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Colourful mixed catches
  |  First Published: May 2004




AFTER the excellent run of pelagics last month I predicted that nice snapper would turn up offshore. It wasn’t a bad guess, as quite a few boats got some good hauls just before the full moon (two or three days before the full moon is generally the best time to catch snapper). Close offshore reefs have also been producing sweetlip, pearl perch, parrot and red emperor.

Unfortunately, the weather hasn’t been kind for the most part, with low pressure systems threatening to turn into cyclones and producing huge swells and plenty of rain. It really stirred things up here in Rainbow Beach, with the swells eroding massive amounts of sand from our beaches, exposing the notorious Mudlo Rocks – a beach access obstacle course. Be careful when you’re driving here, as a few 4WD vehicles have become stuck over the years. If you’re travelling to Rainbow Beach via the beach from Tewantin, check conditions first with our local RACQ or Tourist Info centre. It may save you a lot of heartache and money.

One good thing to come out of all this is that the weed on the beach is gone. The water is now clear and fishable again.

The rain has flushed out copious amounts of prawns from the inlets, so a few of my mates on professional prawn trawlers have been busy. Even children have been scooping the prawns up with buckets in the mangroves. With this start it's shaping up to be an excellent season. Here’s hoping we get more steady rain.

Beach fishing has been great, with catches of huge whiting, bream, dart and tailor from Inskip Point to Teewah.

Plenty of these big beach fish were weighed in on our local fishing club day.

Diver whiting are prolific in the Sandy Straits – although these guys are small when compared with their larger cousins, the summer whiting, which the beach fishermen are hooking. With a bit of extra filleting time you’ll still get a great feed though.

Flathead continue to be caught on the drift with soft plastic lures around Carlo Point, and mud crabs have been potted in all creeks. Many of these crabs have been only half full, but the rain is stirring up more food for them and they’ll fill out.

Coming up closer to winter, we should see some high pressure systems come right up over the top of us, making for some very pleasant fishing conditions. It’s a real treat to have light south-west to westerly winds in the morning for a little push out to sea, and light north-easters to bring us back in. We should all be coming home with some colourful, mixed catches in our eskies if these weather patterns occur.

Good luck fishing.

1) Snapper have been on the menu offshore and most boaties have been doing well.

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