As I headed for the Wide Bay Bar I couldn’t help but feel excited about fishing my favourite fishing grounds off Double Island Point and Fraser Island. Due to the weather and lack of time over the past year or so I haven’t spent as much time off DI as I normally would. In saying that the time spent fishing the areas off 1770 and the Break sea spit have been rewarding but for me there’s nothing better then fishing an area you know well and I just couldn’t get that DI bug out of my mind.
This trip I had the usual crew of the old man, Andy and foxy on board and it didn’t take long for Foxy and Andy to start with there usual banter of bullshit about the massive fish they were about to catch. Nothing like being under pressure to put the boys on fish but with requests of 50kg Dog Tooth Tuna and 25kg Red Emperor I think the lads need to find a new skipper! We headed just outside the bar for some fresh Yakkas/slimies on the wreck of the Taipan Star but between mackerel nailing our livies on the way up and trevally destroying the bait jigs we couldn’t raise a thing.
I headed for an area about 50km out that I found a few trips ago which seems to hold lots of slimies and Yakkas but unfortunately big fish were smashing them on the way up and we soon had gone through lots of bait jigs with very little to show for it. One of the very few Yakkas we caught was sent back down on the bigger gear and straightaway a big Mack Tuna was hooked. They seem to be thick on this spot and near impossible to get past to see what reef fish is lurking below them. I moved on and headed North up along Fraser towards an area of interest for the reds.
Conditions were fantastic and we were sitting on a good speed with the Furuno 585 giving a clear pick of seabed below. I ran across a very small show and took into consideration that the speed I was doing would show any fish and small structure as an extremely small object on the sounder and to most as nothing remotely worth raising an eye brow over let alone stopping and going back for a look. Best bit of advice I can give is to keep your eyes glued to sounder and go back and check any small show you see. Going back over these tiny shows at a slow speed will often surprise you just how big the show really is and more then often will also indicate you have only picked up the very edge of a large school of fish or nice piece of structure. After having a good sound of the area in every direction of the original spot of interest you will soon find the main patch of fish/reef that you are looking at. This is exactly what I did in this instance and less then 20mtrs away I found the main patch of reef with a good show of fish on it.
With the 3 other lads using our favoured red rig of a paternoster rig with 80lb main line and leaders I used a sliding 10-ball sinker on 55lb mono line to put a mix among what we had to offer the fish. We all had bites on the first drop with my dead pike being smashed soon as I hit bottom and peeling a good amount of line off the Tyrnos 30. I played the fish fairly softly on the 55lb and soon enough that great glow of red was in sight and a nice Red around 13kg hit the surface and was pretty happy with that for the first drop.
The other boys pulled some nice squire and an undersized red before we went back for another drift and this time more squire hit the deck. Things went quiet pretty fast so we headed on to search for more reds out wider. I sounded over a nice rock where I had caught some good reds before but there was only a small show of bait on it and no sign of reds. Clearly the reds weren’t schooled up so I would have to fish a little different for them. As I have mentioned in previous articles Red Emperor and usually ones around 8-10kg and over will often feed off or around the main structure for several hundred mtrs looking for food among the gravel during the daylight hours. We had very little current so drifting with our baits hard on the bottom in the strike zone was made easy. The old man hooks up first with a nice red going into the esky and foxy pulls one soon after also.
The Furuno 585 revealed a small-scattered show of reds about 100mtrs from the main structure so I positioned the boat and we all dropped. Soon enough we had a 4 way hook up with smiles all round as we all fought our fish to the surface. I was connected to another solid fish which was giving me curry while the other lads soon had there good Reds flopping around on the deck and not long after my Red around 13kg hit the deck also.
That red bite soon diminished but we persisted and caught the odd one here and there before looking around some more. I came back for a look on the same rock we had been fishing close to and there was a lot more bait on it with a good show of reds sitting below them just off the back of the highest point of the reef. A quick drift resulted in a nice Red and a Coronation Trout before I went back for a second drift that once again resulted in another 4-way hook up of solid reds and for me sealed the trip as a successful one.
That school of reds moved away quickly but we managed to pull a couple quality pearl perch before I decided to head wider out towards the shelf looking for new ground and to fish some old ones I hadn’t fished for a while. Unfortunately I came across a current line heading to my destination and the upon dropping a line found the current roaring and impossible to fish the rough country that is situated on top of that shelf area. I headed in away from the shelf back towards Double Island Point fishing several marks, which produced a nice Coronation Trout, Red, Red Throat Emperor and various other reefies.
Looking back towards DI we could see a haze appearing and with storms predicted I didn’t want to take a chance so headed in just in case. I stopped 20km from the DI headland with some wicked storm cells moving through Noosa and Rainbow Beach and thought we would fish some spots I had close by for snapper and pearlies. The fish were chewing with plenty of nice squire, pearlies, Moses perch and trag going into the esky but I soon left the fish and headed for the lagoon at DI with another storm cell heading towards us.
We awoke the next morning with great conditions I decided to try for some reefies about 15km from DI. We managed to get a few live Yakkas from a school of bait sitting on a live gravel bottom and quickly deployed them. A couple estuary Cod were pulled before my livey was smashed on the way down and a good indication a nice snapper was on the other end of my line. Sure enough a nice snapper at 8kg hit the deck and although it was a long fish it was one of skinniest Snapper we had seen.
We dropped a couple good Snapper soon after on large live Yakkas and things went quite soon after so I headed back towards the bar fishing a couple spots that produced squire, Moses perch and pearlies. It turned out a great trip and felt even better to be doing off my favourite area.