Erol and Will show off their quality reds from last Sunday.
Erol and Will show off their quality reds from last Sunday. Contributed

Gladstone's magic fishing weekend will have reds on chew

WHAT a week we have seen on the fishing front.

As the picture says: "I see red! I see red! I SEE RED!”

The size of some of the red emperor we have seen this week is nothing short of amazing.

The weather leading up to and following the last quarter lunar phase last weekend, has allowed punters who loooove to bottom bash in the deep stuff to do just that.

Duncan Reilly and his mates Erol Hussein and Will Noa slipped out to the fern country between Northwest Island and Cape Capricorn.

And as you can see by the conditions, last Sunday was stunning.

Most of these spots are just a bump on the bottom or a depression on the bottom, like a gutter, where these large red fern grow.

This in turn attracts the big red fish.

Duncan Reilly holds up a 12kg red from last Sunday.
OCEAN DELIGHT: Duncan Reilly holds up a 12kg red from last Sunday. Contributed

Sometimes in high-current flow areas, you will need to arrive at these spots either side of slack water.

The fern stands up in the quieter current allowing your sounder to pick it up.

The same thing applies to the seagrass between the shipping channel and the ships parked off Gladstone.

Today is the first day after the new moon and it doesn't get any better as far as conditions and lunar phases are concerned.

The current conditions are expected to remain the same until tomorrow night with a southerly change coming through the region on Sunday around midday, then backing off again.

In between times though one should be able to venture anywhere in the Southern Great Barrier Reef and catch a feed.

Places like the inner and outer wides, outside Lady Musgrave and around Boult, if you were coming out of Seventeen Seventy, would be cracker to get into the trout and reds.

Judging by the colour and size of fish on the charter boats operating out of Seventeen Seventy, there are plenty of fish about.

For those coming out of Boyne, I reckon Fitzroy, Lamont, Sykes and in the deep outside Sykes around the 100m gradient on the sounder (about 10 miles outside Sykes) would be pretty good too.

The only issue I have found with fishing that far out is the deathly silence of the radio as it's just beyond repeater reach on the VHF.

If you are by yourself, it can be a little disconcerting but when you're with others especially on a night like they are predicting for Friday, I reckon it'll be amazing.

When you are out that far, however, with others, just remember to flick your VHF over to a channel, sorted out between you all, which doesn't have a repeater but line of sight, and then switch to dual watch after that.

Those launching from Gladstone have a massive choice, keeping in mind that if you stay till Sunday, it'll be nice to be in the south of the region.

But out today and back tomorrow anywhere is a great choice from above Rundle out to the gutters, and fern country up to Douglas, Guthrie and Innamincka Shoals down to Broomfield, Sykes and all place in between.

Leachies has been fishing really well too, yet we all tend to drive straight past it.

The bait right across the region has been plentiful with many getting into the yakkas around the markers, the smooth-tailed trevs on the bottom, and it looks as though there are plenty of wolf herring about as well.

If you aren't familiar with catching any of these have a chat with your local tackle shop as they are only to happy to help you out.

On the pelagic side of things, there are plenty of mackeral in the region from grey's to spanish, the cobia are on the chew too.

The outside of Facing Island for those in smaller craft, is lousy with fish at present and with the water crystal clear, why not jump over the side and bring back a cray!

Have an amazing weekend everyone.