OFFSHORE: Wow! It's almost twelve months to the day when Queensland went into lockdown and here we are with another Covid19 outbreak causing chaos in the run up to the Easter break. At least this time around we know we can go fishing and that the charter boats are all operating. All we need now is for the weather to come good. Anyway, we didn't do all that badly this week despite the fact that the offshore scene was hit by strong, wet south easterlies after lunchtime Tuesday. Prior to that we made the most of great conditions with only light to moderate variable winds and little or no swell to contend with.
And that meant that trips to our more distant reefs were back on the drawing board. Report and photos (above and below left) from Trekka 2 skipper Nat Turner... "Hey Bill. We ran a nine hour trip up to Double Island Point on Sunday in glorious conditions. We got some cracking fish including red emperor, large mouth nannygai, amberjack, jewfish, snapper, pearl perch, tusk fish and moses perch. The current run was steady to the south. Cheers, Nat."
Sunday was a good day, as confirmed by this report from Graham Hurley... "Hi Billybob. On Sunday my son Aden (pictured above right) and I went out on a full-day charter with Noosa Charters for his recent birthday. We went out to Double Island Point with skipper Mitch and Jack his assistant. They provided us with a great day and the conditions were fantastic. It was Aden's first offshore fishing experience and a good variety of reefies like pearl perch, tusks, and others were brought in. However, Aden scored the catch of the day when he brought in this good size red emperor. Regards, Graham."
Back along the middle reef belt it tended to be a tad hit and miss but if you had the marks you got the fish. From Dave Reynolds... "Hi Bill. I fished North Reef with my friend Paul (inset, above right) on Sunday morning. Conditions were great with a gentle north westerly wind and a slight current to the south. We found the mackerel and even had them busting up next to the boat. All were taken on floating pillies on the 5/0 gang hooks from Davo’s. Also landed a stonker grassy sweetlip on a whole squid bait on the way home at Hall's Reef. Lipper went 60cm and put up a great fight. Back in at 10am. Kind regards, Dave." His cross section of species, detailed report and toothy smile won Dave this week's $100.00 Tackle World Noosa/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week prize.
And we received this from Geoff Stirzaker, pictured above right... "Hey Bill. A few pics from Sunday. My mate Dan (above left) and I headed out early. After a slow start we picked away putting a few tuskies in the esky, then on the afternoon tide change Dan swung the boat over a mark he has done well on in the past and it didn't disappoint. First three drifts yielded three good jewfish. The next couple of drifts we lost three fish and landed a gold spot. Was a beautiful afternoon once that westerly died down, the sort of days offshore anglers yearn for. Good weather and hungry fish. All the jewfish were over the metre mark with the bigger one Dan caught weighing just over 10kg and 107cm. I'd like to know how big the ones were that busted us off!!"
From a bit further south, we received this report and photo from Chicko Vella, Tackle World Noosa... "Well. I thought we'd better get out after the flush of fresh. Left at gentlemen's hours and of course lady luck was on board! Dirty water in close so headed out to the Chardon's FAD. Small dolphin fish every where so we changed to our reef gear. First stop produced some pearlies to line the esky. Jules from Hamburg (above left) got her first one on a micro jig!! The same spot yielded good sized cod. From there our next port of call was Sunshine Reef which didn't disappoint, cashing in on grass sweetlip, tusk fish and coral trout. Light winds, small swell and a bar which was very accommodating, did make the day! Looks like more to come. Cheers, Chicko."
While local angler Matt Adamson (pictured above right) picked up this quality 55cm grass sweetlip on a soft plastic at Sunshine Reef on Monday morning.
Sunshine Reef, of course, was certainly worth the effort for those with good local knowledge. Report and photos (above) from Cougar One skipper Mitch Bertacchini... "Hi Bill. We did a couple of five hour trips to Sunshine Reef on Saturday. The weather was beautiful all day and we had a light current to the south east. We caught grass emperor, snapper, venus tusk fish, Maori cod, painted sweetlip, pearl perch, gold spot estuary cod, moses perch and bonito."
Coolum Reef also featured on the hit list for the small boat owners and yak anglers with plenty of quality reef fish like tusk fish, grass sweetlip, squire, pearl perch and Maori cod on the bite. Bait fish were abundant there with plenty of Spanish mackerel and tuna being caught on slugs cast around the schools.
In Laguna Bay the murky water tended to slow things down but there was still a bit of pelagic activity, specifically tuna and cobia, along the North Shore side.
COASTAL: Mike Sultana, Northshore Bait and Tackle... "With the full moon phase peaking on Monday the jewies were high on the hit list of most beach anglers and the southern beaches around Coolum and Marcoola saw a few captures. Live baits, local squid and clumps of beach worms all made their mark.
Apart from that, dart were well spread and whiting were reported on the bite at the northern end of Sunshine Beach. Just up from there, Alexandria Bay produced a few good tarwhine, bream and whiting while across Laguna Bay on the Noosa North Shore, whiting and flathead were active around Teewah.
ESTUARY: Adam Neilson, Tackle World Noosa... "It was still a bit quiet around the traps with plenty of fresh still in the system. Having said that, flathead were on the bite along the rock wall at the river mouth either side of the high tide and mangrove jacks were on the prowl at the Sand Bags. Further along, trevally were active in the Current Line and the outer Woods Bay while quality whiting were responding well to prawns and live worms in Weyba Creek."
From Michael Whitehead... "G’day guys. Wanted to get a quick fish in before Easter so headed out in the yak Thursday morning targeting flathead in the lower river. Thought I’d hooked a beauty when this beast rose to snaffle the 95mm Splash Prawn out of pretty shallow water. After a struggle I was amazed to see this red specimen rising towards the kayak. Measured 49cm. Couldn’t quite stretch it to 50. Took a few quick pics and off she swam. Cheers, Michael."
Report and photos from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey mate. The fish were playing the game with that mint weather we had over the weekend. Golden trevally were schooling in big numbers at the Woods. Not huge but tons of fun. We also caught moses perch and tarwhine there. Fished around the sound a fair bit and found some pretty big flathead sitting here and there. Connie McEvoy from Victoria (above) boated a 70cm one on Friday morning's charter and Paul's 74cm fish (below left) came from Sunday's. Both fish were released. Tewantin was loaded full of grunter, pony fish and bream."
And back to Adam... "Upriver, the Noosa Waters canals were good for bream, jacks (after dark) and the odd juvenile cobia. From Luke Cameron... "Hi, my younger brother Darcy (above right) caught this baby cobia in the canals on Friday afternoon. He caught it on a prawn. Safely released after the photo. Thanks, Luke." Apart from that, flathead were on the bite across from the Tewantin boat ramp and mud crabs were in good numbers throughout the system."
FRESHWATER: Grant Budd, Northshore Bait and Tackle... "Away from the river the freshwater scene is still calming down from the rains. Lake Macdonald reached over 110% capacity and saw the spillways pumping a lot of water downstream. While it is like this the bass will be sitting deep and can be hard to tempt. Reducing presentations to the smallest 2 inch soft plastics or blades may trigger a bite. Lake Borumba continues to sit below 80% capacity. Although this sounds high the timbers are claiming boat props daily as anglers refuse to go slow once beyond the float line. The bass are schooling up in the main basin and can be hard to get a bite from so, much like Lake Macdonald, you may have to work your way through your lure box to trigger a bite.