OUR local Rainbow Beach Fishing Classic has been run and won, with some great fish caught.
It amazes me what can be caught when extra people fish the local waters during the Classic. With all the increased effort from anglers, whiting, bream, dart, flathead and tailor were landed from Inskip Point to Double Island Point. Across Teewah Beach, the dominant species was dart. Some gutters were full of them.
Although some good quality tailor were weighed in, their numbers seem to be down. We had a big influx of this species earlier in the month that was short-lived, but we probably haven’t seen the end of them.
Flathead have been quite active and are certainly the dominant species here. The hotspots have been around the bottom end of Fraser Island in the nooks and crannies, and right up Kauri Creek. Drifted pilchards, yabbies and fleshbaits are working well, but soft plastic lures are dynamite. I recently had a go at some flathead on plastics, and I managed a nice feed even though I’m no expert on this type of fishing.
Mud crabs are being potted in good numbers in Kauri Creek. They probably should have slowed down by now, but I'm tipping they're still on the move due to such mild winter conditions.
Calamari is still on the menu, and they’ll stick around until the weather warms right up. Orange prawn jigs are doing the trick between Tin Can Bay Inlet and the Carlo Point leads.
All popular bottom-dwelling species are being caught – snapper, pearl perch, parrot and sweetlip – but snapper are definitely the flavour of the month. Nice big squire and a few knobby snapper around the 7kg mark have been caught from very close offshore reefs to out wide. I have only had to go as far as Three Mile to get stuck into some quality snapper. If you want to trick the more cunning bigger fish on these close reefs, fish as light as possible, floating down with pea sinkers, nice fresh pilchards, squid or – the ultimate bait – live yakka (yellow-tailed scad).
When fishing light, you never want to go ridiculously light on your line strength. It's not that you can't land big fish on light line, it's just that it’s very easy to ping the line on sharp reef and gill plates. Light lines hitting these objects under pressure will cut you straight off. Braided line is more resistant and is great stuff but, because I’m a charter operator, I don't use braid because I have some safety issues with it. For some people just starting out, or who have never fished before, braid under pressure in the wrong hands can be devastating to fingers. It cuts like a razor-sharp knife.
I much prefer a good quality nylon line, perhaps something like 20-50lb Super Schneider.
September is my favourite fishing month. Over the years it has worked best for me, particularly around the new and full moon.
Ed Falconer’s charter business, Keely Rose Reef Fishing Charters, makes regular trips to the reefs off Rainbow Beach. If you’d like to go on a trip with Ed you can contact him on 0407 146 151.
1) Local bloke John Fox with his whopper pearlie, caught on the Keely Rose, that won the overall Heaviest Pearl Perch division in the Rainbow Beach Fishing Classic.
2) The Keely Rose had a great week over the Fishing Classic. The author, not be left behind by one of his customers (John Fox), managed to snare the Heaviest Overall Snapper.Reads: 895