It's time for that snapper fishing adventure! Snapper are on the bite due to a drop in water temperature.
Inshore, they have been catching snapper at dawn and dusk at Shield Street Reef and Scarborough Reef. The class is average, from just a legal 35cm to around 50cm. The bigger snapper are off Caloundra. Dwight Ferguson and his neighbour caught these two snapper (pictured) in the shipping channel in 15 meters of water using large chunks of fresh mullet on a 6/O hook with no sinker. Dwight cast out as far as he could towards the front of the boat, releasing a lot of line to float the large bait to the bottom for success.
“A big thank you on behalf of the 900,000 recreational fisher people in Queensland goes to the State and Federal Government for the removal of commercial netting from high ecological value areas to our fisheries in the Great Barrier Reef, the Gulf of Carpentaria and the Great Sandy Marine Park.”
The Ribbon Reefs out from Caloundra are also producing grassy sweetlips and pearl perch. Do a full risk assessment if you are going even wider offshore to Deep Tempest to fish 90 meters. Check the wind direction, ocean swell, safety gear, marine U.H.F. radio, EPIRB, flares, and ensure you have a full fuel tank. Remember, the bag limit/possession limit on snapper is four with a boat limit of eight, and you can only get two over 70cm with two or more people on board. The snapper and pearl perch spawning closure is from 15 July to 15 August, so the best time to fish for them is now.
If you want a bream adventure, the best bream are at the Caloundra, fishing the snags and logs to the right of the new bar, inside the Bribie Passage on the run-in tide. It's best to arrive there just before dark to identify the banks and drains around these snags. I used half a box of 2/O's the other night, casting as close as possible to the snags, using a short 30cm trace with a 2 ball sinker. Mullet gut and chicken gut produce catches of large bream.
Prawns, yabbies and worms produce catches of many undersized bream, but you will get the odd legal bream. Please use 2/O hooks so you don't gut hook the small undersized bream. Jumpinpin is also producing bream off Kalinga Bank at the run-out tide. The legal size for bream is 25cm with a bag/possession limit of thirty.
If you would like to take out your grandchildren for a fun day out, diver whiting are on the bite on the Cockle Banks off Bribie Island at the average size, and some good-sized diver whiting outside of the green zone off Godwin Beach. If you only have a small tinny or kayak, fish adrift in three meters of water in front of Scarborough Harbour for diver whiting. There is no size limit for diver whiting, but there is a bag/possession limit of fifty.
A big thank you on behalf of the 900,000 recreational fisher people in Queensland goes to the State and Federal Government for the removal of commercial netting from high ecological value areas to our fisheries in the Great Barrier Reef, the Gulf of Carpentaria and the Great Sandy Marine Park. This $160 million is an investment in the reef's future and a more sustainable future for the commercial fishing industry that supplies seafood for all Queenslanders.
They are going to buy out and remove all N2 and N4 licences by 31 December 2023. Buy out, remove and condition a limited number of N1 licences by 31 December 2023 and then phase out N1 licences to make the Barrier Reef gillnet free by 30 June 2027.
I would hope that all N2 barramundi net fishermen should have first offer on a tourism fishing guide licence for areas such as the Mary River to support their families. Not only would I promote their charter boats, but they can put me down for a $2,000 'barra fix' every year. The Northern Territory will no longer be the fishing destination capital of Australia.
Don't forget the Moreton Island Classic in September. Visit moretonislandfishingclassic.com.au
Stay warm and safe out on the water.