I have experienced a couple more fishing trips off DI/Fraser lately and had some great results. Unfortunately with one of the trips we experienced extremely strong currents making the wider grounds completely un fishable and a complete waste of time. I found an isolated rock on the way out which was about 50km North of the bar and a quick drop only resulted in a few Maori Cod. This was somewhat of a surprise as it looked to have the potential of holding some great fish. You ask what makes a spot look to have potential? Well firstly the area around this spot is very flat and pretty much lifeless so this makes it very isolated and the key in attracting fish from a large area to congregate on this one small particular area. Secondly small isolated spots are a lot less likely to have been found and fished before and I can tell you there is no better feeling fishing spots like this and pulling top class fish. The other main factors of this potential spot was that it had two main rocks close together and it was also holding good amounts of bait fish.
With the current so strong out wide I decided to come back to this area and suss it out a bit more. Well the first drop resulted in two nice snapper on the first drift and continued to produce more snapper along with good Reds, Hussar, Maori Cod and Moses Perch.The reds weren’t there in any numbers but just lone fish feeding off the back of the Reef among the gravel. The current was still strong in this area but fishable with fast drifts the only way to fish it. We left that spot with a nice mixed catch but I was confident this spot had more potential and I just needed to fish it at the right time. We headed home with some great fish on board and come across Spottie Mackerel schooled up on the outer bank of the wide bay bar which made for some great fun catching them on slugs one after another.
The following trip I had this chance and headed to the exact spot with good shows lighting up on the Furuno 585. The show of fish was a school of massive Hussar and some of the biggest you would see. A few squire, gold spot wrasse, Moses Perch and undersized Reds were in the mix but the Hussar were thick and after a while I decided to leave the spot with the plan of coming back later towards dusk.
With no current evident I headed wider and fished a spot I have pulled some good numbers of reds off over the past year or so. There were no reds schooled up on the spot so I concentrated on doing drifts off the back of reef to pick up some lone reds among the surrounding gravel areas. Fishing was slow but we picked up 5 nice reds before I headed north checking out many old spots I hadn’t fished for a while. We were along way up off Fraser Island and fishing anywhere from 5 to 25 km in from the shelf with the fishing slow and only bits and pieces being caught.
I headed back south to the area I caught a few reds that morning and pulled another 3 nice Reds before spending the next couple hours sounding around looking for new ground. At about 4pm I decided to head for that spot in closer as discussed at the beginning of this article. It was a hard choice to head back in closer to this spot as some of my good red spots out wider would be easily fished as there was no current and anchoring for a night fish would have been ideal. I took the gamble and headed for this spot having a quick drift over it with only a few undersized reds being caught and what felt like a good red which busted off Foxy due to a reel failure. I decided to throw the anchor out and hope that some good fish would come on the bite as the Sun disappeared over Fraser Island. I wasn’t that happy with where the boat finally ended up after throwing the anchor but I was pretty close to the base of the two rocks and still on some hard live bottom. Although I like to anchor on top of structure, being positioned very close to the base of the desired area can be ideal for Red Emperor as they can tend to move around the reefs and not just on top of it.
At about 6 o’clock we had only pulled one or two reds but it was basically dead and hard to loose any baits. I’m sure many can relate to when you start thinking you have made the wrong decision in anchoring on a particular spot and this was sure one of those times but I was patient and decided to sit it out and see what would happen. At 6.45pm you could only describe the action as crazy. Reds one after another hitting the deck and what a ball we were having. It didn’t matter what bait or rig was being used you would get hammered pretty much straight away. During the time I was anchored I had the Furuno 585 still turned on and as you would expect showed nothing on the bottom during the slow times but when all hell broke loose we had a brilliant show of reds hard on the bottom. As many would ask wouldn’t the sounder put the fish off the bight? Well its not the first time I have left the sounder on during a hot bite session and it never seemed to be a problem. I’m not going to say it does or doesn’t so you can be the judge of that debate. The Reds continued to chew their heads off for a fair while and unfortunately Foxy and Andy had a tangle from hell that took them out of action for a period of time while the reds were biting. The reds finally went off the bite as quick as they came on and the 300 litre under floor esky looked very healthy.
The boys kept fishing from about 8 till after 10pm without loosing a bait and soon hit the sack. Andy was up early and at 4am pulled a good red around 12kg and I followed with one at 5am. We never got a good dawn bite period so I moved out wider towards some older marks I hadn’t fish in a long time.
The first spot I hit had massive shows of bait and fish and looked more then impressive. We caught a mixed bag of fish including a 13kg Red and a nice snapper before I moved on to check out a heap of other marks. Other spots produced mixed reefies and with very little current around I headed off the shelf into 110mtrs of water and pulled some nice pearlies. It was late morning and I was running late so I decided to make our way in with the intention of hitting an old favourite Red mark I hadn’t fished for a long time. It too had a great show of fish on it and we started pulling more nice reds to top up the eskies before I had to drive away and head for home.
In the end we ended up with our bag of reds to 13kg, a good mixed bag of other reefies and smiles all round. Gotta love when a plan comes together.