Electrifying fishing
  |  First Published: June 2010

Fishing offshore in 2010 has certainly been productive to date on Wide Caloundra.

Pearl perch are all through the area in good size and numbers. It is not uncommon to bag out on pearlies pretty quickly so it pays to have a game plan ready for other species.

Other temperate species of yellowtail kingfish around 3-5kg and trag jew between 40-70cm are making sporadic appearances over the wire weed. The trag are nowhere near as abundant as last year’s bumper crop, but a couple turn up on most days.

The tropical species like Moses perch, Venus tuskfish, hussar, gold spot wrasse and Maori cod have hung on a bit longer than usual and are still adding colour to the box. These are normally all caught on Paternoster rigs.

Pearl perch thin out dramatically in the shallower waters around 60-90m from July to mid October. My guess is that pearlies do a spawning run in much deeper water in these months before returning, skinny and hungry again.

The big amberjack start to move out wider and are better targeted on the 100m line in July, which also gives us an excuse to target snapper.

There are plenty of whales to look at as well while angling, making days on the water even more memorable.

Snapper become widespread through the area in June and bigger fish will hang on to October. Float lining in 60-75m with a number 4-6 ball hard on two ganged 6/0 VMC hooks baited with a whole pilchard, slimy or squid account for the better fish.

Wide Caloundra is usually carpeted with small undersized or barely legal snapper in winter. These guys can get pretty frustrating, as they are avid bait thieves so it pays to keep your bait up off the bottom.

Incredible charters start late in winter, not departing until 10am. This gives the morning westerlies time to die down, allows the anglers and crew time for a little sleep in, and permits us to fish the afternoon and dusk bite. This is the time of year snapper really bite their heads off so it pays to stay out later.

During the day Incredible takes advantage of the usually good weather and may fish some of the deeper wrecks and the 100m line. Fishing with electric reels is excellent at these locations.

Electric reels fall into two broad categories. The first type are powerful, bulky, deep-water reels often box-mounted for fishing in 400m plus on the edge of the continental shelf. These are ideal for targeting deep water species like hapuka, blue eyed trevalla and bar cod. The average angler may never encounter these species as they are usually targeted by professional anglers.

The second style is electrically assisted reels. They look and work like a conventional fishing reel but have an inbuilt electric motor to help you retrieve line. These reels are brilliant for anglers fishing with an injury or disability or anyone who simply lacks the upper body strength to pull big fish up from the deep. The electric reels make it a level playing field where everyone is fishing every drop. It brings out the competitor in a few of the older folks, I can tell you!

I highly recommend the Miya Epoch CX-4, purchased locally through Steve Evans from Solas Propellers. Steve is a major importer of quality Japanese fishing gear and travels regularly to Japan to ensure he is bringing back the latest and best. The Miya Epoch CX-4 could just about tow my car down the road – it’s a serious, high-powered winch. While some anglers do find it a little bulky, it’s the Rolls Royce of electric reels.

The reel I love for clients with maturity on their side is the Kaigen Banax 500XP. This gem weighs the same as a Shimano TLD 25 and has the same unassisted cranking ratio. But flick the switch and up comes the line and hooked fish without the sweat and bother. With the strength of the Aussie dollar these are currently a better purchase overseas over the Internet.

The specifications and prices for these and plenty of other electric reels from manufacturers such as Shimano and Daiwa are also available online.

To have a lad in his seventies or eighties fishing with his family and at least keeping up, or in a number of cases leading the charge, is a pleasure for all on board the Incredible. Everyone is happy to cheer on the old bloke as he sticks it to the younger generation by keeping pace by landing fish as fast as the juniors.

Last year I had shoulder surgery and could not wind up for three months. The year before I had a repetitive strain injury from winding up lines for punters and the year before that I had a hip replacement that severely limited my time at sea. Sometimes, no matter how much you love fishing, your body simply lets you down. That’s when I bought my first electric reel (for me!) and I haven’t stopped using them since. Neither have my clients!

To put it bluntly, electric reels are a tool to keep you or your Dad fishing for longer. It’s also a great way to get the whole family involved in the fruits of deep-water fishing without the aches and pains. And if you have been injured or suffer from the dreaded arthritis, you can keep fishing beside the young bucks and not give ‘em an inch.

If you would like to try out these electric reels for yourself or as a treat for a die hard angler, please give Keith at Incredible Charters a call on 07 3203 8188, or send an email to --e-mail address hidden--

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