OFFSHORE: There was no joy for the surfers but fantastic conditions for the offshore brigade with little or no swell on the bar, in the bay or on the local reefs. To add icing to the cake, light to moderate variable winds were the norm rather than the exception and the snapper were improving in numbers and size.
Double Island Point was again worth considering for those prepared to go the distance. Report and photos from Cougar One skipper Theo Hewish... "Hey Bill. We did a nine hour trip to D.I. on Friday in great conditions. We caught good snapper, pearl perch, scarlet sea perch, tusk fish and cobia. Pictured (above) is Jules from Brisbane with her standout snapper, regular customer Guy Maybury with a good eating size cobia and Jessica Richter with a cracker scarlet."
Along the middle reef belt, North Reef rewarded the faithful. From Neil Coxon, above left... "Hi Bill. Fished North Reef on Friday for grass sweetlip, pearl perch, bonito, Maori cod and this big gold spot cod which we put back for another day." And from Scott McKenna, above right... "Hey Bill. Got this big spangled emperor on Saturday right before we had to go as the sun had gone down. We were on North Reef and just snuck back through the bar before it got dark. The good old famous ‘one more drop/cast’ paid off after a pretty rough day with no keepers. Nearly went home with my tail between my legs. Didn't weigh it but probably went 3-4kg. Got it on half a slimy. As an added bit of excitement, a whale breached right next to my boat whilst anchored. Came totally out of the water. It was so close I was looking up at it and the wave from it rocked the boat from probably about 15m away!!!!"
And we received this report and photos from Wild Thing 2 skipper Nat Turner... "Hey Bill. We've had light variable winds on all trips this week and a steady current to the south. We fished the top of North Reef and The Hill on Sunday's seven hour charter. We found success anchoring away from the main reef structure and caught cobia, moses perch, snapper, grass sweetlip and teraglin jewfish. Pictured (above left) is Glenn Tilton from Victoria with his cobia from that charter. Then on Monday's five hour we fished Sunshine Reef and found a hungry school of snapper towards the end of the charter. Pictured (above right) is Will Drew who was stoked to land his snapper. The rest of the catch was pearl perch and moses perch."
Sunshine Reef was an attractive option for the smaller boats and for the charter boats on the shorter shifts. Trekka 2 skipper Mitch Bertacchini ran a number of five hour charters out that way... "Conditions were great and the bar continued to be flat as. We caught snapper (as above), pearl perch, painted sweetlip, grass emperor, Moses perch, monocle bream, coral bream and venus tusk fish."
Conditions were good enough on the bar and offshore for local angler Mark Westgate to head out in his 4m tinny on Sunday morning. Working his way down the coast he stopped at Castaways and, in 30m of water, dropped a 7" soft plastic to the bottom hoping to pick up a snapper. Instead his rod was bent almost double by a solid fish and after a lengthy tussle Mark was able to boat this personal best 12kg jewfish. Happy with that he motored back in, stopping at Davo's Tackle World to get his fish photographed and entered in the $100.00 Davo's/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week Comp. Which, by the way, he won"
COASTAL: We had great conditions off the headland rocks and on the open beaches this week with a modest swell and light winds the order of the day. Peregian Beach continued to fire with dart, whiting and tailor on the bite while the northern end of Sunshine Beach was good for tarwhine, big bream and flathead. Off the National Park headland, snapper and jewfish were active around the Fairy Pools. Across the bay, quality tailor were on the prowl at the First Cutting on the Noosa North Shore and, along with tarwhine, yellowtail kingfish and quality bream, in the surf gutters and off the rocks at Double Island Point.
Tewantin angler Mick Bochow (above) fished a likely surf gutter he'd scoped out around first light at Double Island Point on Wednesday morning hoping for a tailor. And his early bird effort paid off handsomely when this 3.5kg greenback tried, unsuccessfully as you can see, to run off with his whole pilchard bait.
ESTUARY: The river was a bit quieter this week although having said that, the luderick or blackfish were back on the bite at the river mouth car park rocks around low tide. Cabbage and cabbage flies worked well there. No pix or footage as I was otherwise occupied but still plenty of time in the season for that. River report from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey mate. We did pretty well, mainly up in Tewantin this week. Lake Cooroibah fished well for flathead and bream and the deep section of the ski runs had goldens and queenfish lapping around most days. The Woods Bays fished well for bream and flathead. Still good trevally there around the change of tide, mainly on the flood. Hoong Kwan (below right) caught and safely released this 66cm golden trevally there for a whole, lightly weighted whitebait. The Dog Beach was also holding bream, flathead moses perch and whiting on the opposite sandbanks."
The upper Dog Beach/Woods Point stretch was also good for the odd trevally. From Jayson Connacher, above left... "Hey guys. On holiday and caught this at midday on the Sand Bags up from the mouth. I was using whole prawn baits. Released her straight away, but enjoyed the little fight." Moving along, flathead, bream and whiting were on the bite in the Frying Pan while over from there, the Current Line and the back of Noosa Sound (at night) produced tailor, GT's and golden trevally. Apart from that, whiting were biting in Weyba Creek and quality bream (along with heaps of small ones) were schooling out front of the Noosa River caravan park. Up around Tewantin, the waters out from the Council Chambers were good for the odd flathead while the deeper holes upriver from there yielded school jewfish. There were also a few winter mangrove jacks on the prowl between the lakes.
FRESHWATER: Although cold, the impoundments have been firing. The bass were schooled up in deeper waters. If headed to Macdonald or Borumba be sure to throw jerk baits at the edges during the mornings and then break out soft plastics, vibes, spinnerbaits and jigs as the sun rises. In the hotter afternoons, try surface as the bass are still smashing various frog and smaller stickbaits like the ever faithful Luckycraft Sammy 65. And don't forget the toga.
From Doonan angler Alan Mann, above... "I was bass fishing at Lake Macdonald on Saturday when I hooked and landed this 70cm Saratoga on a spinnerbait. I've never caught one before and he put on quite a show, jumping out of the water twice. Heaps of fun! He was happy to be released as well. Cheers, Alan."