OFFSHORE: The month long snapper and pearl perch closure seems to have dampened the enthusiasm of many offshore anglers (judging by the limited number of small boats heading out) but after midnight this coming Saturday (August 15) the restrictions will be removed and life should return to normal. Hopefully these bottom basher favourites will have had a good chance to breed and the results from these annual closures will be evident as time goes by.
Weatherwise it was a mixed bag. Sloppy and choppy one day, almost perfect the next with the latter half of the week a better option for the smaller boats as the swell dropped away and the moderate to fresh variable westerlies morphed into light to moderate variable northerlies. No off days... so no complaints.
While the variable westerlies held sway, those with the bigger boats and/or larger fuel tanks made a beeline north to the reef grounds of Double Island Point. Report and photos from Trekka 2 skipper Nat Turner... "Hey Bill. We fished Double Island Point on nine hour charters on Saturday and Sunday. Overall the fishing was good and we caught a good variety of fish including cobia (as pictured above) and (as pictured below left) some quality mulloway or jewfish."
"In addition, we caught longtail tuna (as above right and below left), mackerel, teraglin jewfish, venus tusk fish and hussar. It has also been good to see some trophy sized pearl perch and plenty of schooling snapper which have been released safely. Current has been steady to strong from the north. Cheers, Nat."
Back along the middle reef belt, the North Reef area was patchy but still produced well enough for those with good marks and/or good skills. From Justin Wikohika... "Hi Bill. We headed out North Reef ways on Wednesday with picture perfect midday glassed out conditions. Dan Boy (Daniel Vincent, above right) caught his first cobia using his technique of loading as much bait as he could onto his hook... pilly, squid and a bit of yakka flesh. Was great to see him buckled up getting his fish to the boat. With epic shows on the sounder we also caught school mackerel, gold spot cod, snapper (which of course were released), moses perch, venus tusk fish and sweetlip. All in all it was perfect day to get out there and wet the lines. Cheers, Justin."
Further south there were a few mahi mahi and tuna working the baitfish around Chardon's Reef. From Dave Reynolds, above left... "Hey Bill. Fished Thursday morning with a couple of old mates and found a patch of small dollies. Loads of fun on the light gear. All were taking pilchard floaters. Kind regards, Dave."
Apart from that, Sunshine Reef and the Hall's Reef stretch in Laguna Bay were good for sweetlip and, on the troll, the odd northern bluefin or longtail tuna.
COASTAL: The open beaches were a good option this week with jewfish, dart and whiting on the bite at Peregian Beach plus flathead and whiting at Marcus. Further up, bream, flathead and dart were active at Sunshine Beach. On the Noosa National Park headland, garfish were schooling around Granite Bay while big bream were in good numbers off Dolphin Point at night. Across the bay, flathead, dart, whiting and tailor were on the bite in the surf gutters at Teewah.
From Ben Nothling... "Hi Bill. My son Miller caught this solid whiting at Teewah earlier in the week. It was his PB Whiting. Caught on live worms. Cheers, Ben." It was a brief report but Miller's catch spoke for itself and won him this week's $100.00 Davo's Tackle World/ChaseBaits Australia Fish of the Week prize.
ESTUARY: Report from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey mate. We caught a fair amount of whiting in the gutters of the river mouth this week. Nothing of size but a good feed in good numbers. The Woods Bays were good for flathead and still the odd golden trevally. Jess from Brisbane (above right) caught and released this 70 cm golden there on a live herring. It put up a surprisingly bigger fight than usual but we finally got it in. There were plenty of GT schools on the prowl along Hilton Terrace responding well to the soft plastics. Around the Noosa Marina and Lake Doonella is where we got most of our flathead for the week on the ebb tide. We also got a few small jewies at the entrance of Lake Cooroibah. No size, about half a metre, but plenty of fun."
And this from Adam Neilson, Davo's Tackle World... "Flathead were responding well to frogmouth pilchards and prawn plastics at the river mouth and the Dog Beach on the run-out tide while whiting were biting in the Frying Pan and across the Munna Flats. Live yabbies and worms worked well there. Trevally, tailor and queenfish were still active at the Current Line and (along with flathead and bream) in the Woods Bays. From Bill Sykes... "Hey guys. My daughters Lucia and Maria (above) landed this 58cm flatty in the Woods Bays on Sunday morning. It was a good fight on light gear and a bit of handy work by Maria with the landing net got him safely to shore. The girls normally catch and release but this one was kept for dinner and fed the whole family. Cheers, Bill."
Along from there, Weyba Creek was good for the odd flathead and whiting while bream were schooling along the Noosaville stretch and around the Noosa Marina at Tewantin. Eleven year old Indiana Baker from Sunshine Beach (above left) was fishing off the beach on Gympie Terrace on Saturday when the bream came on the bite. Using prawn baits as her draw card she landed first a 30cm fish, then a 32cm one and finally this standout 40cm specimen.
Further up, school jewfish were going for live fish baits and soft plastics in the deeper holes around the Tewantin car ferry. From Santiago Ramirez-Cuevas... "Hi Guys. Orlando’s catch and release 65cm mulloway at Tewantin (above right) on live herring. The rod was bending and the reel was furiously screaming! What a Saturday afternoon! Wooha!!"
FRESHWATER: Grant Budd, Davo's Northshore Bait and Tackle Marcoola... "The impoundments have seen a rise in water levels and with this a small temperature drop can be expected. This will see the bass sit deep and the toga move toward any run off. If you're after saratoga try small suspending jerkbaits like the 67mm Jackall Squirrel and let it sit for as long as you dare. With the bass sitting deeper to find more consistent temperatures you would be best to fish hard on the bottom with spoons, ZX40 blades from Ecogear and slow rolled soft plastics on fine wire 3/8oz TT jigheads. Why not try a few Atomic Prong plastics which mimic a prawn/crayfish very well. This also happens to be a popular prey item in the dams and lakes so expect to get an aggressive bite.