Change of Tactics
  |  First Published: October 2009

The first half of September saw the good weather continue and the fish kept coming as well.

The snapper were a bit hit and miss but the amberjack, kingfish and samsonfish continued to engulf any live bait that got in their path. The only problem has been that live bait has been a real drama to collect, but when you drop them in the right areas, it’s more often than not hold on to your pants.

The live baiting sessions have been fairly hectic and at time straight out chaotic! Three, 4 and even 5 anglers all hooked up at once on solid fish. Most of the fish have been in the 3-6kg bracket, but some days we strike a patch of serious bruisers with fish over 10kg coming over the side. These bigger fish have usually been amberjacks and kings.

We are well into the spring weather patterns and the water temperatures are rising and the target species are starting to change for the offshore angler. East of the South Passage bar snapper will still be worth targeting along the Shallow Tempest line of reef as the snapper feed up before heading into deeper water.

Amberjack and kingfish will continue to hit live baits but I’ve found over the past few seasons that as the water temperature rises, chasing them on deepwater jigs comes into its own. Fishing with jigs is a high energy, adrenaline pumping style of fishing which can really put the results on the board when other methods are not producing. One breed of jig that has worked well for me over the past few seasons is the SureCatch Deepwater long jigs. They come in 10 different colours and weights ranging from 150g right up to 400g. They are pre-rigged with an assist hook and have proven to be very effective fish takers at a low end cost.

I mainly use the 300g jigs, which get down well in the current, but sometimes I’ll drop a 150 if the fish are shying away from the larger jigs. Being lead they occasionally get bent out of shape but a quick straighten up will have you back in business. Colour is a personal preference but I find gold, green and pink to be the best. If you’re into jigging, grab a couple of these SureCatch jigs and give them a go.

Out around Point Lookout a few small Spanish mackerel will start to show up in November. Places like The Group and Shag Rock will be worth the effort fishing with a trolled live bait.

Us poor old charter operators are pretty hard to please. Either we are whinging about the bad weather keeping us off the water or we’re complaining that we need a break. To be honest, after all the good weather we’ve had, it was great when the school holidays rolled around and I could get off the water and away with the family.

In early October I spent a lovely week on Fraser Island with the family, re-energising the batteries. This is a great spot to relax with the family, either camping or in one of the holiday houses available. So grab a 4WD and get up there, I’m sure you’ll have a ball, just as I did.

Lastly, the results of the Rocky Reef Snapper Review are not far from being made public. From the whispers I have heard, anglers are not going to be very happy, so make sure you look out for the review – assuming the authorities make it easily accessible.

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

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