OFFSHORE: It was a pretty ordinary week for the offshore boys. The winds were all over the place. Moderate to fresh from the north and south over the weekend, which was hardly encouraging, especially for the smaller boats. Variable westerlies Tuesday through to Thursday lunchtime provided a window of opportunity for those who were keen for a feed but the fishing was hard yakka and the catch was mostly plate size. Certainly not many standouts in the mix. After that it was pretty much all over with fresh to strong variable southerlies and a steadily rising swell which was destined for the 2.0m to 2.5m mark.
At North Reef (which was about as far as anyone cared to venture this week) it was either feast or famine. Those with the good marks did ok though, coming back with Maori cod, venus tusk fish, moses perch and grass sweetlip. Snapper and pearl perch were on the bite there as well but as we're in the middle of their closed season, were released to breed. Longtail tuna were still around for anyone who cared to work the surface or put out a floater with Sunshine Reef and grounds further south producing the odd quality fish. From Jay Hargeaves... "Hey Bill. Pictured (above) is my mate Issak with a longtail he caught while fishing soft plastics around the Mooloolaba fads. He managed to catch this beast on only 20lb gear resulting in a nearly half an hour fight. Regards, Jay."
The reefs and bommies from Coolum to Sunshine were certainly worth a look, especially when the winds were from the west. From Jack Dekort, above left... "Hey guys. Been some chunky sweetlip getting around in close on the yak. This one going 58cm. Caught south of Sunshine on Tuesday morning along with some nice snapper which, of course, were released. The lipper went for a whole pilchard." And we received this report and photo (above right) from Chicko Vella, Davo's Tackle World... "Tuesday was the pick for us to get out for a fish. With the closure in place we decided to stay in close away from the no take species. Just using light rigs and smaller hooks did the trick. Fishing a few spots on Sunshine put some colour into the esky. Brown sweetlip, rainbow tusk fish, moses perch with their black marking. Amee is pictured holding a winter strawb which popped its head out for a feed. Bar and the channel quite good with the small swell. Some rain run off into the bay looks encouraging. Cheers, Chicko." In Laguna Bay, the Hall's Reef stretch produced the odd grass sweetlip.
COASTAL: The open beaches were certainly worth the effort this week with some good jewfish on the prowl after dark at Peregian Beach. During the day it was dart and whiting. North of there, at Sunshine Beach, the catch was bream and flathead while on the National Park headland, jewfish were active off the Fairy Pools (after dark) and garfish were schooling in Granite Bay. Back on Main Beach, whiting were biting at First Point and around the middle rock groyne.
On the Noosa North Shore, flathead were on the bite just up from the river mouth and, along with whiting, bream and chopper tailor, around Teewah. The Double Island rocks saw action throughout the week with a school of kingfish hanging off the headland. These fish were around the 80cm mark and provided lure anglers with an action packed fight. Lures such as the ever reliable Halco Twisty in chrome and the Rapala Long Cast stickbait landed many of the fish.
ESTUARY: Adam Neilson, Davo's Tackle World... "A bit cool some mornings and a tad wet on the weekend but that seemed to get the bread and butter species going with good bream and flathead on the bite at the river mouth. The luderick season has been a real fizzer so far this year with only a couple of fish caught in the last month. Local angler Brian Smith (below) has been working the river mouth car park rocks on and off since he landed the first fish of the season five weeks ago and finally managed to land two decent keepers there on Tuesday. One went for Coolum Cabbage and the other was taken on fly.
A bit further up, whiting were responding well to small surface lures around the Frying Pan while the sand crabs were on the move from there through to Weyba Creek. In between, queenfish and tailor were on the prowl in the Current line and the Woods Bays. From Grant Brow, below... "Hey Bill. Been hitting the local for some action packed sessions on tailor and trevally. One session really fired when big queenies showed up. We managed to boat two fish and pull the hooks on another. MMD Splash Prawns did the damage. Top water sessions have been most productive. Cheers, Grant."
There were also a few muddies around. Eight year old Jack Baird from Doonan (below) was fishing at the Woods Bay jetty on Noosa Parade last Saturday afternoon when he spotted this good size mud crab clambering over the rocks just below the waterline. Grabbing his landing net Jack managed to trap it and, with a lot of patience, slowly manoeuvred it up over the rocks, out of the water and onto the bank. After that he was off home for a mud crab dinner. Jack's quality capture and rather unusual story was just the thing to win him this week's Davo's Tackle World/ChaseBaits Australia Fish of the Week prize.
Report from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey mate. It was good to see plenty of rain fall over the region during the last week. The system will get a bit of a shock for a few days but it's what we need. Should be firing by the weekend. We caught some goldens and flathead around the river mouth. In the Woods Bays we got some nice queenies and flathead. Schools of GT’s have been fishing well along the Gympie Terrace stretch early mornings on the soft plastics. Tewantin fished a little slower this week but we still managed some nice flathead, bream and a couple of pennant fish. Pictured (below left) is Matt from Maleny with his 55cm flatty which he caught in the lower estuary on a Swim Prawn."
The flathead were active along the Gympie Terrace stretch, near the Noosa Marina and opposite the Council Chambers. From Santiago Ramirez-Cuevas, above right... "Hello Guys. After a few hours of landscaping at my mate's house, I decided to throw a line and off the first cast, I caught and released this 52cm gorgeous flathead at Noosa River. This fellow put up a big fight. Regards, Santiago." Apart from that, jewfish were on the bite between the lakes.
FRESHWATER: Grant Budd, Davo's Northshore Bait and Tackle Marcoola... "The impoundments were on fire this week with some cracking bass and saratoga being caught at both Lake Macdonald and Borumba Dam. Saratoga have been feeding in the warmer parts of the lakes with shallow banks and structure heavy areas being the pick. These fish will hit a surface lure such as a popper or surface walker yet with the cooler surface water, a shallow running diver has been a very valuable lure to have in the boat. Fishing the edges at Borumba has been an effective method with the Jackall Squirrel 67SP in both Banana and HL Black and Gold being the two colours producing good numbers. A twitch, twitch followed by a short pause will usually get the best response.
We competed in the Fish Headz Borumba Comp last weekend. Myself and Dylan (below right) represented Davo's and were going for the trifecta of biggest bass, saratoga and yellowbelly. First day saw us land over 30 bass with the biggest going 40cm. All of our fish were caught on the Hot Bite V2 Spoons.
The next morning saw me land a much needed toga going 73cm on a Megabass Dog-X. We then tried to find a yellowbelly and upgrade our bass to no avail. We fished for 19hrs over 2 days and landed many more fish with me dropping another solid toga boatside. Looking forward to next year! Thanks to everyone who attended and to Grant from Fish Headz Noosa for a great event. Extra special thanks goes to my personal photographer for chopping my head off too."