rewarding but tough on your gear in particular hard bodied deep divers.

Currimundi Lake is another spot to take the kids for a fish with two fantastic pontoons and plenty of beach area to fish. Stacks of good flathead and bream have been taken over the past couple of months so it is certainly worth a fish. The best thing is that there are very few snags so the kids can just cast and retrieve without to much hassle. Prawns are without a doubt one of the better baits around this area and back that with some yabbies and frog mouth pilchards and you have the makings of a top session.

BEACH FISHING

The Wurtulla strip has been pounded by northerlies and bought on the blue bottles more times than I want to remember this season. There are still some nice holes around beach access 36-39 and further north towards the Surf Life Saver Club and boat ramp.

Spottie mackerel have been caught in good numbers around Moffat beach and held there for quite some time throughout September/October. Night fishing has certainly been the best for the bigger bream, sweetlip and the occasional whiting. It seems the low tide is the better time again to target these species because the gutters and holes are much easier to find and target. Local baits such as worms and whitebait are the best but try pilchard fillets and strip baits because they will work.

The dart are around in numbers and although it is rare to catch many over the 1kg mark the little ones provide plenty of fun on lighter gear. Strip baits are definitely the way to go if the pickers are driving you mad and you may pick up a stray chopper tailor or two. Fishing Kings Beach is also very rewarding outside of the north easterly winds, and by working the rock wall you could land anything from a squire to a monster jew. Whiting and bream are the target species at night on this fairly smooth beach and it can be fished anytime because it is well protected.

We have a lot to look forward to over the next few weeks including the annual AMM River to Reef Fishing Classic to be held from the 9-11th of November. The boat show will also be held at the same time at Quad Park in Kawana so get along to that and have a look at the latest equipment available.

As far as the fishing goes you should be getting smashed by stacks of monster pelagics and the hunt for the big Spaniards will slowly start in the next month or two. We will look for some big game fish to photograph and keep an eye on the estuary anglers and bring you some pics of what has taken place. Have Fun!

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