Strange Season, Sensational Fishing
  |  First Published: March 2006

The weather and fishing conditions have been quite different so far this year, but the fishing has been outstanding at times.


Early into the season there was some of the best summer fishing that I have ever seen, but to my surprise there were more bottom-dwellers caught than pelagics.

The pelagic scene has been a little disappointing especially the spotted mackerel. They haven’t performed like last season when they were on the bite all of the time, instead they have been very hot and cold. We did manage to bag out on them a few times after a lot of trial and error. Medium size Raider lures and small spoons worked the best and had the mackerel coming aboard.

We caught plenty of fish between four people; it was more like winter fishing. Among the catch were snapper, parrot, Maori cod, pearl perch, Moses perch and red emperor.

On the flip side to so much activity, we saw out some very quiet days, but that's fishing.

Target Red

A lot of my charter customers want to chase red emperor and while I definitely get my fair share of these reef kings, they’re are harder to catch than most other reef fish in this area.

They need to be specifically targeted and I go to precise areas where not a lot of other species tend to dwell. I use completely different rigs and bait, and take a big tackle box filled with patience.

If these measures should fail it would probably be too late in the day to start chasing other species.

I would recommend fishing for red emperor if you’re after a trophy fish or just love the sportfishing, rather than just trying to put a feed of fish in the freezer.

If I just want a good fun day out and some fillets in the freezer, I target working areas with more variety of fish, and I still may be lucky enough to land a nice red in the mix.

Unfortunately there aren’t enough fishing hours in the day on my charters to specifically target just a red, and fish for a variety of beautiful eating reefies, so customers ultimately have to make a choice. Tough choice chasing mega-reds or a tasty feed of reefies - Ed


Mangrove jack have been very active with the hot, humid weather of late.

I have talked to some anglers who had never fished for jacks before but had some success with these little freight trains. Both Teebah and Kauri creeks have been performing well.

One guy I saw at the boat ramp had four nice mangrove jack and a great feed of mudcrabs which had been caught from the same spot in Kauri Creek within about 3 hours.

Flathead and whiting have also been found in good numbers around Carlo Creek and up to Snapper Creek in Tin Can Bay. Mangrove worms have been doing the damage on the whiting and flatties have been falling for soft plastics.


Some very welcome southeasterly winds have cleared a lot of the awful weed from the beach providing some reasonable beach fishing. I have had some reports of huge dart caught around Middle Rock on Rainbow Beach and chopper tailor in the late afternoons. Both species have been taking blue pilchards.

Teewah has also been producing its fair share of dart, tailor and some good catches of summer whiting on soft baits like worm and pipi.

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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