THE WEATHER is cooling down but the fishing is definitely hotting up! May is traditionally one of the best times of the year to wet a line at Rainbow Beach, and hopefully this year will be no exception.
At the time of writing Rainbow Beach has enjoyed nearly a whole week of calm weather, and some of the offshore boaties have been able to get out and sample some of the great mackerel fishing on offer. Skilful professional line fishermen have been able to take plenty of quality Spaniards in many locations off Double Island Point. On a recent weekend, after catching a few reef fish with local baker Ed Falconer, we decided to have a troll for a Spaniard at about 2pm. I wasn’t confident and only had four garfish, but five minutes later we had our first quality fish of around 14kg. We lost another to a shark and had two other strikes that failed to connect.
This action saw Ed and Wayne Shadbolt back out fishing later in the week. He caught plenty of live bait and was very successful at catching Spaniards at anchor under a float. Some livies were sent to the bottom and were turned into snapper, coral trout and coronation trout. They had to come home though when Shaddy had an altercation with the business end of a Spaniard that cost him 12 stitches in one hand.
On a day when the weather was perfect, with no more than 10 knots of breeze all day, I went fishing with Guy Houston and his son Nick. We caught a tank full of livies and went bottom fishing, and after a succession of sweetlip, squire, kingfish and parrot, Guy announced he had hooked something big. A sailfish proceeded to tail walk and leap all over the ocean, and was soon joined by a second that grabbed Nick’s line. Chaos ensued! Lines were tangled and Nick’s Shimano Baitrunner was spooled in seconds. Luckily everything stayed connected for Guy and he brought a magnificent sailfish alongside my boat. Unfortunately we had no camera, but there was no way Guy wanted to kill the fish. Leaving it in the water, we removed the hooks and it swam away. I have never chased sailfish, but those who do might be interested to know that the area we were fishing was within sight of Wolf Rock.
Tony Stewart’s charter boat Baitrunner has been putting its clients onto quality red emperor, with an 11.5kg specimen being caught last weekend. As the current eases and the weather cools you can expect to be able to catch more of these beautiful fish. During May a few Spaniards should still be about, and the bottom fishing should be in full swing with plenty of fish to target. Don’t forget the new size and possession limits!
Beach fishing has continued to be very good, and at our last club weigh-in Gary Enkleman and Cedric Byrne once again brought in some very impressive fish. The boys usually fish Teewah Beach at night, which is not everybody’s cup of tea, but their results are certainly impressive – good tailor, bream, tarwhine, whiting and dart.
The fishing during May could be even better, with the cooler weather and westerly winds making for relaxing beach fishing with the wind at your back and the bream season underway.
People are still catching crabs, and Wayne Hayes, driver of the Canadian Air boat I mentioned last month, tells me there are plenty of crabs about. I haven’t heard of too many sand crabs being caught though; I’m not sure why.
Fishing has been fairly ordinary, with not a great deal of pelagic activity and only a few whiting being taken. During May the bream fishing should pick up and you should be able to catch these fish along Teebar Ledge and up the many creeks that feed into the Straits.
1) Cedric Bryre with a brace of whiting. The beach fishing has been very good lately, and this should continue through May.
2) Snapper have been showing up in recent catches, along with coral trout, coronation trout and some quality red emperor.Reads: 540