GOOD steady rains have kept things on the move, and a couple of weeks of nearly perfect weather saw some nice fish caught over the past month.
On the beach, some of the biggest whiting I have seen were hooked by a few local lads on Teewah Beach, near the Cherry Venture shipwreck. I saw a catch of 20 or so fish, and more than half were around the 40cm mark. Plenty of good size bream are being caught in the same area. Live beachworms are the best bait for the whiting, and bonito and mullet gut are working well with the bream. There have been plenty of worms showing up on the beach, and if you can catch these little critters you’ll have a good supply of fresh bait at your feet.
In the Sandy Straits, spotted mackerel and mack tuna have kept the water on the boil. There have been great catches of spotties around 'Big Mick' beacon. Around the bottom end of Fraser Island the mackerel have been really thick, and some people fishing for whiting and bream have been getting their hooks ripped off in very shallow water.
Right up in the creeks the prawns are still very active, and a few anglers have caught a nice feed for themselves using a cast net. Mud crab numbers have slowed down, but if you spend enough time you’ll still pot a few.
Quite a few boats have ventured offshore lately, taking full advantage of some perfect weather. Spanish and spotted mackerel have been easy targets as they are in huge numbers in very close offshore waters. The only problem I have found with these large schools of mackerel is they clean up big schools of my favourite bait – yellowtail scad. Usually I’d have no problems jigging up enough for a day of reef fishing. It is becoming increasingly tough to find them of late, and you need to bring extra bait jigs as the mackerel smash your rig half way up from the bottom.
Good snapper are being hooked around the Double Island Point area at night, along with some quality sweetlip. Lots of scarlet sea perch are turning up on the close reefs as well.
Out a little wider there's been no shortage of quality, with knobby snapper, big pearl perch and huge red emperor being landed by some very happy anglers. On a recent trip I did with part-time skipper Wayne Shadbolt, our red emperor catch ranged from 12kg to an absolute monster that Wayne caught, weighing a whopping 20kg. I hope this sort of quality is around when our local Rainbow Beach Fishing Classic is here.
If anyone is interested in a reef fishing day trip with myself or Wayne you can contact Keely Rose Fishing Charters on 0407 146 151.
1) Wayne Shadbolt with his 20kg red caught on Keely Rose Fishing Charters.
2) Wayne Shadbolt,Sidey and Bobby Richardson with a nice catch of reds, scarlet perch and snapper.Reads: 630