OFFSHORE: Not a bad week for the offshore boys. Light to moderate variable winds (with the emphasis on moderate) and a nominal swell more the norm rather than the exception. No glass-outs but quite fishable, especially in close when the variable westerlies blew. As an added bonus, the bar was 'easy as'.
For the bigger boats, the outer reefs were certainly on the agenda with the Barwon Banks producing some good quality snapper, spangled emperor and amberjack. Double Island Point was also worth a look, as was the middle reef belt. Report and photos from Cougar One skipper Nat Turner... "Hey Bill. We've been out almost every day running either full day trips to D.I. or back to back trips on the local reefs. Current run has been non existent. The snapper were in good numbers up at D.I. but they seem to have slowed down in close. No one's complaining though as the pearl perch have well and truly made up for that. The rest of the catch has been tusk fish, grass sweetlip, plenty of Moses perch and the odd mulloway and cobia. Pictured (above) from Wednesday afternoon’s five hour trip to North Reef is Daniel from Sydney with two standout 55cm pearlies and Charlie from Melbourne with a nice grassy. Cheers, Nat."
Closer in at Sunshine Reef and around Jew Shoal in Laguna Bay the catch was snapper, school or shiny mackerel and the odd northern bluefin or longtail tuna. Report and photos (above and below) from Chicko Vella, Davo's Tackle World... "After a busy weekend on the water, Monday morning was looking good for a fish in Laguna Bay. On board was Sarah Bevan and two bananas for good luck... we broke the myth. Only fished for about one hour, but it was ON! Landed some healthy snapper on floating pilchards then we were plagued by a school of shiny mackerel. They were loads of fun, spinning on light gear with 20gm slugs. No swell on the low tide made for a easy bar crossing. The stiff NW breeze came up early so back for coffee. Cheers, Chicko."
COASTAL: No swell, no surf and consequently hardly any surf gutters slowed the action down a bit on the open beaches this week although there were still a few whiting and dart on the bite at Castaways Beach and (along with bream), at Sunshine Beach. On the National Park headland, the Fairy Pools and the northern end of Granite Bay produced chopper tailor, bream and garfish while back at First Point the catch was whiting and the odd flathead. Whiting were also biting between the rock groynes on Main Beach and, on the Noosa North Shore; around Teewah township and (together with just keeper size flathead) at the river mouth end of Teewah Beach. Apart from that, good bream, chopper tailor and quality dart were on the prowl up towards Double Island Point.
ESTUARY: Flathead were out and about in numbers throughout the system this week with some quality fish coming from the deeper waters at the river mouth, around the sand flats and channels out from the Woods Point/Munna Beach area and along the north shore side of the Noosaville stretch. Ben Renwick (below) caught and released this 80cm flathead there on Saturday morning... " I got it on 6lb braid in about 0.5m of water which made for an intense fight. It responded to a Daiwa Double Clutch lure and was the first fish of the day. My brother caught a small flathead later on but it was otherwise a very slow biting day." Ben's quality catch and release lizard earned him this week's $100.00 Davo's Tackle World/ChaseBaits Australia Fish of the Week prize.
And Lee Kilponen, below left, caught and released this quality flathead on Monday while fishing opposite Gympie Terrace. It went for a strip of mullet flesh. Oh, and the ever reliable Current Line and the outer Woods Bay were still a good option for the odd trevally (mostly GT's), chopper tailor and queenfish.
River report from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey mate. The river fished pretty good the last week. There was quality bream and whiting around the Dog Beach and river mouth. Flathead were lurking along Gympie Terrace and Hilton Terrace. Local angler Geoff Pickering (above right) picked up his 60cm fish there on Monday's charter. We also caught flathead and queenfish at the entrance the Lake Doonella while Cooroibah fished well for flathead."
And from Wednesday's charter... "Headed out on a four hour this morning. The boys snuck in a trip before they headed up the beach for a camp. Pictured (above) is Jimmy with a queeny and a 47cm jack and (below) Jason with a queenfish and Rob with a school jewfish. Queenies and jewfish were released."
Apart from that, flathead and bream were active around Tewantin while bream and trevally were on the bite in the stretch between the lakes.
FRESHWATER: The lakes and dams are still fishing well. Borumba Dam is holding big schools of winter bass that are mainly feeding once the daytime sun has warmed things up a little. There are still big saratoga on the bite, hitting smaller baits and suspending lures so it pays to downsize and slow presentations down in the winter months. The Lake Macdonald bass were feeding mostly in the Bubble Trail, Five Ways and around the Botanical Gardens. The beauty of both impoundments is that you can nearly always find an arm that is protected from the winds.