LAST month I wrote about the excellent fishing and the clear, weedless water of Rainbow Beach. Unfortunately, conditions have changed dramatically! At the time of writing all the beaches are choked with weed, and it's almost impossible for land-based anglers to find a place to wet a line.
Beach fishermen will need the weed to clear, or fishing in December will be an exercise in frustration. Let's be positive and assume it does improve. December should see the run of whiting continue along Inskip Point and Teewah Beach. The ever-reliable dart will be available and the odd tailor might still be about.
If you want to catch something big, this month is the ideal time to try for golden trevally at Inskip Point. You need to specifically target this fish with strong, balanced gear and good bait such as live legal-sized whiting. Spinning off the rocks at Double Island Point should provide good sport, with plenty of trevally willing to crash a lure.
Mud and sand crabs have been taken recently, and will be a popular target during December. Some rain leading into the month would enhance the crabbing and everything else as well! Let's hope we get some relief from this drought.
Some pelagic fish will no doubt find their way into the Straits in December, and mangrove jack will be sought after up the creeks. Come Christmas holidays the waterways and boat ramps will be very busy, so remember to be considerate of others. Please don’t hog the boat ramp and chat to your mates if other boaters are waiting to use it, and don’t try to anchor 15cm away from another boat just because you saw a bent rod!
Recent reef fishing trips have been quite successful. Local Dave Tardrew recently acquired a Pacific Sportfish 6.2 Supervee and has been consistently catching nice mixed bags of pearlies, squire and moses perch. His only problem is that everyone wants to go fishing with him! I fished with my brother James and we caught some reasonable fish including pearlies and snapper. Unfortunately, the weather hasn’t been that cooperative and it seems the odd fishable day has been mid-week. Hopefully the weather during December will allow some access to the reefs!
Some spotty mackerel have been caught recently off Rainbow Beach, and you can usually catch these sportfish during December. Time will tell if this eventuates; even the QFS is becoming concerned about the status of this species, with management proposals that include reduced recreational bag limits and a quota on the commercial catch.
Various species of tuna should be widespread this month and excellent sportfishing can be had casting an assortment of lures, flies or baits to schools of actively feeding fish. Spanish mackerel might start to show up towards the end of this month, and I would try for these around the Pinnacles, Wolf Rock or Double Island Point. Occasionally good Spaniards can also be taken near the shark nets out the front of Rainbow Beach or in front of the Sandblow over the coffee rock. Bottom fish can still be caught, although they seem to be more thinly scattered than during Winter and the run can make fishing difficult in deeper water.
Make sure you get your responses to the Coral Finfish RIS in on time, because this is an important opportunity to express your opinion to the people who manage our fisheries. The RIS has been available for some time but if you don’t have one they are available online from the QFS at www.dpi.qld.gov.au/fishweb or by phoning 13 25 23. All responses must be received by the QFS by 5pm Monday, December 16.
1) James Leach with an ‘old man’ snapper. Locals have been picking up some good mixed bags of reefies lately.
2) Various species of tuna should be widespread this month.Reads: 433