Great weather, great fishing
  |  First Published: September 2005

What a terrific month we've had – nice weather and exceptional catches of reef fish too!

As I predicted in last month’s QFM column, good catches of snapper were had by many fishing the Rainbow Beach area. However, I was a little off the mark by saying it would be good, because it is probably the best year I've seen for huge catches of these great fighting table fish!

Over the duration of the Rainbow Beach Fishing Classic we saw vast numbers of snapper caught. On one day in my boat we bagged out on snapper, the smallest weighing 4kg with some decent red emperor in the mix as well. The following day we boated 20 red emperor, with the smallest weighing 5kg.

All the other reef species were on the boil as well and some huge pearl perch were weighed in at the comp. One in particular was entered by local angler Greg Pierce and tipped the scales at over 5kg (cleaned), which would make this fish close to 7kg uncleaned. An absolute pearler of a pearlie!


Like the offshore scene, beach fishing has also performed well. Bream, tailor, dart, whiting and flathead came pouring in to the weigh-ins during the Classic. To give you an idea of how well the fish are biting in this area at the moment, only the entrants’ bigger fish and one of each species was permitted to be weighed in each day, and everyone had plenty of choice! Beach fish were coming from Rainbow and Teewah beaches with all anglers getting into at least a few.


Heaps of flathead are still being caught from Tin Can Bay Inlet and way up the inside of Fraser Island, as well as every creek in between. We see more and more flatties every month and fishing for them is a very reliable option.

Lots of chopper tailor are getting caught in the mouths of Teebah and Kauri creeks. The best bait to rely on is hardiheads as the tailor are small but thick.

Winter whiting are plentiful in the deeper channels along the inside of Fraser Island and I have also had reports of school jew getting caught in large numbers around Tin Can Bay on live yabbies.

Best and worst

After having such a busy time over the Fishing Classic and seeing so much action jammed into one week, it really does bring out the best and worst in almost all aspects of fishing and boating. One thing that stood out was the lack of marine radio knowledge of some boaties.

One of the competition rules is that you must log on and off with the local coastguard whilst competing. This ensures all competitors in boats are tracked and, if necessary, a search can be started quickly if they don’t log off.

Among the list of problems with radio calls were: vessels talking over the top of other people trying to talk to the coastguard; holding up important channels with irrelevant chit-chat; boaties with marine radio sets or set-ups that were unreadable and should probably be replaced; and people calling up their own vessel first before the coastguard (wrong way around).

For safety’s sake I strongly advise that boaties undertake a marine radio operator course. I'm sure you will find it interesting, easy and cheap. And on completion you are issued with a perpetual licence that has no ongoing fees. Best of all, it will save a lot of confusion in the event of an emergency situation.

On a positive note, the whole Rainbow Beach Fishing Classic was a huge success, and all competitors and their families had a great time thanks to the efforts of Ricky Modine and his team at the Rainbow Beach Sports and Recreation Club and all of the generous sponsors. And what a brilliant week of weather it was too!

After skippering Tony Stewart’s vessel with its brand new Suzuki 4-strokes, I couldn’t resist, and purchased a brand new Suzuki 4-stroke for Keely Rose (which was due for a re-fit). It is the sweetest motor I have owned so far. I bought it from and had it fitted by Peter and his team at Laguna Boating Centre in Noosaville. I not only got an amazing deal through them, but found their service impeccable and lightning fast.

September is my favourite fishing month for all species, especially the prize fish in the area, the BIG red emperor!

Ed Falconer runs Keely Rose Fishing Charters and if you would like to experience some of the great fishing off Rainbow Beach, give him a call on 0407 146 151 to make a booking.

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