I hope everyone had a happy and safe Christmas and New Year and you’re all looking forward to the fishing in 2006 – I know I am.
There were plenty of baitfish pushing down the coast in mid-December and the pelagic activity was starting to really fire up. Late November and into December saw wahoo, yellowfin tuna, dolphinfish and school mackerel starting to turn up in reasonable numbers. It all looks good for the coming months.
The Hutchinsons Shoal area has been the place for wahoo with good numbers of fish being caught. Boat traffic has been a problem, especially on the weekends, so be careful where you’re driving your boat and watch out for other boats when you’re hooked up.
Down around Point Lookout there have been a few wahoo and yellowfin tuna on the sevens and around The Group, but not in the numbers they are getting north of Cape Moreton. Most of the wahoo have been around 10kg, so you don’t have to use lures that are too big. Smaller skirted and bibless minnows have been doing the business well.
The next month or two will see the bigger fish arrive and that will herald the time to upsize the lures and wire size.
The Wave Rider Buoy off Point Lookout has produced some quality bull dolphinfish. Fish in excess of 10kg were being taken, but it disappeared in early December and the authorities were trying to locate it along the coast further south.
The school mackerel have moved onto the coffee rock areas along the front of Moreton Island and they should increase in numbers over the coming weeks. Trolling pilchards or livies, spinning with lures or anchoring and floating out pilchards down a berley trail will produce fish.
The Spanish mackerel should be around in numbers now and hopefully their size and quantity will be similar to last year’s fantastic run. I picked up a couple of small Spaniards up while on charter early in December down at the southern end of Moreton Island, so I expect them to be well on the chew by now.
Most of the early season pelagics are on the smaller side with the larger fish arriving later in the season, so keep everything in proportion for when you are fishing. Also, when trolling lures, experiment with different colours and patterns and discover what works best for your boat in the different conditions our summers present to anglers.
On the bottom fishing scene it has been a real hit and miss affair with strong northerly winds and currents making it hard work in the deeper water.
We’ve had a few good catches of amberjack, kingfish and perch on charters at the 35 and 42 fathom reef. On the days that the current’s been belting south and those wonderful northerlies freshen a little earlier than predicted by the reliable weather man, it’s been hard work getting a feed in the ice box.
Thankfully there have been some good snapper hanging around late this year and I’ve had a couple of good sessions on the Cathedrals in 60m. On one trip we were on a good patch of trag jew with a few squire thrown in for good measure. We floated out a couple of baits and picked up two sensational summer snapper, one at 6kg and the other at 9kg. Remember that in the summer months the number of quality snapper does drop off, however the size can be pleasantly surprising.
Hopefully the weather pattern will improve throughout January and let us take advantage of the top fishing on offer, especially chasing our toothy summer friends.
Until next month, enjoy your fishing, take care on the coastal bars and if you’d like to join me on a charter (max. 4 persons) give me a call on 0418 738 750 or (07) 3822 9527.Reads: 720