Get snap happy
  |  First Published: August 2005

Winter is snapper time and this month they should be all through the bay, hopefully with big ugly humps on their heads.

The Southern gutters fish very well in August and snapper congregate on the edges of the drop-offs. I’ve had success with squid, mullet fillets, yakkas, tuna and gars. I try to fish with as little lead as possible and have caught my best fish while free spooling line when finding the bottom again. Many fish nail baits a couple of metres before you hit bottom, so it pays to be ready.

If you are fishing small tides with little run, it’s a good idea to have a floating pilchard or gar out the back, especially when you use them in conjunction with berley. Although this technique is a bit messy at times, it is worth persevering with, as it is deadly when chasing snapper. I always have a livie out too, which snapper will take at times.

A few trout and cod have been on the move. Most anglers who are catching them are fishing with livies, so it’s always a guessing game when that rod takes off.

There are heaps of trevally all over the gutters at the moment. A couple of weeks ago my mate Dave Campbell and I managed a few nice reefies and a big golden trevally while fishing at night. The next morning we had a blast catching silvers at daybreak – these fish are a lot of fun.

On that same day we trolled from the gutters to Wathumba, which was quiet at the start. Just wide of Rooneys we spotted some dolphins and shortly afterwards had a double hook-up on mack tuna. I had just managed to get two lures back in the water when another mack tuna smashed my blue/silver Halco Lazer. At Station Hill we got another double hook-up, which resulted in two lovely longtails being slid into the esky.

The artificial reef has been producing the odd knobby and is still fishable in most weather conditions. Fresh squid and livies are my first choice, but pillies and most flesh baits produce fish.

Wathumba and Arch Cliffs will be firing this month. A lot of snapper are caught every year in this area and pelagics of all kinds inhabit the shallow reefs in the shelter of Fraser Island.

If the winds are in the southeast or westerly directions there should be plenty of options for anglers fishing the bay this month. Have fun out there!

Dave Campbell with his first longtail on the troll.

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