FISHING TAILS: Saturday, the day to go out

GOT 'IM: Darren Bayzand with a 12kg red caught out from Yeppoon
GOT 'IM: Darren Bayzand with a 12kg red caught out from Yeppoon

WITH all the big reef fish on the chew and the weather picking up again, Saturday looks to be the day to go.

There are plenty of reds, sweeties, parrot and nannies are at the moment. If you want reds or other quality reefies you need to look for patches that are holding bait schools. No baitfish equals no big fish.

Some large spotted mackerel have moved into one or two of the patches out from The Keppels and they are well worth chasing especially when they are over 4kg. They will be hit and miss unless the bay cleans up enough inside so they can concentrate on the bait schools at the closer spots.

Cobia (black king) are another species that hit the Capricorn Coast area in the warmer months and not to let us down they are everywhere. Cobia have again been the heavyweights in the local area. The shortage of big Spanish in close has left the door open for a new contender and cobes have stepped up to the plate. These guys really test out your tackle and rarely will you land one if your gear isn't up to scratch.

Colin Edmunds scored this top trout at the islands
Colin Edmunds scored this top trout at the islands

Once you have the school in your sights it is easy to keep them happening until you get sick of catching them or your arms need a break. These fish produce quite an amount of fillet so be a bit conservative and put back any you can't use. We have a personal bag limit of one for each of us on the boat on the first trip out and then once we have had a good taste we usually only take one or two and split the fillets four ways.

When chasing black king look for spots with a decent depth change or structure. Pinnacles and big bombies always attract cobia and usually they hang in schools of fish much the same size. On any given session catching these big critters you will find that nearly all the fish landed will be within a kilo or so of each other. Most of the time the fish that come here are all about the 10-20kg mark with exceptions either way.

Barren and Child, Man and Wife, Outer, The Pinnacles, Liza Jane and Flat all hold populations of Cobia over summer.

Remember with fish as big as these it easy to become greedy so just take it slow and they will be back again for years to come.

CQ's estuaries have continued in fairly good form right through winter and into the transitional period before summer. Whiting, bream, salmon, grunter and flathead have been everywhere lately in decent quantities.

Flathead particularly have moved into the estuary mouths where most shallow structure eddies and features are holding fish. The bigger fish should be lying in the deeper channel edges adjacent to the sand bars, rocks while the smaller fish use lots more territory moving in and out with the tides.

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

Topics:  fishing, keppels, outdoor-living

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