I have done a few trips over the past few months or so with majority off them out from Fraser Island in a new area I found during last years Fraser Island Comp. It was a relatively flat area with an isolated rock about 5mtrs high with a good abundance of fish life on it. When I first found the spot it produced a big Blue Maori Cod, 8 reds and a Coronation Trout before quickly shutting down. I often find out near the shelf during the winter months that Red Emperor don’t feed as well and seem to be more so school size fish. With this in mind I was really looking forward to fishing this spot while the water was still warm to see if it would produce more reds and a better size. The opportunity came and I arrived on the spot in the middle of the day with the 585 Furuno displaying a great show of fish and bait.
The fish were biting well straight away with Hussar, parrot, Moses Perch, Pearl perch and a nice Blue Maori Cod caught by Troy all going into the esky. I was certain there were Reds there so I put on a whole dead Hussar and about 2 seconds after it hit the bottom I got mauled by a good fish and up come a good sized Red.
Well you can guess everyone was quick to start putting on large baits such as Hussar and large mullet fillets and straight away the results were fantastic. I often find during the day light hours that reds will move around and away from the main reef structure looking for food on the surrounding rubble. With dead glass conditions and only a slight bit of current drift fishing around and away from the reef was a good option and it paid off well with good-sized individual reds coming over the side pretty consistently.
I left that spot for while deciding to hunt around the area to see if I could find some new ground but after a few hours sounding the area I found nothing of great interest so headed back to same spot. First drop I was nailed by a cracker red that had me working hard on 55lb line. We soon had our bag of reds and a good assortment of other reefies so decided to head for the bar just before sun down. I have since headed back to the area twice and had mixed results.
The first trip back there we had some bad weather and missed doing an overnighter in the area but we did eventually get to the spot but we only had 4 hours to fish before heading home. The fish were finicky and the reds were biting like hussar, which made for frustrating fishing but we were getting them consistently so it wasn’t so bad. After a while things went quiet so I moved to another patch of reef a couple km’s away and there was a really good show on it. This time the reds were aggressive and smashed us all soon as we hit bottom. They were nice school sized reds and before long we had 19 reds between the four of us but we needed to head for the Bar before sundown.
The third trip to the area was one that I planned on spending a bit of time in the area and to fish it during the peak bite periods of dawn and dusk. I headed out through the wide bay bar around 4 am, which made some of the boys a little nervous but I took my time and was confident but yet weary about passing through this bar during the dark. This allowed us to be fishing out wide before the sun poked its head up over the horizon but unfortunately there were only little shows of fish on the sounder and with the weather a little ordinary plus the current roaring we were in for a tough trip. I fished each spot in the area as the sun come up and pulled the odd Red, Hussar and Coronation Trout but it was a real struggle.
I went hunting for new ground and at that point was about 40km from Waddy Point and found some rough country that produced a few Red Throat Sweetlip, Hussar, Parrot, Coronation and the odd Red. We also had a wicked water spout to the east of us that made for some interesting viewing and the power generated from one of these is just amazing.
I spent all day running around trying to find new ground and persisting as best we could before anchoring just before dark where we had caught reds previously. The current was roaring and close too unfishable but a few nice reds were caught with Trent Butler at one stage asking “who’s line have I got” which soon turned into “hang on this is a good fish” (sorry Trento I had to mention it) It hit the surface way behind the boat but there was some weed/coral wrapped around his braid/leader knot and he couldn’t reel the fish in any further so foxy quickly grabbed the leader and started hand lining it in where it was safely netted.
Talk about one unlucky fish but it turned out to be the best red of the trip which almost evened up the score of the QLD (me and foxy) v NSW (Macca and Trent) match up we had going on. It wasn’t long before the SW wind got up and the current was unfishable so we had a sleep and with 12 Reds, 6 Coronation Trout and a good assortment of other reefies we decided to take the long slog back home directly into 20 knots of SSW wind.