OFFSHORE: Another week of northerlies. Fortunately they weren't as brisk as last week and tended to be quite light in the mornings. Certainly more so in the latter half of the week, resulting in a few glass outs. Little or no swell was the icing on the cake and the bar crossing was pretty much 'easy as' on most days.
If you had a big enough boat, Double Island Point was again the place to be. Or, you could simply book a full day charter. Report and photos from Cougar One skipper Nat Turner... "We ran a private nine hour charter on Monday with a group of regular customers from Brisbane. We fished D.I. in oil-slick calm conditions with a current from the south-east. We caught snapper (above), scarlet sea perch (below left), tusk fish, pearl perch, amberjack and Maori cod."
There wasn't much pelagic activity on North Reef but there were a few grass sweetlip, Maori cod, gold spot cod, moses perch and squire for the faithful. Closer to home, Sunshine Reef was a bit patchy at times but it started to fire more consistently as the week progressed, producing snapper, pearl perch, grass sweetlip, moses perch, venus tusk fish, cobia, bonito and a good range of quality pelagics. Report and photos from Trekka 2 skipper Mitch Bertacchini... "Hey Bill. We did a seven hour trip to Sunshine Reef on Monday in great conditions. We had a light southerly wind with a current running to the north. We caught mahi mahi (below), grass emperor, pearl perch, moses perch, coral trout (as per above right), snapper, tuna and venus tusk fish. Cheers, Mitch."
Conditions on Sunshine Reef on Tuesday were as good as they get and the number of yak anglers seen working the waters was testament to that fact. Greg Warren (below) launched his kayak from Sunshine Beach around first light and trolled his favourite stretch of the reef with a whole squid skirted garfish. It was very quiet early on so when he hooked up with this 13.5kg Spanish mackerel , Greg decided to quit while he was ahead and head home. His was the first 10kg+ Spaniard weighed in at Davo's this season and as such it earned him this week's $100.00 Davo's Tackle World/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week prize.
Dave McGregor, below, who was out on Sunshine Reef with Greg that morning, wasn't in much of a paddling mood so he rigged a whole pilchard, floated it close to the bottom and sat back and waited. Not too long, as it happens, because this hungry 105cm cobia took a liking to his well presented bait and tried, unsuccessfully, to run off with it. There were also some small tuna working the bait schools but Dave liked the idea of an early mark so he too headed back in.
Brisbane yak angler Scott 'Shoulders' Davis (below) read Tuesday's reports of Spaniards, spotties and cobia at Sunshine Reef, set his alarm clock, and went to bed early. He was on the water around first light and although he didn't get the big Spaniard he was hoping for, Scott was more than happy with the two good spotties and the one longtail he boated. All went for trolled small garfish and were taken on the northern end of the reef between 5.30am and 6.00am.
And from Tim Lawless... "Hi Bill. Had a quick fish around the northern end of Sunshine on Thursday morning. Plenty of surface action - mostly bonito and mac tuna. Finley (above right) had some luck on the tuna with slugs cast into the bust-ups, and plenty of hits on the floaters, but only one 90cm spotty landed." In Laguna Bay the pelagics were a bit more subdued with spotted mackerel and mack tuna on the move. Cast slugs and pilchard floaters worked best there.
COASTAL: It was still quiet on the open beaches although Castaways Beach bucked the trend with some good quality dart on the bite around high tide and whiting active on the run-out. Further up, the southern end of Alexandria Bay was good for whiting and bream, big-eye trevally were schooling off Lion Rock and yellowtail kingfish and mackerel were on the prowl within casting distance from Hell's Gates off the headland. Apart from that, whiting and flathead were on the chew at First Point and, along with dart, around Teewah township on the North Shore. Further up at D.I. it was rat YTK's and more Spaniards by drone.
ESTUARY: Flathead and bream were in good numbers in the lower estuary this week. Report from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey mate. We had some nice weather and favourable tides this week and the fishing reflected. We caught some good flathead around the river mouth mixed in with bream, whiting and a few squid on the flood tide. Darcy Woodroff (below) from Brisbane boated this 73cm lizard down near the river mouth on Tuesday's charter."
And Mark Mazurkiewicz (below right) caught and released this 75cm flathead along the Gympie Terrace stretch on Sunday's charter. Both fish went for live prawn baits. Chopper tailor were responding well to hard bodies and livies in the Woods Bays in the early morning and late afternoon sessions provided the boat traffic was at a minimum. Weyba Creek also fished well for some good sized javelin fish (grunter bream), flathead, Moses perch and mangrove jacks."
The big lizards were certainly on the prowl. From Julie Sharland, above left... "75cm female flathead full of babies. Caught and released Dog Beach, Saturday." Trevally (big-eye) were schooling off the Sand Bags at night and in the Woods Bays around first light. Bream were also on the move. From Wes Van Der Vyver... "This is my 4 year old daughter Zoe (below) with a great size bream. Caught on a sliver of squid on Saturday night anchored off the Noosa caravan park. It gave her a run for her money on light gear. She was tucking into some pizza when the drag went off but was off her chair in a flash to wind it in."
Flathead were also out and about up towards the mouth of Lake Weyba while mangrove jacks were on the bite after dark around the back of Noosa Sound, along the Gympie Terrace stretch and up around the structures at Tewantin. From Bodhi Housley, below left... "Hey Bill. I caught this jack last Thursday night at O Boat. It was a really exciting night, probably one my best fishing nights. I had no clue it was a jack because there were big-eyes busting up everywhere, I thought it was a massive big-eye trevally. Then it came up and my mate Max said, "ITS A BIG JACK" and I was shaking. We did not have a landing net, so my mate Jake was trying to get the lip grips in his mouth. Every time Jake went to put the lip grips in the jacks mouth it would shake. So, Max found a bucket which we managed to land the fish with. Overall it was a good night and the 52.5cm healthy jack swam away nicely. Sincerely, Bodhi Housley."
And this from local angler David Tierney, above right... "G'day Bill. I went for a fish down Tewantin way on Tuesday night with the old boy. Managed to land this cracking 57cm jack on the outgoing tide. It went for a live silver biddy and put up one hell of a fight!" There were also still a few queenfish about.
From Terry Ellwood... "Jim Powell (above), visiting Noosa from London, caught and released this quality queenfish on Sunday morning. He was fishing with me up past Tewantin when the line screamed off his reel and he had a real arm wrestle to bring the fish to the boat. It went for a live herring."
FRESHWATER: Some nice smaller bass under 40cm have been coming from Lake Macdonald on vibes and smaller surface lures. Much like the river, first light has been the best time as the winds are often up during the day not to mention the temperature! In Borumba Dam, much like Lake Macdonald, smaller bass featured with the odd smaller saratoga as well. Yellowbelly are still hitting deep diving lures like the RMG Poltergeist on the troll. As always navigate with care as the levels are at 76% and roughly two metres lower than usual.