As at Friday December 29, 2017.
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|OFFSHORE: Well, just when we thought it 'couldn't get any better than this', it did! Light variable winds and a nominal 0.5m to 0.8m swell made for idyllic conditions on the local reefs and the explosion of the mackerel (Spanish and spotted) in numbers was the perfect lead-in to a great Christmas at Noosa.
The Bar Crossing flattened out as the week unfolded so every man and his dog got out there amongst the pelagics, often in craft not much bigger or better than a bathtub. There were no incidents reported by the Coast Guard, however, although the term 'angel on their shoulders' does come to mind. Fortunately they didn't have far to go to with mackerel on the bite along the Hall's Reef stretch, at Jew Shoal and, even more so, around Sunshine Reef. Report and photo (above) from Cougar One skipper Theo Hewish... "Hey Bill. We did a five hour charter to Sunshine Reef in great conditions on Sunday morning. We had a slow start but by 6:30am the fish were chewing hard. We caught spotted and Spanish mackerel and a few good tusk fish on the bottom. Here's Jamayne with a huge Spanish mackerel that took our floater in the middle of the spotty schools. It took 200m of line in the first run. This fish ended up weighing over 30kgs which is the biggest local Mackerel I've seen so far this season. Cracker of a fish. Cheers mate, Theo."
Jason Milne from Viking Kayaks (above) did well at Sunshine Reef on Sunday morning too. Trolling whole garfish under a squid skirt (in almost glassy conditions) he hooked and boated two Spanish mackerel and one cobia or black kingfish before heading in early for a quick stop at Davo's for a photo.
And this report and photo (above) from Chicko Vella, Davo's Tackle World... "The gods were looking down and presented us the best bite of Spaniards I've seen for a few years. It certainly looks like a cracker season in the making. First you find the bait, then strap me in mate. That's what happened on Sunday. Perfect conditions. We had them free jumping. Caught some on 70gm Halco slice, some on traditional pilchard floaters, but most went for live yakkas on stinger rigs. I was on board Steve Boulton's new Sailfish, with his son Jake and mate Russell Jones. We eat fish tonight. Cheers Chicko."
|And an earlier one from Cougar One skipper Theo Hewish... "We did back to back charters to Sunshine Reef on Friday with great results. We ended up with a great catch of spotty mackerel, coral trout, tusk fish, sweetlip and pearl perch. Here's Todd (above left) with his standout catches for the morning." And this report and photos from Wild Thing 2 skipper Paul Glover... "Hey mate. We fished Sunshine Reef on Tuesday. Wind was 0 to 10 knots ENE with a fairly strong current to the south. We caught venus tusk fish, Maori cod, gold spot estuary cod, snapper and good pearl perch." Pictured above right from that charter is Michael Parsons from Nambour with a thumper pearl perch and, below, David Burnam from Verrierdale with his quality snapper.
Moving out, local angler Benoit Fourie (below) targeted Chardon's Reef on Sunday morning. There was no surface action to speak of but he put out a couple of pilchard floaters which got hit, pretty much simultaneously, by a couple of good fish. By himself, he had no option but play one and let the other go. This 110cm mahi mahi, though, was the result of a short but vigorous fight, so he was happy with that. Benoit stopped in at Davo's on the way home for a quick pic and was awarded the $100.00 Davo's/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week prize for his troubles. Time to buy a nice Tackle World shirt mate?
The 'Dollies' were in numbers at North Reef as well. Report from Wild Thing 2 skipper Paul Glover... "Hey mate. We fished North Reef on Wednesday. Conditions were a little tricky with 15 knot SSE winds and a current to the south. We caught spotted mackies, moses perch, tusk fish, Maori cod, coral bream, snapper, pearl perch and a couple of beautiful dolphin fish." CLICK HERE to see a photo of Peregian angler Geoff Lawrence's standout dolly.
And Wild Thing fished North Reef again on Thursday with similar results but with the added bonus of a nice coral trout. To see that photo... CLICK HERE
|The more distant reefs were worth considering as well. This report and photos from Trekka 2 skipper Brooke Wignall... "Hi Bill. We ran a seven hour charter to the Barwon Banks on Saturday. Conditions were ideal with variable winds to 5 knots and an afternoon light north easterly. No swell or sea and a slight current to the south. We caught amberjack, jewfish or mulloway, snapper, venus tusk fish, hussar, moses perch, coral bream and sergeant baker." Pictured (above) from that charter is Claire McManus from Pomona with an amberjack and Sean Ivory from Coogee in Sydney with a jewfish.
And this Double Island Point report from Cougar One skipper Theo Hewish... "We did a nine hour charter to D.I. on Wednesday in decent conditions. We bagged out on pearl perch by the end of the day. We also boated venus tusk fish, snapper and cobia. CLICK HERE to see a group pearlie photo.
|COASTAL: There were lots of people out and about on the open beaches this week although most were simply enjoying the glorious conditions. Those who chose to wet a line got best results in the quieter periods around dawn and dusk. Whiting were in good numbers from Coolum to Sunshine with some good fish taken around Stumers Creek, Castaways Beach (along with bream and flathead), Peregian and the northern end of Sunshine Beach where quality bream were also active. There were also a few spotted mackerel within casting distance of the rocks from North Sunshine to Alexandria Bay.
Further north, there were dart and whiting in the surf either side of the river mouth, quality whiting around Teewah township plus bream and dart in good numbers in the surf gutters towards the top end. Cobia and spotted mackerel were chasing slugs and surface lures off the rocks at Double Island Point.
ESTUARY: The river mouth area saw some good mangrove jack and trevally action this week, more so between dusk and dawn. During the day it was bream, estuary cod and flathead. Kevin Phillips from Manchester in the UK (below left) caught his 64cm lizard near the mouth on Wednesday morning's Noosa River Fishing Safari. It went for the ever reliable whole prawn bait. Just up from there, flathead and quality whiting were biting in the Frying Pan while the Current Line off the Woods Point and the outer Woods Bay was good for GT's and golden trevally. Local lad Ryan French (below right) caught and released this nice golden in the outer Woods Bay on the last of the run-out tide on Friday afternoon. It too went for a whole prawn bait.
|And this report and photos (below) from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hi Bill. Charlie Smith with a diamond trevally and his brother Dan with an 81cm flathead. Both were caught and released in the lower estuary on Friday morning's charter." Mangrove jacks were on the prowl after dark around the back of Noosa Sound and the Sound bridges while Weyba Creek was good for bream, the odd flathead and more than a few good whiting.
Upper estuary report from Jimmy Free... "Flathead, bream and pennant fish were caught in the ski runs a few days ago so they’re all starting to head back up a little bit. That blue water is getting past Harbourtown now on the run in, a lot of the usual up there too; javelins and Moses around Makepeace Island." Apart from that, there were a few school jewfish and flathead around the first ski run and some good threadfin at the mouth of Lake Cooroibah.
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