OFFSHORE: Well... that was certainly a big week. Big wet. Big wind. Big seas and big swell. So, not much in the way of offshore fishing. Our bar crossing video strategy for most of the week was a quick pan of the bay and river mouth between showers then adjourn to the shelter of the National Park headland to film the surfers. By Thursday morning, though, it was as if it never happened with blue skies, light to moderate variable winds and a steadily decreasing swell.
The good news is that the weather forecast for Friday and the weekend looks great as far as the local reefs are concerned and with the New Moon phase coming up it should be good for targeting the bigger Spaniards around first light... if you can find a bit of clear water. Looking forward to your photos.
Despite the murk in Laguna Bay, the North Shore side of the Hall's Reef to Stingers stretch will be well worth a zig zag troll in and out of the dirty water for tuna and the odd mackerel. There should also be a few sweetlip out and about there, on Sunshine Reef and down around Arkwright Shoal. The middle reef belt and beyond, however, should have plenty of clear water and all things being equal, that will be where the bulk of the pelagics and reefies will be lurking.
The photos above? They're from this time last year and should give you an idea of the pelagic activity you can expect offshore over the coming weekend.
COASTAL: Mike Sultana, Northshore Bait and Tackle... "We're hearing some good reports of tailor moving up the east coast from south of the border. Traditionally if we get a late wet season the fish hold a little closer to shore and can be targeted in close from Sunshine Coast beaches. Only time will tell. Fishing the low light periods for big jewfish is something else to consider this time of the year as tailor are one of their favourite meals.
During the rough weather the sheltered National Park coves were good for quality bream. As conditions improve they'll be on the chew (as will dart) along the open beaches. Berley small pieces of prawns, pilchards or whatever bait you are using into the wash. This will help to attract fish within casting distance."
ESTUARY: Adam Neilson, Tackle World Noosa... "Whiting were in good numbers in the lower estuary this week with some good fish coming from the sand flats near the river mouth, and in the Frying Pan, on the run-out tide. There were also a few mangrove jacks out and about after dark off the car park rocks."
From Shane Hackett... "We took the kids down to the Frying Pan on Saturday afternoon with some yabbies for bait. It was a bit quiet, with a few rain squalls, then suddenly these two whiting (below left) hit Emmy and Leilani's lines almost simultaneously. They measured 39cm and 36cm. Cheers, Shane."
Report and photos from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey Bill. The golden trevally are still in good numbers in the Woods Bays. There were also big schools of small chopper tailor on the bite there, as well as barb wire queenfish. It was hard not to catch flathead the last couple days too. They seemed to be just about everywhere we went. There were lots of javelin fish (grunter bream) schooling in the dirty water with the odd soapy jewfish around the Noosa Sound and Tewantin area. Belinda Zammit is pictured (below) with a 55cm barred javelin which she caught and released on Tuesday morning's charter. The odd jack was also on the bite. Jeremy Hansen (above right) caught and released this 49cm specimen in the lower estuary earlier in the week."
Back to Adam... "The rains seem to have fired up the jacks this week with some good fish coming from the back of the Sound and the Munna Point area. Quality bream (yellowfin and grunter) were also out and about and hungry for a feed along the Gympie Terrace stretch. The top of the tide worked best there.
But it was all about the red devils this week, as you can see. From Dave Gower, above... "Snuck out early Sunday morning for a quick land based flick before the Easter Bunny duties commenced. Was rewarded for standing in the rain near the Munna Point Bridge with my PB Jack, 51cm. Caught on the trusty ChaseBaits Flick Prawn, and boy did it take off! The guests in the house next door came down to cheer me on as this beautiful fish put on a show. A few quick photos with Jack and it swam away perfectly to fight another day. Happy Easter to me! Haha... Dave." Dave's persistence in the rather trying conditions, his cheerful report and the successful release of his quality capture won him this week's $100.00 Tackle World Noosa/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week prize.
More from Shane Hackett... "Craig and Carl trolled some hard body lures in the chocolate water of the lower estuary late Wednesday afternoon and after 5 minutes Craig (above left) got smacked by this 60cm jack. Was a great fight on 8lb line so Carl had to chase it with the boat and after some screaming drag and big surface rolls it hit the net. Cheers, Shane." And from Dylan Harvey... "G'day. My son Jayvyn (above right) got his first legal (49cm) jack on Wednesday. I wanted him to put it back but he had his heart set on a good feed of fish so it was dinner." Oh, and the mud crabs were out and about between the lakes."
FRESHWATER: Grant Budd, Northshore Bait and Tackle... "Freshwater is hard going at the moment. The surface bite is slower as is the bottom bite. As we push toward a new moon this should change, but the big rains often shut the fish down a bit. As mentioned last week, keeping lures and baits small could trigger a bite as a sulking fish is more likely to take a small prey. The MMD Soft Prawn Heavy is a great sized lure sure to trigger a bass of yellow belly bite.