Bagging out on reefies
  |  First Published: October 2004

IN LAST month’s issue I predicted that August would be a windy month, and we certainly had our fair share of it. With a few low pressure systems about, the fishing was on and off.


Another good run of tailor came through recently, with terrific catches just on the eastern side of Inskip Point up to the 4kg mark. Blue pilchards and silver lures are working well.

Some of the local professional fishermen netted quite a few tonnes of tailor from this area, although this seemed to have little impact on we amateurs rounding up a good catch for ourselves.

I was talking to one pro fisherman and he told me that small schools of tailor were of no interest to them, which is probably why beach anglers are doing so well. Let's hope for lots of smaller schools.

Another area alive with tailor was between the bathing reserve and Middle Rock, where it is still weed-free. Middle Rock along the beach to Double Island Point has a weed problem at the time of writing this report, but fortunately it’s only a short stretch of our beautiful beach.

Dart are plentiful on Rainbow and Teewah beaches. Whiting are still a little quiet but this will change as the weather warms up.


Flathead are about in very good numbers from Tin Can Bay Inlet to Carlo Point and further down to the bottom end of Fraser Island. It is probably the best year I've seen for getting a good feed of flatties, possibly to do with anglers releasing fish that were too big, even well before maximum size limits applied (a great move).

Tailor were present between Carlo Point and Teebar Ledge, with silver Wonder Wobblers and soft plastic lures working best.

Squid are still being jigged up around Carlo Leads, but will thin out as the weather becomes warmer.

Mud crabs are having one of the better seasons I've seen and, unlike the squid, numbers will only increase as the weather warms up.


Snapper, parrot and pearl perch have outdone all other reef species. Snapper are still being caught on the very close reefs, fishing light, which unfortunately can't be done on the wider reefs with the strong currents of late.

I recently launched my 4m tinny from the beach with a couple of mates without the aid of a GPS or sounder – a test for our skills on landmarks, which we hadn't used for many years. After travelling four miles offshore and deploying a little berley (chopped up pillie), we had an excellent feed of snapper in no time.

Out wider

Bagging out on quality parrot around the 2.5kg mark has been easy using squid and mullet to tempt them. Nice Maori cod have been caught in some areas, with the bigger ones taken on live yakkas.

Pearl perch seem to be moving around a fair bit; one day you can bag out on them and the next they're gone. Like Maori cod, the bigger fish went after the livebait.

September is my favourite fishing month, with October a very close second. In October I've enjoyed some of the best red emperor fishing I've ever experienced, and I’m really looking forward to it.

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) Josh Shadbolt, the author, Wally Kelly and Wayne Shadbolt with a good catch of snapper and sweetlip caught three miles offshore from a 14-foot tinny, without the help of a GPS or sounder.

2) Deano Amfuso from Tin Can Bay. Although the reds have been a little scarce, Deano managed to trick this 8.5kg beauty on Keely Rose Fishing Charters.

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