OFFSHORE: The forecast from all sources pretty much nailed it this week. Light to moderate (10 to 15 knot) variable easterlies from Friday though to Sunday night ahead of fresh to strong (18 to 25 knot) south easterlies from early Monday onwards. A 2.0m to 2.5m swell made the bar a challenge over the weekend but there was a decent lull between the bigger sets and those boaties who took their time had no issues. Laguna Bay was still an option as the swell dropped away again with overnight south westerlies flattening the bar as the week drew to a close. The good news, fortunately, was that the fish were still on the bite.
Sunday was the standout with mostly clear skies and light winds. Conditions were certainly good enough for an aerial drone flight over the lower estuary and bar, see video above. And it was also good enough for a run to the more distant reef locations. Report and photo from Trekka 2 skipper Nat Turner... "Hey Bill. Standout cobia (pictured above) from our nine hour trip up to Double Island Point on Sunday. Conditions were excellent with no current and the fish came over the side at a steady rate all day. The rest of the catch was snapper, pearl perch, moses perch, venus tusk fish and grass sweetlip. We tried to stay away from the main reef structures to avoid the sharks which worked to an extent but we still had some nice fish taken. Cheers, Nat."
The middle reef belt was worth a shot for the pelagics with mackerel and tuna leading the way. Report and photos (above) from Trekka 2 skipper Nat Turner... "Hey mate. We fished North Reef on Saturday morning in fairly good conditions however the wind against current scenario did make things a bit tricky. We caught Spanish and spotted mackerel on floating baits and slugs, fished in the burley trail, along with some pearl perch and squire off the bottom."
And from Chicko Vella, Davo's Tackle World Noosa... "Hi Crew. It's been hard to get amongst the mackerel thus far, but on Sunday the excitement came to the boat. The swell on the bar had dropped from the previous day, but caution was still needed. We didn't go far from the headland until we found pelagic action. Most of the fish were school sized Spanish mackerel with the odd bigger specimen (like the one Sonnie's pictured with above) in the mix. We caught them by jigging and spinning with metals, which is by far the most exciting way to fish!! Let's hope the action continues. Cheers, Chicko."
Closer in, Sunshine Reef was certainly worth the effort. Report and photos (above) from Cougar One skipper Mitch Bertacchini... "Hey Bill. We did a couple of trips to Sunshine on Saturday and one on Sunday. The bar had a decent wave on it but with some patience we got out on Saturday and it was much more manageable on Sunday. We caught cobia, coral trout, venus tusk fish, grass emperor, mackerel, moses perch, snapper, gold spot wrasse and pearl perch."
And father and son team Dave and Reuben Stevens (above right) launched their tandem kayak near First Point early on Sunday morning and paddled out to Sunshine Reef in the hope of picking up a mackerel or two. And they did that in spades, getting a double hook-up on the two smaller Spaniards early on and the bigger, 110cm specimen on the way home. Dave said he was the 'gaff man' (and chief paddler) while ten year old Reuben took point and claimed the glory. All fish went for trolled slimy mackerel baits under squid skirts. Apart from that, there were a few Spaniards lurking around Jew Shoal and Hall's Reef.
COASTAL: Mike Sultana, Davo's Northshore Bait and Tackle... "The rocks and beach gutters at Yaroomba produced the odd quality jewfish between dusk and dawn this week with live beach worm clusters and fresh mullet fillets getting good results. And dart were big numbers in most beach gutters with the last of the run-in tide producing the larger fish. The better baits for them were pipis and pilchard pieces. Flathead and whiting were also reported in good numbers at Marcus Beach while further north, spotted mackerel were going for cast metal slugs off the rocks at the northern end of Sunshine Beach. Across the bay, the waters around Teewah township were good for flathead, dart and small tailor while GT's were active off the rocks up at Double Island Point.
ESTUARY: Adam Neilson, Davo's Tackle World Noosa... "Spotted mackerel were coming into the river mouth on the top of the tide this week, chasing the small bait fish schools. There were also some nice flathead caught on the run-out at the mouth and a few good size trevally (on the high tide) out from the rock wall. Whiting were biting on the flats on the run-out while further up, trevally and queenfish were active in the current line and, together with tailor, javelin fish and tarpon, in the Woods Bays. Local yak angler Michael Whitehead (below) fished the bays earlier in the week with surface lures for bluefin, tea leaf and big eye trevally and a tarpon on a micro jig then a couple of days later picked up a small diamond trevally on the same jig. All were safely released.
But check out the FOTW entry local angler Lloyd Landelle, pictured below..."G'day mate. I went out on Friday afternoon for a couple of beers and a flick with the lads. Got this rip snorta of a greenback tailor on a mullet strip bait in the Woods Bays. It went 65cm. Safely released after the photo." Lloyd's quality, very healthy looking greenback won him this week's $100.00 Davo's Tackle World/ChaseBaits Australia Fish of the Week prize.
And from David Tierney, below left... "G'day Bill. Went out for an early morning fish in the lower estuary on Saturday with my old man. It was on the start of the run-out tide. We lost two good jacks and I managed to land this 59cm cod on a live mullet. A few quick pics and the cod was released safely."
And this from Caleb Hicko, above right... "Hi guys. Got this beautiful big grunter bream on Monday afternoon just flicking a Samaki Redic jerk bait in the gold around the Woods Bays working it through the deeper sections nice and slow... WOW and did he put up a fight! Absolutely stoked and of course all the fishing I do is catch and release so the fella got to swim another day."
Not far from there, trevally and tailor were on the bite around the Munna Point Bridge while Weyba Creek was the spot for whiting and some good size mud crabs. Further upriver, trevally and queenfish were on the prowl in the lower Gympie Terrace stretch while flathead and some big bream came from the Noosa Marina area. Apart from that, whiting were biting at the top of Lake Cooroibah while there were a few jacks reported on the chew in between the lakes."
FRESHWATER: Grant Budd, Davo's Northshore Bait and Tackle... "Good numbers of bass are taking blades and vibes in the dams. The surface bite should fire now that the waters have warmed up. Try MMD Splash Prawns around the lilies and overhanging trees on first light, especially as we head toward a new moon. Borumba is at 80% capacity and although this sounds full the standing timber section continues to claim a few propellers so watch your speed.