OFFSHORE: It certainly wasn't a bad week for the offshore boys. A bit lumpy and bumpy to start with (on the bar and on the local reefs) but as the week unfolded it morphed into light to moderate variable westerlies, modest swells and clear blue skies. It was a tad cool between dusk and dawn due to the lack of overnight cloud cover but that's a small price to pay when you're planning a day offshore. The best news, of course, was that the snapper were on the bite.
Double Island Point was an option this week and the bigger boats made the most of the conditions. Report and photos (above and below left) from Trekka 2 skipper Nat Turner... "We ran a nine hour charter to D.I. on Sunday. We caught snapper, tusk fish, moses perch, gold spot wrasse and bonito. Conditions were pleasant, with variable winds, however the current was running in different directions from spot to spot, making anchoring a bit tricky at times. Cheers, Nat."
Along the middle reef belt, North Reef produced cobia, pearl perch, moses perch, snapper, Maori cod and venus tusk fish. Closer to home, we received this report and photo (above right) from Cougar One skipper Mitch Bertacchini... "Hey Bill. We did a five hour trip to Sunshine Reef on Sunday morning. The bar still had the odd wave packing a punch but plenty of lulls to slip out through. Conditions outside were perfect with a slight run to the north and a light southerly wind. We caught grass emperor, venus tusk fish, snapper and red emperor."
And this report and photo (above) from Trekka 2 skipper Nat Turner... "Hey Bill. We fished Sunshine Reef on Saturday on a 7 hour charter. We ended up with a good catch of quality pearl perch, plenty of venus tusk fish, grass sweetlip, squire, moses perch, trevally and one cracking coral trout. Conditions were lumpy with 10-15 knots of SE wind and a rolling swell, however it was quite comfortable at anchor. Cheers, Nat."
From further south, we received this from Chris Arnold, above... "I fished Coolum on Sunday morning. We got 8 snapper, 4 sweetlip and a wobbygong. All released for another day. Headed back out Sunday arvo to a spot just north of Coolum. Target species was a jewfish. It didn't take long to find them. This 105cm specimen, which went for a squid bait, made for a good fight on 20braid/20leader. At the same time the livie rod went off but my mate couldn't stop it. Next livie got hit by a big mac tuna on the way down, next couple livies got hits but no more jewies landed. It's good to see so many around this season."
In Laguna Bay there were a few longtail tuna on the prowl out towards Jew Shoal and, along with cobia, along the Hall's Reef stretch. From Paul Hayes, above... "Hi there. I caught this 1.2m cobia on a lightly weighted live yakka at Hall's Reef on Sunday morning. It was a fight amongst predators for a while there, with a stack of baby sharks taking our live bait each time we drifted some out, as well as biting off several of our rigs! I switched to a wire mackerel rig and was soon rewarded with this beauty! I followed up with two great Maori cod from out at North Reef (52cm and 65cm) and the weather was so good that we went out to the FAD for a look but found nothing but large mac tuna on the bottom there. But a great day out again! Love Noosa! Kind regards, Paul."
COASTAL: Adam Neilson, Davo's Tackle World... "It was 'chilly as' on the open beaches this week, especially between dusk and dawn, so those anglers who braved the cool conditions certainly deserved to do well. And they certainly did, with jewfish or mulloway out and about after dark at Yaroomba and Peregian Beaches. During the day, Peregian also produced some good dart and whiting while further up at Sunshine Beach the catch was mostly bream and flathead.
On the National Park headland, the Fairy Pools were good for more jewfish at night and garfish during the day while Dolphin Point yielded the odd surprise catch like cobia. Back in on Main Beach, whiting were biting at First Point and bream were on the chew at the river mouth rock groyne. Across from there on the Noosa North Shore, flathead were on the bite just up from the river mouth and, together with tailor, bream and whiting, up around Teewah township.
ESTUARY: Adam Neilson, Davo's Tackle World... "There were quite a few anglers trying their luck at the river mouth in the early mornings despite the cool conditions and those who put in the time went home with a few keeper size flathead, bream and whiting. And talking about putting in the time. The luderick lads have been working the usual spots at the mouth for the last week or so without much luck. Until Tuesday. That's when local angler Brian Smith (below left) picked up this 1.0kg specimen on 'Coolum Cabbage' just below the Dog Beach on the last of the run-out. Traditionally we award $100.00 Davo's Tackle World/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week prize to the first luderick of the season so this year that honour goes to Brian. Congratulations mate. Persistence pays.
The blue swimmer crabs were out and about in the lower estuary with the stretch from the Frying Pan to Weyba Creek producing well. The Frying Pan area was also good for whiting on surface lures and the odd quality bream on live yabbies and mullet flesh. From Dan Ollett... "We were fishing for bream on Monday morning on the outgoing using mullet. We were across from Munna Point just catching barely legal size bream when this 39cm snodger (above right) hit. We're here on holidays from Brisbane with another week to go. Hope to catch some more great bream. Regards, Dan and daughter Chantelle." Apart from that, queenfish and tailor were on the prowl in the Current Line and up around Tewantin while the stretch between the lakes held some big schools of herring that were being worked by trevally, estuary cod and mangrove jacks. There were also a few jewfish hanging out in the deeper holes."
Report from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey mate. Pretty good fishing around the traps this week. Golden trevally and barbwire queenfish were the main species caught around the bar and Woods Bays/Coast Guard area. John Scouller (above left) caught and released his 65cm golden in the Woods on Monday afternoon's charter and Isaac from Buderim (above right) landed a 69cm specimen there on Tuesday morning's charter. Both fish went for whole whitebait. Also got a couple flathead at the current line on the ebbing tide. The bream were thick pretty much everywhere we went. Weyba fished ok for flathead, we just had to cover a fair amount of ground for what we got. And still some large schools of little trevally getting around the Tewantin area."
FRESHWATER: Grant Budd, Davo's Bait and Tackle Marcoola... "The impoundments warmed up with hotter daytime and evening temps early in the week. Both Lake Macdonald and Borumba Dam have seen fat bass smashing the bait and putting on a bit of size. These fish are still down deep with smaller fish coming mid water in tight schools. Break out anything that vibrates and around 50-70mm in size. The new Samaki Redic 60mm Turbo Mullet looks like a baitfish and is sure to get the bite for those working jerkbaits. If you are working the deeper schools then try the Keitech 3” Easy Shiner in Holts Herring colour with a fine wire TT Headlockz jig head around 3/8th weight. If you're after a saratoga, keep your eyes peeled with your polaroids on. A small surface lure cast in their vicinity will get their attention. They have an amazing lateral line and pick up on the smallest vibration. They will take their time before they take your lure off the top but when they do its well worth it! Check out the Jackson Risk Baits and ChaseBaits Cicadas.