Fishing Friday: Winter weather means snapper time
WINTER time is snapper time. Snapper have started off slowly as they travel into shallower waters in the coldest months.
It usually takes a cold snap to bring them right in close and that has just happened. Rubble reefy patches around 20 metres and deeper are the best spots this month. They will come into feed in the shallow spots like Conical, Outer, Forty Acre and Ross's Reef and the patches just out from the main islands.
I have found that they can be quite shy in the shallow water and you need to fish light to get any regular catches. I position the boat back from the area I want to fish and float down the bait with the smallest possible lead. Fresh bait is best and snapper respond well to berley. Pillies, prawns, mullet strips and squid have been our choice baits.
Black jew have continued to bite this month and should for the next month or so. Jew rate among the larger fish caught in winter and the local reports show captures of jewies up around 20 kilos or a bit bigger.
The most common size is in the 10 to 15 kilo class.
Ironpot, Double Heads, Corio Heads, Rita Mada, Findlay's, Quartz, Pelican and Cape Capricorn are the top spots at the moment.
Grunter have remained steady in local captures and will be around whenever the weather allows for an evening trip. They do get caught during the day at times but the evening on a rising moon is by far the pick time. All the black jew spots are also grunter spots.
The cold snap has just hit us at last and as temps plummeted most of the estuary fishing slowed for a day or two before picking up again. The exceptions were bream and flathead which both lifted in numbers right across the area.
The big bream have been congregating near the creek mouths and bays around rock bars and deeper mangrove banks. Flatties have been mainly in the deeper channels adjacent to the mud and sand flats.
Several times in recent weeks while targeting barra and jacks we have picked up flathead right in the middle of thick timber.
Barramundi are still in good shape as the days get even cooler. They have been most active in town and down towards Port Alma in the Fitzroy River. The constant size of these fish is amazing since the introduction of the NFZ. The guys fishing from the banks in town are mostly using live silver perch or mullet. The guys fishing everywhere else are producing barras using mainly vibes and big paddle tail plastics.
Thanks to Kalka Bait and Tackle, Bluefin Sports, The Secret Spot, Rosslyn Bay Kiosk, Stanage Bay Marine and Cooee Bay Marine, the locals who not only support the fishing column but also the fishing and boating community across the whole of CQ. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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