Ravenous reds at Rainbow beach
  |  First Published: October 2005

We’ve had a good run of weather and some excellent fish recently, so let’s hope it continues throughout this month.


The offshore scene continues to be literally red-hot, with red emperor coming onboard on nearly every charter I have done. Recently, I have found that going against the grain and fishing for red emperors on rather flat ground, away from the more substantial reefs has been successful. Try fishing every little bit of show on your sounder, regardless of how insignificant it may look.

I think one of the biggest mistakes offshore boaties can make is relying too much on GPS marks they have been given by other people (who have most likely overfished them anyway). Following other boats doesn't work either. You are far better off spending some leisurely time having a sound around away from everybody, and sooner or later you will crack a fresh patch that will prove very rewarding.

Some other species that are really on the chew are pearl perch, Mauri cod, sweetlip and snapper.


Bream have been the flavour of the month in the Straits with very good catches coming from Teebah, Kauri and some of the smaller tributary creeks. Bream really respond to berley in these creeks: standard chook pellets work very well, especially when backed up with live yabbies as bait. Some of these fish are around 1kg, which is a good size for bream.

Flathead continue to be active in the same areas as the bream, with soft plastics and livebait working very well as usual.

It is still easy to get a feed of diver whiting on the inside of Fraser Island, and their bigger cousins, the summer whiting, are turning up more as the weather warms up, particularly on the bottom end of Fraser Island.


Summer whiting have also become more active at the beaches. On Teewah Beach, the better quality ones have come in around the full moon and have been taking live worms.

Bream are also present on both Rainbow and Teewah beaches, with the best specimens being caught on tuna strips. Middle Rock on Rainbow Beach has fished well for them, as well as the ever-reliable dart.

Chopper tailor and a few greenbacks have been landed on both beaches but not as thickly as I would have thought. However, we still have a bit more time on our side to catch them.


Recently, I've had a few customers ask “How do I keep my fish fresh if I have to travel a day or two with them?”

There is actually no panic to clean your fish as soon as you hit land if they are treated correctly in the first place. I have worked on a few professional line fishing boats where we would keep our fish on ice only, for up to seven days.

The first thing to do on capture is to brain spike the fish, which will kill it instantly. Then, place the fish into a seawater ice slurry and leave it there until firm. Next, simply pack all of your fish standing up side by side with their bellies down and covered in ice.

Make sure you keep the ice on them, let the melted ice out and do not gut them (gutting will allow bacteria in and will shorten their ice box keeping time). If you follow these steps, you will have quite a few days to decide whether to fillet or keep them whole. Of course, they will need freezing after that.

October is one of my favourite months for offshore fishing and like last month, red emperor should be quite active.

If you would like to have a fish off Rainbow Beach with Ed Falconer on his charter boat, Keely Rose, give him a call on 0407 146 151 to make a booking.

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