OFFSHORE: Light to moderate variable northerly winds were the rule rather the exception this week and when they took on a westerly flavour it was hot and, courtesy of the never ending Fraser Island bush fire, smoky. Quite fishable most days, however, with plenty of activity from the pelagics in close and out wide. The bar continued to be placid, with the swell staying below the one metre mark, so there were plenty of anglers in small boats heading out to try their luck.
There were reports of spotted and small Spanish mackerel on the local reefs but no photos or weigh-ins so far. The good news, though, was that the dollies and blacks were out and about in numbers. From Jim Brodie, above left... "After a good night bagging a couple of snapper and a 45cm moses in the shipping channel, I spent a long day on Saturday out around FAD 7 and a favourite little rock to score some reefies on chunks of bonito. After wrapping what would've been a PB around the fad we opted for a Hail Mary drift at another nearby fad. An angry little trevally as bait resulted in what has to be the biggest dolly ever caught by a bang average fisherman." Jim's quality capture won him this week's $100.00 Davo's Tackle World/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week prize.
Just north of there, longtail and mack tuna were working the bait schools around the coral spawn at Arkwright Shoal. And from closer to home, we received this report from Tim Lawless... "We fished north Sunshine Reef on Sunday morning, heading out just after first light. The first few hours was slow, with plenty of undersize red emperor, but once we moved to Inner Sunshine we managed to land a feed of tusk fish, pearl perch and this 110cm yellowtail kingfish which Finley (above right) caught on a bottom bashing rig. Paternoster rig. Think it went for a squid bait. Squid on bottom hook, pillie on top hook. Cheers, Tim."
Plus this report and photo (above left) from Cougar One skipper Mitch Bertacchini... "Hey Bill. We did a five hour trip to Sunshine Reef on Tuesday morning. Conditions were a bit average with a 5 to 10 knot south east wind and a strong current from the north making anchoring a chore holding the boat backwards into the sea but we did the best with what we had and caught a few nice cobia, venus tusk fish, moses perch, sweetlip and mahi mahi."
North Reef ran hot and cold but when it fired it produced some good results. From Josh Collins... "Hey Bill. Finally got my first wahoo on board. Camo on the rod and pictured (above right and below) with fish. Team work makes the dream work. Bottom of North Reef on Saturday. Yeww. And first black marlin for Camo. Got the wahoo on a trolled Nomad hard body and the marlin on a skirt. Cheers, Josh."
Apart from more marlin, other species working the baitfish around North Reef were moses perch, mahi mahi, grass sweetlip, venus tusk fish and pearl perch.
From further north, we received this report and photos (below) from Trekka 2 skipper Nat Turner... "We ran nine hour charters up to Double Island Point on Friday and over the weekend. The bottom fishing was tough with a strong northerly current and sharks making things interesting and some areas unfishable. Regardless, we still managed to land a few quality pearl perch, venus tusk fish, moses perch and Maori cod. We also spent a few hours trolling around the pinnacles at D.I on Sunday and managed a handful of longtail tuna on Halco deep divers. Cheers, Nat." Amberjack and mahi mahi were also on the bite there.
Back in Laguna Bay, the bait schools were attracting the attention of small northern bluefin tuna, spotted mackerel and more than a few juvenile black marlin.
COASTAL: Adam Neilson, Davo's Tackle World Noosa... "Whiting were in good numbers on the open beaches this week with some quality fish coming from Castaways Beach, Marcus Beach (along with dart) and from the northern end of Sunshine Beach. They were also active around the back of Lion Rock (as were garfish) and, together with bream, at the northern end of Alexandria Bay. There was also the odd ring-in. Local angler Barry Evans (below left) was fishing off the rocks at 'A' Bay late Monday afternoon when his cunjevoi or sea squirt bait was taken by this 2.6kg painted sweetlip or morwong. "I was so excited. It was the biggest fish I have ever caught off the rocks or beach. Very stoked.'... said Barry. Along from there, around the National Park headland, spotted mackerel were reported within metal slug casting distance of the Fairy Pools. The only reports from the Noosa North Shore were of whiting and flathead at Teewah.
ESTUARY: Adam Neilson, Davo's Tackle World Noosa... "It was quite busy in the lower estuary this week with some thumper whiting on the bite in the dirty water at the river mouth on the run-out tide and mangrove jacks off the car park rocks between dusk and dawn. Just up from there the Dog Beach stretch produced a few good flathead while around the corner it was trevally, queenfish and tailor in the Current Line plus bream and whiting in the Woods Bays. Young Harlen Harrison (above right) was so pleased with himself when he hooked and landed this thumper 40cm whiting in the Woods Bays on Sunday that he headed straight into Davo's for a photo of his elbow slapping catch. He was armed with a 'Tackle Rat' spin combo loaded up with a live yabby.
Moving along, the Munna Point stretch and the back of Noosa Sound yielded mangrove jacks, tarpon and trevally while Weyba Creek was a worthwhile option for quality whiting. From Andrew Hogg, below left... "G'day. We are up on holidays. Monday was our first night fishing out in the boat. Caught this 43cm jack on a live herring in the main channel. We released it after the photo. Also caught a GT, big bream and flathead- great first night. Regards, Andrew."
Upriver, whiting were biting along the Gympie Terrace stretch and Goat Island while mangrove jacks were on the prowl around the North Shore jetties and the Noosa Marina at Tewantin. From Pete Fitz... "Hi guys. We're from Tewantin. My son Jonah (above right) finally landed his first Mangrove Jack. Just a little over 40cm. He caught it on a live fish bait from our friends jetty across at North Shore at about 6:30pm on Saturday night. His best catch so far! Cheers, Pete."
There were also a few tailor around. From Ethan Chilby, above... "I haven't had the chance to wet a line much lately, so I decided to head out after work the other night. After hours of not much at all I managed to get this brute of a tailor on the last few casts of the night around Tewantin. It went for a Duo 80mm popper in a prawn pattern. After a good back and forth fight I finally got it to the boat! Going 70cm on the mat this is definitely a pb to beat! Cheers, Ethan."
FRESHWATER: Dave Crothers, Davo's Northshore Bait and Tackle Marcoola... "Lake Macdonald has been fishing well for bass. Try the Bubble Trail using jigs and blades or fish the edges as the water is warming up if you are chasing saratoga. Yellowbelly have been responding to trolled hard body lures with bright fluoro colours working best in the late afternoons. Two tourist kayakers from Italy were exploring the lake and were pleasantly surprised when their trolled lures were constantly being hit by large bass. By the end of the day they had caught and released over 20 fish. Doesn't get much better than that.
Last but not least, we received this report from Josh Dodd, above right... "Hi Davo. My name is Josh and I just arrived from England and I am now living here with my family. I went fishing on Saturday for the first time at Lake Macdonald and me and my seven year old brother Jack caught 15 bass with our dad which we let go. The biggest one was 47cm which was excellent fun to pull in. This was my first fishing in Australia and now I am hooked! Cheers, Josh."