OFFSHORE: All said and done it was a pretty good week for the bluewater boys with predominantly light to moderate variable easterlies dominating. Even better, the swell on the bar (see the aerial video above) was relatively modest. This, and the occurrence of the bigger tides on or about early morning, gave those anglers in sub five metre boats and tinnies a chance to capitalise on the appearance (in numbers) of the mackerel in the bay and on the closer reefs.
For the bottom bashers with the bigger boats, catches of quality snapper and pearl perch were reported from The Hards, the Barwon Banks and Double Island Point. Report and photos (above) from Trekka 2 skipper Nat Turner... "Hey Bill. We’ve been flat out this week. We managed two nine hour trips up to Double Island Point which produced some great fish including trophy snapper, mulloway and large mouth nannygai to name a few. We stuck to Sunshine Reef on most of the five and seven hour charters which has also been productive. We’ve landed good numbers of grass sweetlip, snapper, moses perch, venus tusk fish and the odd coral trout. There’s also been a few longtail tuna and spotty mackerel on surface if you can beat the sharks. Cheers, Nat."
The snapper and pearlies were also on the bite at North Reef. Report and photos (above and below) from Cougar One skipper Mitch Bertacchini... "Hey Bill. We did back to back five hour trips on Saturday. We fished Sunshine Reef in the morning which was a bit slow and North Reef in the afternoon for much better results. We caught snapper (as above left), grass sweetlip, venus tusk fish, moses perch and painted sweetlip. And we did similar back to backs on Tuesday in good conditions with light winds and a slight trickle of current to the south. The bar was very manageable for just about any size boats. We caught grass sweetlip, spangled emperor (above right), gold spot estuary cod, bar cheek coral trout (below), moses perch, venus tusk fish and pearl perch."
Chardon's Reef was worth a troll or drift for Spanish and spotted mackerel, as was Sunshine Reef with the added bonus there of yellowtail kingfish and cobia plus more coral trout and grass sweetlip. From local yak angler Dave McGregor, below... "Hi Bill. I fished Sunshine Reef with my boys on Tuesday and picked up my first Spano for the season on a floating garfish. Plenty of bait around and the water is looking much better. A fat 122cm. Cheers, Dave."
And yak angler Scott 'Shoulders' Davis (below left) paddled his fishing kayak out to Sunshine Reef on Monday morning, determined to land his first Spaniard of the season. And as you can see, he did better than that when his slow trolled slimy mackerel baits accounted for two of his target species. After that it was an easy paddle back to shore (always is when you have fish on board) then a quick stop at Davo's in Noosa for some ice and a photo for the Davo's Tackle World/ ChaseBaits Australia Fish of the Week Competition. Which turned out to be a good move as he won the $100.00 prize with his double header.
Arkright Shoal (down the coast) was also good for mackerel, as was Laguna Bay, especially for the smaller boats and yak anglers. Spaniards and spotties were on the bite around Jew Shoal and (along with cobia) along the Hall's Reef stretch. There were also a few longtail tuna working the baitfish schools throughout the bay. From Ella Yewen, above right... "Hi Bill. Snuck out for a quick fish offshore on Monday morning with the Beeson boys. Got these two Spotty Mackerel east of The Shoal on Halco Twisties. We nearly bagged out and lost a few too. Got a decent feed in an hour an a half then headed back in. Thanks, Ella."
COASTAL: Mike Sultana, Davo's Northshore Bait and Tackle Marcoola... "Not a bad week for the surf anglers and rock hoppers, especially between dusk and dawn when the tailor and jewfish were out. Yaroomba was a good option for those species, as was Peregian Beach but with the added bonus there of whiting and dart. Flathead and whiting were biting at Castaways Beach and the northern end of Sunshine Beach while the National Park headland rocks produced small longtails, spotted mackerel and rat yellowtail kingfish. On the North Shore, dart and whiting were schooling at Teewah village and up at D.I.
ESTUARY: River report from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey Bill. We had a pretty good week on the flathead and bream just up from the river mouth and in the outer Woods Bay area where we also picked up a few smaller GT’s and tailor. Hilton Terrace fished well around the rocky structure for bream and estuary cod while Tewantin produced a lot of grunter and some nice flathead. In Lake Cooroibah we caught cod, flathead, bream and tarwhine."
"The Fraser boys (Frankie above with his 76cm flathead, George below left with a 68cm specimen and Harry with his 78cm standout) did well on one of our weekend charters. They released the quality flathead pictured but went home with big smiles and a pretty good feed of smaller specimens. Cheers, Jimmy"
And from Adam Neilson, Davo's Tackle World Noosa... "It was 'busy as' on the river this week with Noosa full to overflowing with holiday makers. We took the opportunity to schedule a drone flyover of the lower estuary and bar on Monday, and as you can see by the videos on the page, there might be a need for traffic lights soon. Anyway, those anglers that got out early on the water ahead of the boat traffic, or waited until dusk, got the best of it with flathead and trevally working the deeper channels near the river mouth on the run-out and whiting on the bite across the sand flats both there and in the Frying Pan.
Trevally, queenfish and tailor were again on the prowl at the Current Line while whiting and mud crabs were in good numbers in Weyba Creek. Whiting were also biting across from the Yacht Club on the run in tide and the Noosa Marina was good for jacks at night. Mud crabs were on the move in the first lake (as were whiting) and in good numbers in between the lakes. From Samantha Broderick... "Hi Bill. Ally and Emma (above) caught these two beauties up the river near the lakes. We also got half a dozen sand crabs, three bream and a partridge in the pear tree. Hope everyone had a great Christmas. Cheers, Sam."
FRESHWATER: Grant Budd, Davo's Northshore Bait and Tackle Marcoola... "With Lake Macdonald at 100% and overflowing you'll see the bass following flow and even schooling up. Once you find the fish on your sounder be sure to pull away and cast into the school and work plastics through the school. Keep an eye on your sounder as bass will often follow you. If the waters are dirty then the smaller Ecogear ZX Blades are dynamite. Borumba is lower due to waters being released to feed the creek and keep things flowing. At less than 80% be sure you travel cautiously, keep an eye on temps and fish around the changes.
From Tony Costa, above... "Hi there. Caught this 49cm bass at Lake Macdonald on a Jackall TN 60 Brown Dog. Also caught five other bass from 26cm to 42cm. All in the Y junction area of the lake. All safely released. Cheers, Tony."