First Class Pearlies and Reds
  |  First Published: December 2005

Thunderstorms, strong sea breezes and powerful currents are all part of a normal day at this time of year. Nonetheless, there is still a great feed of reef fish to be caught and lots of fun to be had!


Amazingly we still have very little swell to contend with thanks to the northwest winds that flatten the Wide Bay Bar.

We have mainly been working close grounds with fairly consistent results. Similar to this time last year, there are some very good patches of pearlies about that are easy to locate with a bit of extra sounding around. Patience is the key.

As well as the pearlies, some very nice sized squire, sweetlip, Moses perch, parrot and the odd bonus, coral trout and big knobby snapper.

Spotted mackerel are here but are a little hook shy at the present. This usually happens on their arrival and at the end of the season in this area.

My favourites, the big reddies, are still biting well. They are responding best to large live baits rather than frozen bait. When fishing for red emperor you will go through a lot of frozen baits to the juvenile reds, so live bait is a better option.


Whiting are very active, particularly around the bottom end of Fraser Island. Live sandworms are doing the trick, but if you can get hold of some mangrove worms or red wriggler worms, which the whiting love, I am sure that you will be kept very busy.

Good old flathead are also hanging about in the same vicinity though in a little deeper water. Live baits and soft plastics are working well.

The few big downpours of rain that we've had have stirred up a good number of mudcrabs in Teebah and Kauri creeks.


It’s a bit of a sad story for the beach fisherman with the annoying weed still about. There are great dart, bream and whiting in the gutters and shallows to be caught; the downside is that you will need to spend some time removing the weed from your line.

January’s fishing is similar to December’s, and the spotted and Spanish mackerel should crank it up a notch.

With the school holidays in January is a very busy time in Rainbow Beach and I would suggest going fishing as early as possible to avoid the rush and congestion at the boat ramp.

Also be aware that fisheries officers will be present, so make sure you are up to date with size and bag limits, and check your boats safety gear for anything that might be out of date or getting a little worse for wear.

It would probably be worth having a good service performed on your outboard motors prior to coming up here for your holiday. You don't want to have to spend a day of your break with an outboard mechanic - if you can even get hold of one.

Happy New Year to all the QFM readers and thanks for your support over the year!

If you would like to have a fish off Rainbow Beach with Ed Falconer on his charter boat, Keely Rose, give him a call on 0407 146 151 to make a booking.

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