Fish-finding gear getting more and more sophisticated

Cathy Cornwall with her 10kg trevally caught off Curtis Island.
Cathy Cornwall with her 10kg trevally caught off Curtis Island.

FISHING just isn't fishing anymore, but there is a bright side.

There are so many techniques that one or another is going to produce at some stage.

As I learn more about plastics, my fishing style has evolved and I now use parts of the system that were near impossible to work with old-type bibbed lures or very-hard-to-fish-with baits due to structure or current.

Part of the evolution is the use of better quality fish-finding equipment that you know is telling the truth, something you were never sure of before the structure scan technology became available.

The ability to see fish either side of the boat and the type of structure holding them makes it much easier to find other spots that should work, even if it is at different stages in the tides or moon phases.

SUPER SWEETLIP: Deakin Smithwick caught this fine sweety just out from Yeppoon.
SUPER SWEETLIP: Deakin Smithwick caught this fine sweety just out from Yeppoon.

Time spent watching the fish finder as you poke along in the estuaries or offshore is never wasted.

There are a few flathead, bream, whiting, salmon and queenies around the local estuaries at present.

The majority of the queenfish have been quite small in places like Corio Bay, but the fish around the islands and the headlands have been fairly big to around five and six kilograms. One of the locals casting poppers at Corio Heads landed a 1.2m queeny which weighed 12kg and his trophy fish photo didn't turn out.

He did release the queenie after the brilliant fight because "it was such a good fight he wouldn't mind catching it again".

This bit of rain is helping the prawn fry develop and over the month some of the local prawn spots will be worth taking the cast net down for a throw.

Though they haven't reached any decent size for eating they are almost bait size for whiting and bream. If you are targeting something bigger, try threading three or four pinned sideways through the body on the second joint from the tail.

Marty Kuelsen with a nice local rosy jobfish.
Marty Kuelsen with a nice local rosy jobfish.

This gives them the appearance of movement even after they are long dead.

Reef fish have been in good form in recent weeks with catches in very close. Several locals have been landing reasonable red emperor in as little as 24m.

The average fisher thinks that reds and nannies hang around the big structures and because of this they often miss out on the quality fish. Red fish prefer the rubble and fern patches away from the main structure. Many times over the years, we have hooked our biggest reds with very little showing on the sounder.

Look for bait schools too, because the big predators won't be very far away.

A nice little flatty photographed ready for release.
A nice little flatty photographed ready for release.

Coral trout, red throat emperor, parrot, hussar, nannies and jobfish are all available at the moment in surprisingly shallow water.

Thanks again to Bluefin Sports, Rosslyn Bay Kiosk, The Causeway Lake Kiosk, Stanage Bay Marine, The Secret Spot, Kalka Bait and Tackle are the local weigh points where you can get your photo taken or just drop yours in. Contact me at

Send your emails or photos in to be eligible for next $50 voucher draw.

Topics:  fishing outdoor-living

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