Macks are back!
  |  First Published: September 2009

Looking back at August we saw the start of the truly warm weather. In fact the weather was so all over the place it had a dramatic effect on the fishing. When you experience 22ºC mild, winter weather one day and 34ºC humid heat the next, it’s little wonder the fish were confused.

Reefs and Offshore

The warm weather has bought the reef fish and pelagics, including mackerel, on the chew. The deeper water spots have been producing some big amberjack and a lot of quality cobia, some exceeding 20kg.

Luckily baitfish have been around in good numbers which will assist in bringing in the mackerel and the gamefish.

The game clubs are reporting early catches of wahoo, small marlin and sailfish so let’s hope that trend continues.

Spotty mackerel have been caught trolling recently with Point Cartwright, the Blinker, Bray’s Rock and Currimundi Reef the most productive spots.

The reefs around the Barwon Banks have been slow by normal standards but those who are putting in the time and looking around carefully are still getting some good numbers.

The key is to find the bait schools, then look for the bigger fish holding against the current on features. It’s not easy but these fish are definitely worth the trouble.

Fishing around the 85s has produced some pearl perch, snapper, parrot, trag jew and amberjack. The 85s is the spot to go and anchor up at the change of tide even if it’s the middle of the day. After the tide has turned try trolling for tuna, wahoo and other pelagics or just put out plenty of floating, live and dead baits.

Some anglers have opted to head further north up around the top of the Hards with mixed success. Further south seems to be the better option around the Rocks and down to Wide Caloundra. The pearlies are being taken there in better numbers and there are still some good red throat emperor, cod and sweetlip to be had.

The closer in reefs such as the Gneerings, Halls and Murphys have all had a reasonable run over the past couple of months and will be worth a planned trip in future weeks. Kingfish should be also around and if you know how to catch your own squid then throw one on the hook and see what happens.

The spots around the Blinker and Outer Gneerings have been great for those not wanting to travel too far and have produced a variety of species. I would definitely be working south this coming month around Hutchinson and Wide Caloundra for the cobia and pearlies.

Estuaries and canals

The estuaries are starting to give up some good-size flathead and that trend will continue right through until the end of November. Please remember if you catch a female full of roe let it go.

Try the flats along the Esplanade for best results and the deeper water around the sailing club and Blue Hole.

Target whiting in the surf at the northern tip of Bribie Island and in the fast-running Caloundra Bar. Trevally, mulloway, cod, flathead and queenies are all options for these areas as well, so rig accordingly.

Luderick are also around in big numbers just inside the Caloundra Bar.

Trevally and small queenies around 30cm have been taken on lures in the early morning periods at the bridge around Pelican Waters and through into the canals. It appears that once the sun is up then the bite period is nearly over.

Much the same can be said for those who love chasing pike from the many pontoons and jetties around the Sunshine Coast. By far the best time to catch them is before the sun is up, so put on a small lure and have a go.

Pike tails make terrific bait for outside – cod, snapper, amberjack and other monsters love the taste.

The bread and butter varieties such as bream and whiting have been taken consistently just south of Bell’s Creek.

Small yabbies have been productive for whiting, whereas the number one bream bait has been chicken strips. I personally enjoyed a session on bream catching more than 17 bream in 2 hours on chicken, so it does work.

It’s a little early for the summer change over so you will probably find the winter species will continue to dominate for another month or so before the summer species hit home.

When the weather is bad targeting the canal areas and under the bridges around Kawana and Minyama are good options. These spots offer good protection from the environment and a huge range of hides for the fish. I can’t believe when I fish these areas there is never anyone else there.

Bream frequent the pylons and if you understand how they wait in ambush during tidal runs there is always a fish there with your name on it. Casting around the pylons also enhances your casting ability because sometimes you only have a 12cm gap to place the bait or lure.

Try the jetties around Mooloolaba and the rock wall at the mouth for good bream, mulloway, tailor and even tuna on slugs.

Plenty of gar have also been caught around the first turn out from the Mooloolaba Bar area, down where the controversial new beach project was set up.

Big trevally lurk around the long liners and trawlers but remember some of the jetties and wharfs in the area are privately owned so you will need to seek permission to fish from them.


The beach areas around Kings and Moffat will soon have the spotties running, but for now bream and sweetlip still rule.

Divers have speared a few awesome parrotfish and cod around these areas and right out to Bray’s Rock.

Whiting are around Kings and Dickys beaches while further north along the Wurtulla Strip dart, tailor, flathead and even mulloway have been landed.

While the northerly winds are around, the beaches will again run riot with blue bottles as the warmer currents begin, so watch what you are doing at night to avoid being stung.

There are a good couple of months ahead for fishos with the pelagics and gamefish beginning again and the opportunity to pick up some big heavy weights like cobia, amberjack and wahoo will keep us on our toes.

Tuna schools will start busting the surface soon so always have a rod set up ready to cast.

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