OFFSHORE: Great conditions on the local reefs this week with light to moderate variable southerlies and a steadily decreasing swell setting the scene for almost glassy conditions on the bar, in the bay and beyond. There were some quality fish on the bite as well, and as they say... it doesn't get better than that.
For the long haulers, Double Island Point certainly turned on the charm. Report and photos (above and below left) from Cougar One skipper Theo Hewish... "Hey Bill. We did a nine hour trip to D.I. on Friday in glorious conditions. No wind, no current run and the fish were going nuts. We caught trevally, yellowtail kingfish, quality scarlet sea perch, good snapper, gold spot cod, grass sweetlip, venus tusk fish, red emperor and jewfish or mulloway.
And we received this report and photo (above right) from Trekka 2 skipper Mitch Bertacchini... "Hey Bill. We did a nine hour trip to Double Island Point on Friday. We had light westerly winds in the morning and a steady current to the south. We caught amberjack, Moses perch, hussar, venus tusk fish, pearl perch, snapper, longtail or northern bluefin tuna and frying pan snapper. Pictured is Ollie Borch with a thumper tusk fish."
Closer in, the top end of the middle reef belt produced quite well. Report and photos from Wild Thing 2 skipper Nat Turner... "Hey Bill. We ran back to back five and seven hour trips to North Reef and The Hill on Wednesday. Near perfect conditions throughout the day, with light westerly winds and a slight current to the south. We caught pearl perch, snapper, scarlet sea perch, moses perch and quality cobia. Pictured (above left) is Alex Smith from Peregian with his scarlet. And on Friday we ran back to back five hour trips. Near perfect conditions made fishing very enjoyable, with no current and a very light NW breeze. In the morning we headed to Sunshine Reef and the fishing was hot early. We caught snapper, grass sweetlip, venus tusk fish and pearl perch. On the afternoon trip we fished North Reef and caught Maori cod, moses perch and more venus tusk fish. Pictured (above right) is Jesse James with a tuskie and snapper."
And we received this report and photo (above left) from Trekka 2 skipper Mitch Bertacchini... "Hey Bill. We did a five hour trip to Sunshine Reef on Tuesday morning in perfect conditions. We caught Moses perch and venus tusk fish before finding a steady bite of nice snapper." While Chris Gibb, above right... "Snuck out on Thursday afternoon hoping to catch a feed of snapper around Jew Shoal on light gear. Something big and heavy took my Z-Man Coconut Ice Streak plastic. After a decent fight I managed to finally land this 1.3m cobia. We also got the feed of snapper. Thanks."
Last but not least, from Jesse Baker, above... "Went offshore on Wednesday. Caught a thumper gold spot cod at North Reef in the morning and this cobia at Halls Reef in the afternoon (where mack tuna were schooling on and off) on the way in. Both fish taken on live/fresh yakkas and were successfully released."
COASTAL: The open beaches and rocky ledges fired up again as the weather improved (how good is Noosa at winter time) with school jewfish on the prowl around Point Arkwright after dark and whiting, dart and chopper tailor active in the surf gutters along Peregian Beach. Castaways Beach was also good for dart (and the odd flathead) while the northern end of Sunshine Beach produced tarwhine to 42cm and school jewfish with the odd keeper size fish in amongst them. On the National Park headland, yellowtail kingfish and chopper tailor were schooling off Hell's Gates while the Fairy Pools was the spot for more tarwhine and quality bream. Across the bay, luderick were reported to be in good numbers off the rocks at Double Island Point. Yellowtail kingfish and bream were also on the bite there. Further south, dart, whiting and flathead made their presence felt in the surf gutters around Teewah township.
