The last of the cool weather is about to fade for another year leaving little time to nail a few snapper, tailor and winter whiting before the water warms.
The shoals have been fishing well for reef and pelagic species with snapper, pearl perch, red emperor, parrot, green jobfish and sweetlip all responding to live bait, squid and mullet fillets.
Spanish mackerel congregate around reef structures such as the shoals at this time of year to breed and trolling lures and rigged baits are the most effective way of finding them.
Fish averaging 15kg have been in good numbers lately with a few topping 20kg. Sharks have been keeping anglers honest with many fish being taxed right at the boat.
Trolling this area is also effective on tuna, wahoo, trevally, billfish and reef dwellers if you get close enough to the bottom.
There have been some good catches of winter whiting off Gatakers Bay, the S1 marker and south of Big Woody. Most fish have been taken on worms and the bigger squid (Californian), which are normally found in the 2.2kg boxes.
The Arti is still producing quality snapper to 7kg on plastics and live bait and a few trout and coral bream have come off the southern end on live pike and fresh squid.
The pier has fished well for tailor on live herring and lures with a few greenbacks over 50cm caught recently.
Bream are still being caught around the pylons on prawns and mullet fillets.
The first channel has also had a few lizards taking plastics and live bait recently.
I also recently tried the new Berkley MF40 soft plastic, bibless lures in the first channel. I had a ball catching four flathead up to 50cm in an hour or so. The flexible body ensures excellent hook-up rates with all four fish pinned by both trebles.
The MF40 comes in heavy (8.6g) and light (5.9g) in an assortment of colours and is available at Fraser Coast Rod and Reel for $11.95 for a twin pack.Reads: 1134