New Species to Target
  |  First Published: November 2006

Summer is almost here and with it comes the new season of pelagics, reef and estuary species that are sure to test us to the fullest. We are already experiencing a good run of mackerel around the local reefs and if that continues it will be a cracker season. There are stacks of bait schools around the traps signalling a good pelagic season is on the way and compared to recent seasons we are well ahead of the eight ball already.

The best fishing has been within the Pumicestone Passage. We had the best run of flathead we have seen for years which was followed by some monster queenfish and trevally smashing live baits everywhere in October. The bream have been consistent and whiting are around in good enough numbers to get you a feed on a daily basis. Now the warmer months are here, bigger mangrove jack will be the talk of the town as they are caught throughout the passage, as well as in the surrounding lakes and canals.

Plastics have been at the forefront of the flathead catches with Berkley Gulp Minnows in pumpkinseed winning hands down. That’s not to say that other plastics don’t work but from what I have seen lately, they are the best. The only thing that comes close are live baits like hardiheads, herring or pike, all of which are available in good numbers. Pike are excellent bait for big trevally and queenies.

Further south down around Coochin Creek right through to Egg Island are terrific areas to try for flathead and mangrove jack. By working the areas on the changing tides you open plenty of opportunities to catch them. As the tide ebbs the fish will be trapped or stay in the deeper holes making them a captive audience to your baits. The good news about fishing the passage is that you can work your way down and back and continue fishing the best times throughout the day. This is caused by the lag of the tide and something that must be taken in to consideration when preparing a trip in the area.

Currimundi Lake was dredged recently which has made the main channel a lot deeper which has had some big effects on the fishing. The area is alive with bream, whiting and flathead and although they may not be huge, the signs for the future look promising.

The beaches have been easy to fish without the northerlies and have continued to produce some good dart, flathead and whiting with the odd bream being taken on the side. Some reasonable gutters and holes exist between Dickys Beach and Point Cartwright, it’s just a matter of looking around the access points and picking the best locations. The early mornings have proven to be the best time and if coupled with an incoming or outgoing tide, the results will improve.

A few good mulloway have been taken this season and the only disappointment has been the tailor that just passed us by.


The inner reefs such as the Gneerings have been home to some good catches of sweetlip, Maori cod, squire and smaller parrot. The only problem is getting a bait down past the pickers and believe me they are everywhere. Murphys has been slow by comparison to the last few seasons but more and more good-sized snapper and pearl perch are starting to hang around and you can even pick up a monster cobia or two for your efforts.

Caloundra’s 7 and 12 Mile reefs have also fired lately giving anglers a few good snapper, cod and parrot with some just legal size red emperor being taken. Further out around Caloundra Wide and the southern end of the Banks there has been plenty of snapper and parrot with pearl perch around the 4kg mark not uncommon. The Barwon Banks has been very inaccessible for a while now due to the weather but the fish are still there and even though you have to work a little harder to pull in the bigger snapper and the like, the rewards are worth the effort.

Amberjack, cobia and samsonfish and the odd wahoo are all target species around this area. Once the bottom has gone quiet and you have your fill of snapper, pearlies, parrot, hussar and reds then its time to find some of the big brutes. Some of these fish are 15-20kg and make you fight with everything you have. If your equipment isn’t up to it they will find a weakness. Cobia are a great eating fish but from experience only fresh is best. Frozen flesh seems to loose its flavour very quickly and is a bit mushy if not prepared correctly. So, only take what you can eat immediately for the best results.

Recent trips out wide have also given us plenty of action from the dolphins. They sure make it really hard to keep quality berley up to the fish. Pellets are the only things that they don’t touch and that has a chance of reaching the bottom. Now it’s okay to move, but unless you move at least a few kilometres away the chances are that they may follow. There is little doubt that you have to call them smart as they scoff all the undersize and unwanted fish that you throw back. Who said there was no such thing as a free feed?

The fishing will slow throughout November as we enter the transitional period from winter to summer species, particularly with the reefies. The big pelagics will stick around and slowly but surely we will enjoy the drag screaming from some monster mackerel. It will be interesting to see how the snapper go this summer; if last season was anything to go on then they should continue right through. While the baitfish continue to thrive in the Pumistone Passage it should be good fishing for some months. Have fun!

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