Red in vogue
  |  First Published: June 2010

Water temperature will continue to fall this month and bottom dwelling species will become the main focus for anglers heading east of the South Passage Bar.

This snapper season has started off well with good fish already showing up on all the major reef structures out from Moreton and North Stradbroke islands.

Paternoster rigs still catch their fair share of fish. But as I’ve said before: floatlining with as little lead as conditions permit will definitely catch the better quality fish.

On charters when chasing snapper in water between 55-65m deep, I’ll send the crew’s baits with either a five or six ball sinker and adjust the weight of the sinker up or down depending on conditions.

I regularly get new clients on the boat who have only ever tried bottom bashing with large snapper leads when they’ve fished offshore. They usually give me a horrified look when I hand them a rod with such a small piece of lead, but they’re soon convinced when a good fish starts peeling off the line through their fingers.

Mono line is the only way to go for floatlining. While the odd big fish will occasionally escape, 30lb line is more than enough. When I’m chasing snapper I prefer the thinner, low stretch monos up to 0.5 diameter.

Hooks are a personal preference, but I use a VMC 9255 Perma Steel in 5/0 or 6/0 ganged as they come razor sharp right out of the box.

While plenty of different baits and plastics will catch snapper, the humble pillie catches more than its fair share when floatlining offshore.

It looks like we are actually going to have a bit more of a winter this year, which is good as the snapper normally fish better during colder years. So now is your chance to get out there and nail a snapper or two.

Amberjack have again been in terrific numbers out wide. They are mostly school sized fish but there has been the odd horse among them.

Yellowtail kingfish have also turned up lately and we’ve had a couple of fervent jigging sessions. At times the kingies have been fairly touchy and only have short bite periods that can be turned off by too much boat traffic.

The pelagics have finally slowed down lately but there are still a few quality Spaniards around for anglers who are patiently trolling around large baits.

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

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