OFFSHORE: Happy New Year everyone! And what a terrific start to 2021! Light to moderate variable easterlies and a steadily decreasing swell on the bar and beyond! It certainly doesn't get much better than that! Even better, the Spanish mackerel were out and about (and very hungry) as were the reef fish.
And with conditions so favourable, the outer and more distant reef locations were well and truly on the agenda this week. Shane Allchorn and his son Bowen (pictured above) worked the waters up off Fraser Island on Tuesday and hit the jackpot when they picked up this 6.0kg wahoo and 6.0kg Spanish mackerel on trolled lures. Shane's 'Hoo' went for a Live Target Swimbait and Bowen's Spaniard (his first ever of the species) responded to a Halco Laser Pro hard body.
And from just down the coast we received this report and photos (above) from Trekka 2 skipper Nat Turner... "Hey mate. It was a massive week for us on the water and we were lucky enough to have great conditions just about every day. We ran a couple of nine hour charters up to Double Island Point which produced a few quality mahi mahi and plenty of reef fish including venus tusk fish, snapper, pearl perch, moses perch and the odd gold spot cod.
Closer to home, North Reef has been fishing really well. We ran three trips to that area on Wednesday (photos above and below left) which produced pearl perch, tusk fish, Maori cod and moses perch throughout the day. We finished off with a hot sunset bite of quality grass sweetlip and snapper. Cheers, Nat."
And from Cougar One skipper Mitch Bertacchini... "Hey Bill. We did a seven hour private charter to North Reef on Tuesday afternoon. We had a light northerly wind with a slight amount of current to the south. We caught cobia and pearl perch (as pictured above right) plus gold spot cod and mahi mahi."
Chardon's Reef was also good for the odd mahi mahi, pearl perch and venus tusk fish but closer in at Sunshine Reef the action just got hotter as the week progressed. From Stewart Tee... "Hey Bill! Early Tuesday morning myself and my best mate Darcy (below left) headed out for a half day of doing what we love the most. Fishing! After a short while the drags were singing and we managed to land four decent, legal sized sweetlip and a few other smaller reef species."
And this report and photo (above right) from Cougar One skipper Mitch Bertacchini... "Hey Bill. We did a five hour trip to Sunshine Reef on Tuesday morning in amazing conditions. Little wind and a slight current to the south east. We caught sweetlip, coral trout, moses perch, grass emperor, tuna and snapper."
While local angler Michael Edmondston (above) picked up this 15kg Spanish mackerel out there on Wednesday morning. It went for a whole pilchard bait.
But how's this for keen! Noah Browning (above) and his dad loaded up the car and boat and drove up to Noosa from Adelaide earlier in the week to chase a few Spaniards. They didn't have much luck at Sunshine Reef on Tuesday but after spending a bit of time with Adam Neilson from Davo's Tackle World later that afternoon, they motored back out there on Wednesday morning This time, though, they were armed with a bit of local knowledge, a few whole garfish and a couple of Citer Lure Chin Guards. That obviously made the difference and Noah was back in the shop a few hours later for a photo of his 9.0kg capture. His great story, toothy smile, quality fish and sheer persistence won him this week's $100.00 Davo's Tackle World/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week prize as well.
Laguna Bay was another option for the tinnies and kayaks with Spaniards on the prowl at Jew Shoal and, together with cobia, along the Hall's Reef stretch.
COASTAL: Not a lot of feedback from the open beaches this week. Certainly no standouts reported with mostly bread and butter species like dart, whiting and bream on the bite at Marcus Beach and, along with flathead, at Castaways Beach. Apart from that it was more whiting at the northern end of Sunshine Beach, around the rock groynes on Main Beach and up around Teewah on the North Shore. There were also a few dart on the bite up at Double Island Point.
ESTUARY: River report from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey mate. It was a bit busy on the water this week but despite that, we still managed to catch a few good trevally and flathead at the river mouth and, before the boat traffic increased, in the Woods Bays. Dean from Victoria (below) caught and safely released this thumper 82cm flathead in that area on Friday morning's charter."
While Nick from Brisbane is pictured (below left) with his diamond trevally. Didn’t measure her, about 80cm if I guessed. And Luke Glennon from rural Victoria (below right) boated this 65cm blubberlip bream using a frogmouth pilchard as his draw card. Both fish released. We also got a fair few cod again in Lake Cooroibah. They were hanging out with all the Moses perch. The Tewantin stretch fished well for grunter bream (javelin fish), flathead and trevally."
And from Adam Neilson, Davo's Tackle World Noosa... "With the river system still 'busy as' with holiday traffic, the early morning, late afternoon and night sessions were the most productive. At the river mouth there were trevally and jacks in the deeper water on the run-out tide plus whiting across the sand flats in the Frying Pan. There were also a few trevally still working the Current line, the odd jack around the back of The Sound and whiting in Weyba Creek.
Upriver, flathead were reported in and around Lake Doonella. And the odd surprise capture. From Thomas Pardos, above left... "G'day. I caught this big striped scat on a whole prawn bait at Doonella on Sunday. It measured 44cm. I saw that this species does not exceed 40cm normally. Cheers, Thomas." The jacks, however, were out and about in numbers around the Noosa Marina, around Makepeace Island and further upriver. From Billy Marsh, above right... "Hi Bill. My mate Andrew Havig (below left) pulled up this jack around Tewantin on Sunday night. It measured just under 40cm and went for a live silver biddy. And we had a good time on the jacks again on Monday outside Tewantin. Boated three. Biggest went 43cm and others 39cm and 37 on live biddies again!"
Mud crabs were out and about in the upper estuary, as were more jacks (together with trevally and threadfin salmon) in the stretch between the lakes and further up. From Ben Whitby, above right... "Hi. How about this New Year’s Day Cracker Jack. Went 1kg and 45cm. Got it at Boreen Point on a prawn bait."
FRESHWATER: Grant Budd, Davo's Northshore Bait and Tackle Marcoola... "The bass have been firing up and taking any lures that are fished close to the bottom. In this situation, the Jackall TN60 is one of the best lures. Having a great sounder really helps in the fresh and side scan is a tool you should have. This helps you locate the schools you would otherwise miss using standard sonar. Don’t forget to get your SIPS permit before you fish the impoundments.