NICE FISH: Sarah Dunn went fishing with her pop and was so excited when she caught this 60cm, 2.7kg grunter.
NICE FISH: Sarah Dunn went fishing with her pop and was so excited when she caught this 60cm, 2.7kg grunter. contributed

Inshore fishing going 'red hot'

WOW! What a difference a week makes, with flat-as seas, next to no breeze to speak of and school holidays.

What a mix, and to have that coupled with the first quarter with little tides, those chasing the big fish out in the deep have certainly been rewarded.

Massive reds and good numbers of trout and sweetlip have been reported right across the region.

One chap was even telling me he bagged out with lipper but didn't keep one less than 40cm.

Those chasing the pelagics have also been scoring, with some good-quality spanish being brought home, along with solid numbers of cobia.

Inshore the fishing has been red hot as well, with some very solid grunter, bream and the odd fingermark being caught.

There are quite a number of cod in the system at present and one or two have ended up with a very young Queensland groper on the end of their lines.

These are protected and rightly so, as they are a spectacularly coloured fish with their bright yellow spots and tips.

The crabbing has also been very successful, with the Calliope, Flying Fox, Targinnie, Mundoolin, 7 Mile and through Southtrees all yielding excellent numbers.

I see that Queensland Fisheries last Friday posted an article about catching a recreational fisher who was trying to sell his catch on social media.

In this instance they were selling live or cooked mudcrabs and some crayfish tails. He was fined $3000.

Now, obviously it's illegal to be selling your catch unless you have the correct licences and permits in place to do that.

Buying fresh off the trawler or fresh from your favourite fishmonger or market guarantees you a certain quality and also helps to employ people, plus it saves those who can't catch a fish or are unable to - like me at present.

The commercial guys do cop a flogging but they do allow those who can't get out or catch anything to purchase Queensland reef fish, and I doubt you would find better-quality fish anywhere.

So next time you see the fleet slip out of the marina, just give them some credit as they do play a vital role in our economy, from restaurants through to takeaways and those times you haven't been able to catch a keeper.

This weather we are enjoying at the moment is going to be all over come Sunday, when we will see the breeze fill in by lunchtime and then just increase to the predicted 20-knot south-easterlies by Wednesday evening.

Finally, we are putting together the revised edition of the regional fishing guide for visitors to the region and I have to say it looks spectacular.

And for those living outside the region, we are certainly aiming it squarely at them.

We want them to come to our region for a visit and spend their money in our tackle shops, fuel up at our service stations, stay in our hotels, resorts, motels and caravan parks - and then leave here with great memories.

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