AS THE water cools over the coming months the focus of anglers moves from pelagics to reef species - and one of the most popular is the humble snapper.
Offshore reefs fire up with snapper as the water temperature drops.
Anglers on smaller craft heading out of Noosa should check out Sunshine, Halls and Chardons reefs for the chance to catch snapper and other species such as spangled emperor, sweetlip and the odd cobia.
Larger vessels can go further afield, such as to North Reef, the Barwon Banks, The Hards and the Double Island Reefs for some great knobby snapper as well as pearlies, mulloway and monster cobia.
A little further south, Murphys Reef and the Caloundra 12 Mile are also prime spots.
Bait fishing for snapper is probably the most favoured approach when fishing offshore, preferably using pilchard or good quality squid.
Berley also plays a big part.
Once you have anchored in a promising area, start with a good amount of berley to help attract the fish.
After the initial berley-up, slow the amount of berley. Throw one piece of burley, then wait until you can't see it in the water and throw your next.
There are also a couple of rigs to greatly improve your catch rate. For me, the Snapper Snatcher rig by Black Magic is always the first rig to go over the side, enhanced with a half pilchard on each hook. Putting this down with the berley should lead to results.
Rig number two is a floater set up on a medium sized spin or overhead outfit and loaded with 20lb braid and a 30lb fluorocarbon leader, down to a running small-ball sinker and a lumo bead to a 5/0 hook. The run will dictate what size sinker you need. The whole idea is to get the bait to the bottom with the least amount of weight.
The lumo bead is important, especially when you are getting up in sinker size, not only as an attractant but also as a protector of your knot to the hook from the sinker.
As the bait floats down in the current, it looks the same as the berley. The fish that have been feeding on the berley trail see it as an easy meal.
Soft plastics are also a great, particularly on the shallower close-in reefs. You can fish these hard on the reef with the motion of the boat working the plastic.
The Fuze range of soft plastics is great, with a big range of colours and sizes that have been developed for Australian conditions.
Log on to http://www.fishingnoosa.com.au for up-to-date bar and fishing reports and don't forget to drop into Davo's Tackle World Noosa or Davo's Bait &Tackle Northshore, at Marcoola, to find out what's biting and where. And remember, tight lines and bent spines!