This month is normally when we see the westerlies really kick in, but this year they were early. We have seen plenty of southwesterlies to keep mornings cool and crisp on the water over the last few months.
This cooler weather has brought reasonable numbers of snapper but the lack of run in the water has kept the fish from really turning it on at the reefs east of the South Passage Bar.
June and early July saw very little current and with the predominant westerly breezes your drift line would take you from west to east across the reef instead of a preferred drift line from north to south along the inside or outside edges of the reef.
The saying of ‘no run no fun’ is very true and especially in our neck of the woods on the reefs east of Moreton Island, where most reef structures run north/south.
We’ve all had days of catching snapper with not too much run, but the fish definitely feed more aggressively when there is current in the water.
I prefer to drift when targeting snapper in order to cover more ground. If conditions are in your favour you can sometimes get a good drift for a kilometre or two along the reef. During these longer drifts the fish don’t seem to spook as easily. Remember to also go wide of your drift line when motoring back to the start mark.
Long drifts are also a great way to locate ledges and drop-offs to mark for further investigation at a later stage.
Most of the small snapper of late have been within the 1-2kg bracket with the odd one up to 4kg or larger. Some XOS yellowtail kingfish have parked themselves on several pinnacles on the 29 and 33 fathom lines any livie dropped in their vicinity is being monstered.
On several recent charters we’ve combined floatlining for snapper with dropping a couple of livies on heavy tackle and we’ve managed to boat quite a few kings between 12-18kg. That said we have definitely lost more battles than we’ve won fishing in this rough terrain.
Mixed in with the kings are a few solid mulloway to around 12kg and we probably would have boated more if the kings weren’t so eager to grab the livies first.
Mulloway have also been putting in a good showing from the Cathedrals south of Point Lookout, up to the 29 fathoms off Moreton and on the kelp beds along Shallow Tempest.
Fresh mullet or tailor fillets and live bait are good options if you’re keen to tangle with a mulloway.
This month will continue to see snapper as the number one target for anglers east of the bar. The snapper should be widespread on most reef structures, but don’t be afraid to try small isolated bits of ground, even if there’s not a lot showing on the sounder, you might be pleasantly surprised.
The wider reefs east of Point Lookout will be worth a go for pearl perch and the closer reefs around the point should produce their usual mixed bags.
The 35, 37 and 42 fathom lines will be the go for amberjack and yellowtail kings on both live baits and jigs. The same areas will also be worth a bottom bounce for snapper, trag and pearlies if conditions permit. The Deep Tempest area should also be holding good numbers of fish this month and should be well worth the effort.
Until next month, enjoy your fishing, take care on the coastal bars and if you would like to join me on a charter (max 5 persons) give me a call on (07) 3822 9527 or 0418 738 750.Reads: 1255