Late March and early April finally saw some good weather in the south east that enabled us to head offshore. And the fishing wasn’t too bad either.
There were plenty of school mackerel and the odd Spaniard on the coffee rock in close to Moreton Island and also unseasonably good numbers of squire and snapper. There were reports of squire being caught in shallow and deep locations, but we picked up most of our fish working the Shallow tempest area.
With the inconsistent pelagic season we’ve just experienced, let’s hope we are in for a great snapper season this winter. As the water temperature continues to drop over the coming months, the snapper will start to show in good numbers at locations such as the 29, 33, 35 and 42 fathom reefs. Deep Tempest, east of Moreton Island and the Cathedrals north of Stradbroke Island will also be good areas to try your luck.
Finding exactly where the fish are holding in different months and on different moon phases is the key to success. But most of the reefs east of Moreton Island are in close proximity making it a little easier to cover the ground quickly and find the feeding fish.
Float lining is the way to go for numbers and quality, with pillies being the number one bait.
While travelling between reefs, keep a close eye on the sounder as you might just find a little bump out in the middle of the paddock that is holding good fish. You may only see a couple of flecks on the sounder, but it’s still worth having a drop as more often than not the results will be worth the effort.
The Toyota Fraser Island Fishing Expo is coming up at the end of the month and I can’t wait to get back up there again. It’s the 25th Anniversary of the competition and I’ve got no doubt Toyota will put on a great weekend. It’s just been announced that it’s a sell out with all 1500 spots taken. There are many reasons competitors keep comiong back to the Expo. Things like the event being held in such a beautiful location, the quality of the fishing, catching up with old mates for a cold beverage and the many activities and terrific nightly entertainment Toyota provide for the event. Toyota also puts up plenty of great prizes and prize money and even if you’re lucky enough to win a prize, it’s special just being at the event.
Getting to Fraser for the comp is an adventure in itself and most crews plan their attack months ain advance. Fraser is harsh on vehicles, boats and equipment and it pays to make sure all your gear is serviced and in good working order before you leave. It also pays to take plenty of spares, especially spare tyres for boat trailers and the all important snatch straps.
We all hope for some rain in the days leading up to the event to firm up the tracks and make life a little easier, but you just never know what you will get until you hit the island. If there has been no rain for weeks Indian Head and the track between Middle Rock and Orchid Beach can be an absolute nightmare with plenty of soft sand to deal with. Getting bigger boats in is hard yakka.
My crew this year will consist of good mates Carl Stokes and Ben Johnson from Cardwell. Like me the guys are really looking forward to getting back on Fraser. Last year the water temperature hadn’t really cooled down enough for the reefies to fire right up, but there were still plenty of great fish caught. And with our past summer not really heating up too much we might be in for an absolute treat with some red-hot reef fishing.
Enjoy your fishing, take care on the coastal bars and if you would like to join me for a charter (maximum 4 persons) give me a call at Outlaw Charters on (07) 3822 9527 or 0418 738 750.Reads: 749