Pelagics on the Run!
  |  First Published: November 2008

It sure is summer time on the Sunshine Coast and we are enjoying every aspect of living in such a great place.

A long spat of northerly winds have not helped the fishing nor the swimmers but we battle on waiting for that good day to get out and get amongst the fish. The good news is school mackerel and a few spotties are being taken around the headlands at Currimundi Reef, Moffat Beach and off the rocks on Kings Beach. Most are being taken on either spinners or large jerk shads with a fairly moderate retrieve.

For those that love their beach fishing it has certainly been a good time to refine your skills with plenty of dart, bream, whiting and schoolies being taken in the holes and gutters along the Wurtulla to Bokarina Strip. The funny thing is that most of the anglers throw right over top of the fish trying to get to deeper water to catch a bigger fish. While we have all certainly used this theory sometime in our angling careers, in this instance the fish are just the other side of the first break. The fish work around the splash area to pick up the spoils of the crashing waves, so alter your cast to find the fish.

Over the coming weeks more and more pelagics should be able to be targeted out from the rock wall at Mooloolaba to the breaks around the Caloundra Bar. Trevally are always a chance when you are flicking lures out, as well as an odd queenie or two.

The northern tip of Bribie Island has again featured in despatches with plenty of whiting being taken around the area. The flathead also seem to congregate around the first sandbar out from the Caloundra Bar on the Bribie side of the passage and some really good fish over the metre mark have been caught, landed, photographed and released over the past two weeks.

The Boardwalk although a little slow by normal standards has seen its share of bream, pike and larger flathead around the 90cm mark caught in the early mornings. The pike are great fun on the lighter gear and just love the new DOA 2” Shrimps particularly in the silver colour. Once the light is up they slow right down but then there have been days where moving to the Coast Guard Pontoon after lunch will reward you with a bucket of pike.

Further around the Pumicestone Passage near the main channel some good numbers of flathead have been taken. Trolling shallow divers or flicking shrimps and jerk shads has resulted in some fine hook ups. The whiting have been hungry and the small poppers and craw hard plastics have taken their fair share of these little fighters.

If fresh bait is your thing then you just can’t go past fresh or live prawns or yabbies to get the big ones. We may have seen the end of the winter run but there is no shortage of whiting to be caught. Military Jetty is the spot for a morning fish for bream, trevally and flathead. There has been a lot of little fish around and I suppose that is a good sign for the future. Mangrove jack are really starting to show up in numbers around the passage and the live poddy mullet is the way to go if you can get them. Bait failing, get some plastics amongst them as fast as you can.

The snapper are feeding in close around the Five and Seven Mile Reefs and the Gneerings Shoal. The western side of Murphy’s has also been a good spot to target snapper and as most of the locals say, everyone just drives right over the top of the good fish. We could see a consistent run of snapper, sweetlip and cod over the next month as the water is still reasonably cool.

Mahi mahi are hanging around the buoys and reefs outside, with most at this stage hammering a floating pilchard. Their numbers will increase as the warmer months set right in so look out for them. Remember only take one or two as they do not freeze well, they are far better eaten fresh!

Mackerel will be the talk on the Coast over the coming weeks followed closely by the many other pelagics that frequent our waters. Personally this season we will be chasing the mahi mahi and those toothy wahoo for some good sport.

Barracuda are schooling around the mid of the Barwon Banks and often come through mixed in a large bait school. If have have never caught a big cuda make them a target on your spin gear and enjoy the fight.

The parrotfish are on and can be taken once the sun is up on the drift around the rocky areas of the Mids. You can expect to also catch fingermark, Moses perch, plenty of cod species, snapper, red throat emperor and many other varieties whilst on the drift.

Targeting the deeper waters over the next month should also get you into the pearlies. I would be looking around 90-120m for the better quality ones around the 4kg plus and of course if there are pearlies then there is likely to be a big amberjack close by just to snack on your catch.

Jigging around the Kosi, Three Sisters and the Tiger Kelly has its rewards in kingfish, Samson, amberjack and other pelagics. Both good size snapper and pearlies have also been known to smash a jig if the opportunity arises so expect anything and be ready for everything.

There have been quite a few big bruiser sharks hanging around the 80m mark at Wide Caloundra, which is not surprise with all the bait fish schools and tuna around. A fresh feed will attract any number of species to an area so have your spin gear ready for some fresh bonito and long tail tuna.

The days are a lot hotter and dehydration can creep up very fast particularly in a boat with limited shade. The answer to this is to always drink plenty of water and have the necessary protection by using sunscreen, clothing and a hat.

It will be a good time for fishing leading up to the Christmas break on the Sunshine Coast and I look forward to seeing that big 1.2m flathead being caught this season. She is out there and I can’t wait to win the bet. Have Fun!

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