Wider reefs the place to be
  |  First Published: December 2009

Over the past couple of months we have continued to work the wider reefs on charters.

Kingfish and amberjack catches have dropped away the past month or so but trag jew have really put in a good appearance and there’s been some solid fish among them. The best we’ve boated went for nearly 7kg, along with a lot of fish in the 2-4kg bracket. Live bait has accounted for most of the fish.

Trag jew can be really aggressive feeders at times, but when fishing for them with livies it pays to let them really swallow the bait before striking. Once hooked, treat them like a pearl perch and keep a steady constant pressure on the line and you’ll pull fewer hooks.

I’ve seen trag jew to nearly 10kg and I’ve heard about larger ones; it’s great to see them in good size and numbers.

This time of year fishing the wider reefs can be a real battle with the strong southerly bound current, but if you can get a day when the weather is not too bad the fishing can be productive. Along with the trag, there has been some reasonable snapper, but you need to target them when there is no boat traffic.

Jigging has also been a little quiet lately but as the weather gets a bit streamy over the next month or two the kings and ambos should start to fire up on the heavy bits of metal.

Live bait has also continued to be very patchy and even with good shows of bait on the sounder, getting them to hit a bait jig is difficult. I’ve tried all different styles of bait jig but when they are not interested it doesn’t matter what sort of jig you drop down.

In the past month or so small Australian bonito have turned up on the bait grounds. While they are a battle to keep alive, they are good to stock up the bait freezer and make some quality mackerel troll baits.

Speaking of mackerel there’s been a few fish about. The main run hasn’t started yet, but they shouldn’t be far away.

There’s been a few good mahi mahi around and it pays to keep a spare rod handy to toss unweighted pillies or livies when one turns up around the boat.

Over the past few years, January through to March has seen some fairly ordinary weather patterns so we can only hope for a bit of a change this year.

On another note I’d like to welcome Keith Hall to the ranks of QFM. Keith is a well respected charter operator who works out of Newport and his reports will be worth reading for the people who fish north of Cape Moreton in the Wide Caloundra area. Keith has also been involved with the Rocky Reef Review so he will be able to keep us up to speed on that and some of the other issues.

Until next month, enjoy your fishing and take care on the coastal bars.

If you’d like to join me on a charter (max 5 persons) give me a call at Outlaw Charters on (07) 3822 9527 or 0418 738 750.

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