Happy New Year! With holidays in full swing the waterways are crowded, but there are still some great fishing opportunities to be had if you know where to go.
The estuaries are possibly the best bet to wet a line, but don’t fall in the trap of copying what others are doing. It amazes me that we have so many places available to fish and yet everyone seems to be within a couple of hundred metres of each other.
Outside on the reefs it makes sense to follow what others are doing but not in the estuaries. For instance, fishing in the channels or major parts of the waterways during the day is not productive because it is so busy and noisy. Normally there will be canoes, kayaks, powerboats, tinnies and PWCs all using the same water, which just encourages the fish into hiding spots.
I think a lot of us would be very surprised as to how many fish actually hang around the smallest piece of structure in very shallow water sometimes. As an angler it is your job to hunt them by looking for the obvious locations and any little places that may hold fish.
On a recent trip up north I anchored 20m away from two logs crossed over in water around 30cm deep and began tossing lures and baited rigs to the snag. The logs were no more that 1m long and we caught over 20 fish of five different species from that one small snag.
This particular snag was only just visible but the area under it was not, so the fish had perfect camouflage. How many times do we go past a stick or a shadow in the water and not try it? It’s time to think like a fish. If there was a lot of noise from motors and people swimming don’t you think you would get out of there?
The rock walls at Mooloolaba are packed as you would expect during the holidays but they still offer a great shot at some top quality bream, whiting, flathead and even tuna.
The main channel that runs parallel to La Balsa Park is quite deep and often you see pictures in the local paper of outstanding catches from here. Around the trawlers and jetties on the opposite side of the river there are big trevally and bream that hang around all year feeding off the scraps of bait thrown out by the long liners and trawlers.
The pontoon at the boat ramp is also a great spot to try for bream, tarwhine and happy moments but it does get very busy as times. Deeper into the canal system there are many rocky walls encrusted with oysters, which are great spots to drop a line and there are also a stack of bridges to cast a lure or two.
The Kawana area shares these hot fish spots with plenty of bridges and pontoons available for the fish to wait in ambush for your bait, particularly the mangrove jack and flathead. The shallow flats and mangrove systems stock flathead, stingrays and sharks not to mention the bread and butter varieties so give them a go.
At Caloundra, Pumicestone Passage is normally pretty hectic through the day so fish in the early mornings and late afternoons when things settle down a bit.
Military Jetty is a good spot for the family with built in rod holders and plenty of space to pull up a chair. The kids can swim on the sandy shore whilst you wrestle with a trevally, flathead, mangrove jack, bream, bull shark or many other species that are caught there throughout the year.
The whiting are around the sand flats and weed beds so concentrate your efforts wherever you see them. Yabbies, worms, pilchards and prawns along with soldier crabs are the better selection when it comes to bait.
The Boardwalk and pontoon down from the Caloundra Coastguard is another terrific spot and lately plenty of trevally, estuary cod, flathead and bream have been taken there. There are numerous spots around for those of you with boats just go to your local tackle store for up to date advice.
Of course holiday time is fun time and the beach is normally the top priority for kids. This can work out well if you want to fish because there are some great locations to swim and fish along the strip between Dicky Beach and Point Cartwright.
Further around you can try Kings Beach and Moffat after dark or in the early mornings for bream, sweetlip, mackerel and whiting. There are plenty of access points to the beaches all along the coast so check them out to find the best spots. Reports indicate there are plenty of dart and bream around so get amongst them.
Outside the mackerel have been on but there are times where you just can’t take a trick. Floaters and livies are the best bet or try trolling once they have come up in the water column.
At Caloundra around the seven and twelve mile reefs there are cobia, mahi mahi and wahoo which are great fighters.
Try Wide Caloundra and the Barwon Banks for pearl perch, squire, sweetlip, parrot and cod and with luck you should get some pelagics swimming around the boat so keep a floater out when you can.
The tuna have also been busting the surface on plenty of occasions near Murphy’s Reef right through to Currimundi and on to Caloundra. Small to medium size mac tuna and longtails are fantastic fun on the light gear. Small metal slugs 30-40g are nailing them at the moment and again the best method is to cast them, count to four allowing them to sink a little and then wind like the clappers.
Be safe on your return trip home from your holidays and remember when you are out in your boat there are many other fishermen and holidaymakers around. Have Fun!Reads: 709