Pelagic Play Time
  |  First Published: October 2009

The warm temperatures have now sparked up the water and that means pelagic time! Schools of surface busting tuna smashing schools of bait is now a common sight outside Mooloolaba and Caloundra, which is tempting all types of anglers ready to cast a fly or lure among them.

The smaller mac tuna and bonito make excellent strip baits, as well as hearty meals for the bigger sailfish and marlin. The game boys have been out and amongst them with reports of small marlin and big sailfish being taken around the shallow reefs. All indications are that it will be a good season for the game fishers so let’s hope it holds for them.

The wider areas around the Barwon Banks, 120m mark outside of Caloundra and the bottom of the Hards are the place to be to target the tuna, mackerel, wahoo, cobia and small sailfish. Generally, when the middle part of the morning sets in so does the heat and it is a smart and refreshing move to start trolling for these top predators. Of course a floating bait out the back of the boat is always a must when you are anchored.

The summer variety of reefies will be slow during the normal transition phase this month, but the deeper reef systems should hold some quality pearl perch, parrot and red emperor. The sweetlip will still be a target throughout November along with Maori cod and the odd squire.

Closer in, the target species will be the spotty mackerel and they can generally be taken around Brays Rock, Currimundi Reef right through to just outside Point Cartwright. It’s always worth a troll around Old Womens Island for kingies and mackerel, and when the weather gets too rough at least it is only a very short trip home.

This month the closer in systems, like Murphys and the Gneerings, will be last chance opportunities for amberjack and quality sweetlip so get in whilst you can.

Mackerel will be the best target species after mid morning as the pelagics rise in the water. Working the area around the 9mile beacon is a good move for those who enjoy trolling or bottom bashing for kingies and cobia. There are a few sporadic patches of rock around this area that should be sounded out for reefies holding against the current.

Remember to spend at least 30 minutes of every trip looking at new areas to try next time you are out. The only way to continue to be successful at fishing is to find and explore new areas. Some of these areas may only be 50m from where you fish and they may hold better fish than your everyday mark so look around carefully.

The estuaries are the target for whiting around the many drop-offs and shallow banks within the Pumicestone Passage and Currimundi Lake. With the water being so clear, it is a case of spot fishing for them.

Big flathead manage to camouflage themselves well but can be often found in the deeper waters when the sun is up as well as the areas that hold little water. Work the banks along the northern tip of Bribie Island allowing your bait to either drift out or in with the tide using just enough weight to make it hit the bottom and lift the sand. This technique will make them aggressive, particularly if you come within centimetres of their head.

The mangrove jack is really on in November and Currimundi, Kawana and the canals around Pelican Waters are the best places to target this fantastic fighting fish. Live fresh poddy mullet or prawns are a killer on them but strip baits and lures will take their fair share. Try the Damiki SP50 on them or a DOA 3” prawn in clear colour .

The southern end of Coochin Creek is another good spot to try for whiting but this is a spot that requires transport to it. If you have a canoe, kayak or boat then it is a short trip; around 500m down past Bells Creek where the weed beds start and it is a matter of picking your spot.

The trevally at the moment seem to be in the canals and the main channels, and pike are now here in numbers so the pontoons, jetties and bridges should be a good place to ambush them.

The Blue Hole on the Bribie side of the main channel within the Pumicestone Passage is still worthy of attention, particularly when night fishing or very early in the morning. The best times are when there is a slight run either on the ebb or run-in, which keeps the fish on the move. Use plenty of berley to entice them to the boat but not big chunks as you will over feed them. It only needs to make a film or ball of dust in the water to be at its most effective.

The boardwalk at Caloundra should soon be open so try around there over the next month.

The beach along the esplanade strip will be worth a bait for grunter, bream and trevally throughout the day but the better fishing is in the afternoon, leading onto dusk. Lightweights are the go around this area because there are a lot of hidden rocks just out of sight.

The beaches are still an option, particularly Kings for whiting and bream, before the swimmers get out. Moffat Beach has spotty mackerel, a few sweetlip, bream and, for those that are keen, flathead around the headlands. Dicky Beach is a tough call on a good day but have a look at the areas around the wreck and the rocks to the south.

The Wurtulla Strip around access 36-39 has some small dart, bream and flathead about when the tide is low and slow. Best baits seem to be the humble pilchard or fresh prawns. It is always worth tossing a metal slug or larger plastic into the wave, particularly if there are smaller baitfish around. Mulloway, mackerel and even tailor can be cruising around waiting for a chance to test your strength.

Try the inner reefs for the mackerel this month and only go wide when the tides are very early or late in the evening. Work the bridges and shaded areas around the canals and you should come up trumps. Have Fun!

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