ESTUARY: The river system continued to fire with heaps of good bream responding well to live worms, froggy pilchards and small mullet baits from the river mouth up to the Noosa Yacht Club. The luderick were quiet over the weekend but showed their hand somewhat tentatively around low tide on Tuesday afternoon. Adam Witchard (below left) had bagged two by the time I got there around 1.30pm and that was pretty much it for the day. He told me he was going to release them so I stayed and filmed that. You can see that towards the end of the video. Wednesday was much more productive. I got there half an hour before the low and Bob Cameron (below right) was on a roll. He already had one in the net and hooked up on another just as I got the camera out. He landed two more while I was there using his home made flies which, as you can see, work really well. I left him to it after that and headed back to the office.
River report from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey mate. We had an exceptional week in the river, plenty of big flathead around the river mouth, The Woods and Gympie Terrace area. Daniel Stevens from Ballarat (below) caught and released this 75cm lizard at the mouth on a whitebait. Golden trevally have been in both Woods Bays and around The Sound morning and afternoon. There’s also still plenty of tailor around under the mullet. Weyba also fished well for flathead and good sized whiting. We snuck up to Tewantin and the ski runs and caught flathead, bream, mulloway and queenfish."
"And from a couple of our weekend charters we have Kye from Mornington in Victoria (below left) who caught this 62cm golden trevally on a whitebait on Saturday morning and Alan from Pukekohe in New Zealand (below right) who boated his 69cm flatty on a prawn bait up in Tewantin on Sunday afternoon."
The Frying Pan had plenty of variety this week with whiting, bream, flathead and golden trevally in the mix. Across from there, there were more goldens prowling the Current Line (along with pennant fish and chopper tailor) and, together with a few cale cales, opposite the Coast Guard station at Munna Point.
From young gun, Caleb Zigliotto, above... "Hey Bill. I was fishing at Woods Bay using plastics. My friend caught a small tailor on surface. I picked up my mates spare Rod and had a cast using his ChaseBaits 95mm Skinny Dog lure. Using the slow 'walk the dog' retrieve as the lure got close to the boat I spotted a monster pennant fish sitting near my lure. I twitched the Skinny Dog again and it stirred and had a peck at my lure. After a couple more twitches, it was on! At a blistering pace it swam for a boat's moorings. After fighting it around the boat moorings I landed this beast, stoked!! Released after a quick photo. Cheers, Caleb." Caleb's quality catch and release won him this week's $100.00 Davo's Tackle World/ChaseBaits Australia Fish of the Week prize.
And above, we have a couple more catch and release pix. From Dylan Zanin, left... "I was stoked to hook up to my first GT the other day on the pink jerk shad with 6lb trace. It put up the best fight and almost spooled me. It took me a while but I managed to land it, and after a photo, it was released safely to swim another day." And from Kelsey Jones, right... "So happy to get my first catch on a soft plastic! This flatty measured in at 47cm so I was stoked to land it with a 4lb leader on the jerk shad, while fishing up the river. It's safe to say I'm sold on flicking plastics now. He was released to keep on swimming. Happy fishing!"
As mentioned, bream were in good numbers in the lower estuary. From Robert Morris... "Decided to go for a flick on Saturday arvo and young Hunta (above left) took the cake again with this little ripper of a bream that went 27cm. It went for a whole froggy pilchard just down from the Dog Beach." And above right, from Shaun Saville... "Thanks to the staff at Davo's Tackle World for the location tip and amazing service! As you can see we had an amazing result with smiles all round from Paxton and Hudson. Cheers, Shaun." Apart from that, good flathead and bream were on the bite around Tewantin on the runout.
FRESHWATER: Lake Macdonald is still overflowing as the run off continues to empty into this catchment. If you can see areas where water is entering from overland this is a great place to approach with super stealth. Big toga and bass sit in these areas waiting for prey items to be washed in. Its important to sit way back and get the lure as close to the bank and not behind them so they don't spook. Grub and paddle tail plastics are key; lightly weight them so they have time to descend and look natural. In Borumba, try the big weed line on the left that extends beyond the tree line. This is a great place to chase bass sitting in the weed enjoying the warmer waters. Elsewhere running deep diving, suspending hardbodies are the go, as are Halco Twisties and Slow Blatt Ovals.