Snapper the mainstay
  |  First Published: August 2009

Finding time to do a report this month was a task in itself with late July and early August seeing one of the best runs of good weather we’ve had for quite a while. I don’t mind saying that after such a long run without a break it’s almost a relief the wind finally arrived and I had a chance for a day or two off!

The fishing has been consistent offshore with good numbers of snapper, from small to mid-sized, along with the reliable amberjack and yellowtail kingfish. The 29- and 33-fathom reefs produced some quality snapper along with plenty of the smaller, squire-sized snapper throughout July. The fish only slowed down a few days before the full moon in early August. This lull also coincided with the current slowing down on the shallow reefs. The old saying of no run, no fun again proved to be on the money.

Thankfully there was still a bit of current out wide and any livie dropped on the 37- or 42-fathom reefs got smashed by an amberjack or a kingfish. Many of the amberjack were just legal or just under, however the big boys are still out there and we did manage a monster of 40kg.

There have also been some XOS yellowtail kingfish on the 29s and we’ve been smashed up by quite a few when floatlining for snapper on light tackle. We did get fortunate a couple of times with impressive kingfish of 15-20kg coming over the sides.

Last month I said mulloway were being caught around Shallow Tempest. These fish have now filtered out to the 29-fathom line and have been holding around pinnacles that have schools of baitfish on them. Dropping a live yakka, slimy or pike down on a paternoster rig has been working well and the fish have been around 12-13kg. Even though I haven’t fished the Point Lookout area for a while, I’ll bet there are a few mulloway on the 50m line south of the Cathedrals.

The snapper have been a real mixed bag. Some days they have averaged 2kg, while the next day every fish must be measured carefully. On charter most times it’s about chasing numbers of fish, not just targeting the big knobbie snapper. However if you take the time to floatline a pilchard while bottom bashing, some really good snapper can be taken in the same areas.

So far this season floatlining has accounted for good numbers of 4-6kg snapper with one ripper dragging the scales down to 9kg.

From other reports I’ve heard there have been some good snapper coming from the shallow grounds in the Cape Moreton area and also from the grounds south of Point Lookout, so the snapper appear to be widespread at present.

The next couple of months should see the snapper continue to be the mainstay for fishers heading offshore from Brisbane. Keep in mind my records show September and October are quite often the best months to target snapper.

It’s also heartening to see with the looming snapper management plan, numbers of these popular fish have been good this year. I guess we’ll wait and see what the managers have planned for us.

Until next month, enjoy your fishing, take care on the coastal bars and if you’d like to join me on charter (max 5 persons) give me a call at Outlaw Charters on (07) 3822 9527 or 0418 738 750.

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