A fisherman’s cocktail
  |  First Published: July 2004

THE MERCURY has been dropping and our lovely winter patterns are here. We’ve had some great days at sea, with westerly winds in the mornings and light sea breezes in the afternoons making the fishing very pleasant and productive.


There have been great catches of all beach fish species – whiting, bream, dart and tailor – on both Rainbow and Teewah Beaches lately. Anglers have been making big hauls of tailor in the deeper gutters at night, particularly around the full moon, so it’s well worth making the effort in the cold weather. Most of these fish were caught with pilchards, which also attracted some quality bream in the mix.

The beach has been relatively free of seaweed and this is a real bonus; over the past year we’ve had more than our fair share of it.


Whiting have been the dominant species here. Anglers have been catching good feeds around the bottom end of Fraser Island using live worms.

Nice size bream have been taken around Tin Can Bay inlet. These have been mostly taken on cut fleshbaits, although a few anglers have been snaring them on soft plastic lures.

Good quality mud crabs are still around but they’re in small numbers. One young local lad, Josh Shadbolt, has been out everyday baiting and checking his pots after school and he’s seldom come home empty handed.


The fishing offshore has been similar to last month, with anglers being treated to some perfect weather with very calm conditions. The sea over one particular week was glassy calm, but a low pressure system well offshore caused quite a big ground swell. This was great for the local surfers but, in my opinion, conditions like this are when the Wide Bay bar is at its most deceiving and potentially dangerous. On one of these days I headed offshore cruising at 25 knots until I reached the outer bank (which rises up to a shallow 5m) and I was confronted with a freak set of large breaking waves. Scary stuff. If you don't know this bar crossing be extremely cautious on an outgoing tide or with any sort of a running swell, even if the sea looks glassy calm. You need plenty of local knowledge and you should always check with the local Coast Guard.

Back to the fishing. No wind, no run, and a new moon made for a great fisherman’s cocktail. Many good catches have been reported from as little as 500m off the beach, with excellent catches of sweetlip and a bonus coral trout thrown in. Spotted mackerel have also been caught in the same area.

A touch further offshore, still on fairly close reefs, there is still plenty of pelagic action. Spotted and Spanish mackerel, amberjack and cobia are falling for the trusty old live yakka.

I recently had a really good run around the 10-mile offshore mark, bagging out on pearlies, snapper and parrot on quite a few occasions. We’ve also been catching some quality red emperor.

I think the coming month should be a carbon copy of this month as we are still receiving steady rains, which are keeping things on the move.

If you’d like to go on a reef fishing charter with Ed Falconer you can contact him at Keely Rose Reef Fishing Charters, operating out of Rainbow Beach, on 0407 146 151.

1) This amberjack gave the author a hard time. It was caught on a live yakka two miles offshore.

2) Doug Tomkins from Gympie caught this 9kg red emperor 10 miles offshore on the Keely Rose charter boat.

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