Photos: Spero Kartanos.
BY SPERO KARTANOS
Happy New Year to all our readers, and a happy and healthy 2022!
Well, if you have a boat and kids on school holidays, all you would be waiting for is good weather to get out on the bay to catch a fish or two. January is a bit hit and miss with lots of windy and rainy days, but also some dead-calm ones.
Thousands of boats are normally out with lots of families catching fresh fish for the table. Popular spots include the western side of the islands from Tangalooma to the Sand Hills at Moreton Island, and from Amity to One Mile, and of course, Horseshoe Bay, which the northerly winds turn into Queen Street Mall on a Friday night. It’s great to see so many boats on the bay.
This month, fishing is normally very good with plenty of whiting for all. The Small Boat Channel, the Rous, the Sand Hills, Moreton Island and Amity Banks will have enough whiting for everyone.
The school mackerel are hit and miss this time of the year as we wait for the spotty mackerel to show up, but if you put some time into having a troll between east of the Hope Banks and the entrance to the Small Boat Channel and the start of the Chain Banks, you have a good chance of getting a couple of nice fish. While trolling keep an eye out for feeding turns to indicate spotty mackerel or tuna feeding on a bait ball on the surface. Trolling is okay, but a chrome slug cast into the outside of a feeding school and a fast retrieve will get you a fish.
January is tiger squid season and as the water clears a little more they should front up at Green Island, but they seem to start at the weed banks at the Small Boat Channel and all through the Rous and Amity Banks. The weed banks at the western side of Moreton Island will also be producing plenty of squid, especially an hour each side of the tide, and dawn and dusk.
Snapper and squire and some really nice sweetlip are also around. Try near the shallow ground around the Bay Islands and the artificial reefs.
For me the best thing at this time of year is to catch plenty of whitebait at Peel and Green Islands at night, and all you need to catch these tasty critters is a butterfly net on a long pole and a light at the back of the boat at night in the shallows. It reminds me (being of Greek heritage) of one of my Dad’s favourite meals – crispy whitebait in flour cooked in good old olive oil with a squeeze of lemon…mouth-watering!
So all in all hope you have a few great days on the water, catch a few fresh fish, some fun times and great memories. Let’s hope 2022 brings health, happiness and plenty of fish for all.