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Red emperor a tasty reward

TOP CATCH: Rodd Melville a Whitsunday local with a nice grunter caught with Reel Addiction Sport Fishing.
TOP CATCH: Rodd Melville a Whitsunday local with a nice grunter caught with Reel Addiction Sport Fishing.

Reef

THE reef is fishing really well at the moment and this should continue while we have this good weather.

Since the cyclone, the coral trout numbers have been down, especially in shallows less than 20 metres.

Chasing trout in 25-plus metres is the best option for success.

Red throat emperor are still in fantastic numbers and it's hard to get away from these tasty morsels.

A few red emperor and nannygai have been taken fishing the high water side of the slack tide.

Spanish mackerel are in steady numbers without being in plague proportions.

Trolling the pressure points and drop-offs with hard-bodied lures or rigged garfish is the best method.

Ashley Matthews, Sea Fever Sportfishing

Rivers

BARRA have been a little hard to come by but downsizing lures to smaller plastics, vibes, hard-bodied lures and smaller live baits will help to entice these fish to bite.

When you find a barramundi, stick with the spot and work it thoroughly, because barra school up during winter.

Rock and sand bars will still be the spots to focus on for grunter and salmon on prawn and live baits.

There aren't many crabs being caught at the moment but those that are have been of very good quality and full of meat.

The prawns have got a bit of size about them now.

Those putting in the effort have been rewarded with

a tasty bonus from the creeks.

Rockwalls

WHITING have been biting well off Cannonvale Beach during the run-in tide and hopefully with the drop in weather Wilson and Conway Beaches will be worthy places to try.

Using whiting for live baits or casting soft plastics in these areas is also producing some very nice flathead. Early morning and late afternoon are the times to be casting shallow diving and surface lures along with metal spoons to target the mackerel, queenfish and trevally.

Islands

THE water is still a little dirty around the islands and spending the time to find some cleaner water will greatly increase the chance of catching some good fish.

Pilchard and prawn baits are producing the goods on the reef fish around the fringing reefs out to about the 30m mark.

The tides and weather are looking very promising for venturing out wide into the deeper water to target red emperor and nannygai; jewfish and fingermark should also make a welcomed addition to the Esky around these spots.

Mackerel numbers have improved, with all techniques producing fish.

Those who have been bait fishing for the mackerel have reported a few cobia showing up.

Fight these fish until a positive ID is made as most people mistake cobia for sharks when first sighted in the water and bust them off before landing them.

Ryan Fuller, Whitsunday Fishing World

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