A slow start to summer
  |  First Published: December 2008

Can you believe that Santa is just around the corner? Another year has past and, hopefully, we have all got a little smarter on the fishing front ready for the summer holidays. The boat ramps get a whole lot busier at this time of year and the amount of fishers trying their luck increases ten fold.

The way it normally works in Caloundra is that November and the first week or so of December are our transitional period between winter and summer species. The pelagics come on with a bang and fish like mahi mahi, cod, mangrove jack, cobia, flathead, sweetlip and a mixture of reef fish dominate the catches.

To date it has been a slower than normal start to the summer fishing but it can only improve on where we are at the moment.

The headland around Moffat and Kings beaches have had a good run of school mackerel and the odd spottie is now being taken out around Currimundi Reef and out past Brays Rock. The good news is that cobia are in early and there are big numbers of smaller fish around at the moment.

The closer in reefs have seen a few nice snapper to 7kg being taken in the very early hours of the morning or well into the night. Rat kings have been haunting Old Womens Island and are a bucket load of fun on the lighter gear.

The Inner & Outer Gneerings have been productive for the plastic angler using 5” Jerk Shads and larger 7” models. It still amazes me how a small fish will attack a big lure. Talk about no fear!

Wide Caloundra has been a bit of a push with the weather but for those that have made it pearlies and snapper have been the order of the day. It does take a while to find a good show but when you do the rewards are great.

The Barwon Banks and Bottom of the Hards have had a quiet run by normal standards that has been due to a combination of the weather and water temperatures. Deeper areas around 100m when fishable are a far better option after first light than heading shallow.

The best thing about summer is you can confidently spend the early mornings chasing your reefies and then as the morning progresses you can have a troll for all sorts of pelagics, including a huge amount of tuna species, and still be home early afternoon. The heat of the day sure saps out your energy, so please be sure to take plenty of fluids with you not to mention sunscreen and a big hat.

Northerlies have contained the beach fishing in our area bringing blue bottles and the unwanted weed. Some nice holes still exist but it is hard to find lasting gutter that will produce or not be torn apart by a strong rip. Dicky and Shelly beaches are worth a try, particularly off the rocks at low tide. Good size bream and trevally are hanging around and soldier crabs have accounted for the better quality fish.

All the beaches along the Wurtulla strip are fantastic to take the kids for a fish and some fun. There are limited patrolled beaches so make sure you check out the best areas for the kids to swim.

Kings Beach on dusk around the rocks still has mackerel, bream and whiting on offer. Caloundra Bar is the spot to target big flathead and trevally but it is difficult to get away from the little pickers, namely bream.

By far the better baits have been live pike and herring if you are prepared to wait for a solid hit, but if not, then prawns, yabbies and herring will get you a feed.

The Blue Hole has nice flathead around the markers and bream from the foreshore of Bribie Island. It’s worth noting that drifting can produce a lot more flathead, but around the busy season I would not advise it.

Bell’s creek is not quiet deep enough to get right around except on the high tide and even then you better know what you are doing. Some nice mangrove jack have been landed further down around Coochin Creek and within some of the estuaries systems.

Poddy Mullet and live pike are great baits to entice the jack from the snags, but remember to hang on and turn them quickly. Some good whiting are still about and if you are fishing deep water then you won’t be catching too many. The majority of them are in less than half a metre of water so work the sandbanks and the drop-offs.

Popper’s are another alternative for catching whiting and it’s something that I am only just getting into. You will be amazed at just how aggressive they can be.

Hopefully, the queenies will soon make their presence felt within the Pumicestone Passage. They are terrific fighters and worthy opponents on light gear.

The Boardwalk will be packed on a daily basis and the inevitable tangles of six or more fishing lines will amuse the locals. This spot is one of the best to take the kids because it is close to all amenities and when they get bored it is only a 50m stroll to go for a swim. And of course there is good deepwater and it holds stacks of fish around the area. Once again early mornings and late afternoons are the better times to target the fish.

The fishing around the deeper waters of Gemini Towers has been average with a few flathead and bream taking baits, but this is an area where summer means heaps of swimmers so work around them.

During the holidays it is best to get out early or after the majority of people have packed up for the day. Please remember to be courteous to visitors and assist them at the ramp rather than get annoyed. Most people take this opportunity to get the boat or kayak out for its one and only trip of the year so they are just a little rusty and lacking confidence.

I will also take this opportunity to thank all the readers for their continued support of this great magazine and wish you all a very happy, safe and prosperous Christmas and New Year.

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