Jacob Betts with a horse 114cm barramundi from the town reaches caught on a 3.5” Castaic paddle tail.

Sensational September on the Capricorn Coast

Cedric Auda with a fine red emperor caught while fishing offshore with Dan Baker of Yeppoon.
Big tiger squid will still be running into September. The author and his kids with a Keppel horse.
Tom Baker with a nice pearl perch. You won’t see too many up here off Yeppoon.

IT’S time to get the razor out and shave off the winter hibernation because the worst is now behind us.  I probably shouldn’t degrade the colder months this way, as there were amazing captures and weather over the past three months. I’m definitely more of a warmer water fan though.

You’re not arguing over who has to get wet to push the boat off the trailer, fighting three layers of clothing if you do an early morning run or cutting your way through pea soup coastal fog. We have had magnificent patches of weather recently.  June and July were a struggle, but a few week-long 10-knot forecasts were had through August. September Capricorn Coast

Most of the anglers who headed wide to get out past the dreaded westerly inshore wind have done really well, with red emperor the main target species. Nannygai have been responding well to slow pitch jigs around Capricorn Coast’s wonky holes and fern grounds.  Nannies can occupy any part of the water column, so it pays to watch the sounder and adjust techniques to suit the depth they’re sitting at.

Palms ZetZ Slow Blatt jigs have proven themselves time and time again if you’re looking to give them a go. The winter black jewfish have been pretty easy to catch unfortunately.  With the current rules in place for jew, they are a no-take species at the moment.  Those targeting grunter on the inshore rubble patches and wrecks have been catching them accidentally and have had to move. September Capricorn Coast

I know of a few anglers targeting them on soft vibes in really shallow water, where they can be safely released without any barotraumaThey are losing more than they are landing, as they are absolute steam trains in among the rocky headlands. All the mackerel species have been fishing well from the eastern side of the islands right out to the main reefs.

The cheeky buggers have been stealing jigs off us on most of the spots loaded with bait.  Fast-cranking metals up off the bottom have been sorting them out – and putting a nice feed of mack in the Esky. It’s really great fun when they’re on. Tiger squid have been quite easy to catch if you put the time in around the islands. September Capricorn Coast

Putting the effort in to locate weed beds around the smaller islands has been key to landing a quality haul.  Pink Yamashita Egi are my proven favourites but they can be fussy buggers on the day, so make sure to vary size and colour to find what’s working. Blue salmon have been running really well along the beaches and headlands. Brenden Warren with his son Quinn have been nailing cricket scores right off the beaches around Yeppoon.  They’re great fun but you need to locate those schools to be in for this kind of action.

Mud crabbing reports have been very patchy, which is typical for August.  September should see them start to move again but from past experience, we tend to see a lot of floaters around this time of year.  Flathead have been around in good numbers. Good old Coorooman Creek – also known as Starvation Creek – has been turning over some absolute horses, with a few over the legal limit, which were obviously released. September Capricorn Coast

The Gulp Swimming Mullet has been a good all-rounder from reports I’ve been getting. What we can expect to see this month is the tropical estuary species start to chew again. With rising water temperature, it should get barramundi and threadfin salmon fired up. It’s generally the latter half of September when things start to improve for those species.

Fingermark and mangrove jack shouldn’t be too far behind. I was actually surprised at the number of jack being caught in the cooler months. If that’s anything to go by, we should be in for a great jack season.With everything going to plan and COVID-19 hopefully behaving itself, we should see the Fitzroy River Barra Bash go ahead early October. September Capricorn Coast

There have been so many comps cancelled due to COVID-19 – Women That Fish Barra Classic and earlier the Frenchy Barra Bash), but we are all looking forward to the rescheduled comp next month. This will be the comp’s third year running and there are still a few spots available, so make sure to contact the Frenchville Sports Club if you’re interested.

That’s all from me this month!

Stay safe and make sure to get the family out for a fish.

For more springtime Capricorn action, click here!

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