OFFSHORE: It was pretty much 'make hay while the sun shines' this week with a wet and wild south easterly change and 2m-3m swells hitting the coast late Tuesday morning. This effectively shut the offshore gate, beyond the shelter of Laguna Bay, for the rest of the week. The rainfall, however, was very welcome.
Prior to the blow we had light to moderate variable winds, and while they prevailed, the ever reliable grounds of Double Island Point were worth a look for those with the bigger boats and/or larger fuel tanks. Report and photos from Cougar One skipper Nat Turner... "G'day Bill. We fished D.I. on Sunday’s nine hour charter. Conditions were great however a strong current from the north forced us to drift most of the day which turned out to be successful. We caught quality red emperor (above and below left), gold spot wrasse, some of the biggest hussar we've ever seen, Maori cod and lots of venus tusk fish. Cheers, Nat." And they fished there again on Monday in similar conditions... "The current was absolutely roaring, so we spent the day drifting in 50-60m of water away from the main reef structures. We did well, catching plenty of quality venus tusk fish, gold spot wrasse, hussar, Maori cod, and amberjack. Cheers, Nat."
Along the middle reef belt the sharks were out in numbers so while there were a few mackerel and longtail tuna hookups, they were taxed mercilessly by the men in grey suits. There were also a few reefies in the mix. From Liam Walter, above right... "Hi guys. After pushing the boat to the bar on Friday I managed to land this gold spot cod dropping a live yakka out at Chardon's Reef. It got divided between the three of us. Cheers, Dougy." Further south, spotted mackerel and tuna were on the bite at Arkwright Shoal, Old Women Island and (along with snapper, grass sweetlip, mahi mahi and Spanish mackerel) at Caloundra 12 mile. From Joseph Kay, below left..."I caught this fish at Caloundra 12 mile on Saturday. At the time we had a floater out with a pilly and also bottom fishing. The weather was great and seas flat. We actually had a tangle going on when the floater went off. We dropped everything and grabbed the rod. After 20 minutes of fighting the fish we eventually got it into the boat. It was the first time I had caught a dolphin fish and it was a great experience. Regards, Joseph."
Sunshine Reef was worth a look when the boat numbers were down although, again, the sharks were out and about in numbers and quick off the mark. In Laguna Bay it was a bit patchy at times but those who put in the time and/or got out early did well enough. From Jason Milne, above right... "Hey Bill. We heard the rains were coming and the mackerel bite might shut down for a bit so we took off in the kayaks at first light from Main Beach early Tuesday morning with the plan to get back before the storm hit. No sign at Hall's Reef so we headed to Jew Shoal where the action was hot with spotty mackerel and longtail tuna everywhere - still a bit fussy but managed a few on the cast with slugs and small white soft plastics. The spotties also took the odd trolled pilchard. On the way home my slow trolled garfish got smacked by a 1.08m Spanish mackerel which was nice to round out the session before the wind."
And the ever popular Hall's Reef stretch certainly had its moments. From local angler Ed Wright, above... "Hey. On Sunday I took Chicko's advice and headed to Hall's Reef with just about every other boat in Noosa! Things were quiet early and the reefies weren't on the chew. I put out a floating pilly on just 1 metre of 80lb mono tied to a balloon and bang! Boated my PB spotty at 87cm. They then came thick and fast and although I lost three, I bagged out by 11.30am and headed for home. Cheers, Ed." Ed's personal best spotty won him this week's $100.00 Davo's Tackle World/ChaseBaits Australia Fish of the Week prize.
Above: We flew the drone over the lower estuary on Monday morning then followed a boat as it came in over the bar and upriver as far as the Woods Point.
ESTUARY: The recent rains may have stirred the fish up a bit but it was still patchy at times. Having said that, dart were in numbers early morning along the river mouth rock groyne and responding well to small cast slugs and micro hard body lures. The river mouth car park rocks were also worth considering with mangrove jacks on and off the chew around the bottom of the tide. Further up, the Dog Beach and Frying Pan areas were good for whiting, big-eye trevally were active around the Sand Bags at night and the Current Line produced queenfish and GT's. Mangrove jacks were on the prowl after dark around the boats in the inner Woods Bay and the back of Noosa Sound while Weyba Creek was a good option for for whiting, trevally (on surface lures) and mud crabs.
Report from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey mate. There’s been a lot of tea leaf, giant and small golden trevally schooling in both Woods Bays pretty early in the morning. We've been flicking Sugapens and Chug Bugs at them to get them to bite, no trophy size by all means but plenty of fun and a lot of them around. We line caught a few blue swimmer crabs up in Weyba Creek so worth having some pots up there. Tewantin fished well for flathead and bream, as did Cooroibah but with the added bonus of small jewies and trevally. Allan from Brisbane (above) boated this 69cm flathead in Cooroibah on a Swim Prawn." Apart from that, the Noosa Marina produced mangrove jacks, at Makepeace Island it was jewfish while the flats below the car ferry yielded good golden trevally. Between the lakes the catch was more jacks, jewfish in the deeper holes and, near the mouth of Cootharaba; some good mud crabs.
FRESHWATER: Borumba Dam saw good numbers of bass and a few solid saratoga caught this week. These fish generally come during the quieter times so be sure to be on the water during first and last light. The surface activity has slowed after the rains and we have seen most fish succumbing to a well presented hard body. The smaller Lucky Craft Pointer 65mm and Bassday Sugadeep 70mm are great options to turn to. Lake Macdonald is a lot higher now and the ramps are safe to use. With the influx of cooler rain water the fish are found in tighter schools during the daytime hours when the water has more sun on it and warms up. If fishing low light around the edges try matching the hatch. Check out the Tiemco Soft Shell Cicada as the cicadas are in full song.