OFFSHORE: Moderate to fresh variable westerlies dominated earlier in the week. As a result, most of the weekend offshore fishing was focused in close in the lea of the land where conditions were more settled. A swing to variable easterlies in the latter half of the week, however, roughed up the exposed reefs somewhat and limited the small boat options, but it was still fishable if you were keen. For the bigger boats, of course, it was pretty much business as usual.
The middle reef belt was about as far as anyone cared to go this week. The only reports, though, were from North Reef where snapper, cobia and cod were on the bite. From closer in, we received this report and photos (above and below left) from Cougar One skipper Mitch Bertacchini... "Hey Bill. We did a seven hour trip to Sunshine Reef on Saturday. Conditions were quite good with a steady westerly wind and little swell. The fishing was up and down... good at one spot, dead at the next, but we boated some quality fish such as venus tuskfish, cobia, grass emperor, snapper, moses perch and pearl perch."
And again, later in the week... "Hey Bill. We did a five hour trip on Wednesday. The weather wasn’t ideal but we did the best we could with what we had. I’m pretty sure it blew from every direction possible, making anchoring a chore. We caught painted sweetlip, grass emperor (as above right), cobia and snapper."
In Laguna Bay, snapper and the odd cobia were on the bite at Jew Shoal around first light and, together with grass sweetlip, along the Hall's Reef stretch.
COASTAL: From Adam Neilson, Tackle World Noosa... "Whiting and dart were in good numbers on the open beaches this week with some quality fish on the bite at Peregian Beach and (together with flathead and bream) at Castaways Beach and further up at the northern end of Sunshine Beach.
Flathead, bream and whiting were also biting at the river mouth rock groyne, and around Teewah village on the North Shore, while dart were active at D.I."
ESTUARY: From Adam Neilson, Tackle World Noosa... "The water clarity has improved quite substantially throughout the system so the better results tended to come from low light (dusk through till dawn) sessions and the dull, overcast days. Flathead were active on the run-out tide at the river mouth while whiting were going for prawns, yabbies and small surface lures on the flats and drop offs in the Frying Pan. Bream and golden trevally were in good numbers, especially around high tide, with some good fish coming from the river mouth car park rocks and up along the 'Platforms' stretch.
And the luderick came on strong over the weekend along 'The Platforms' stretch at the river mouth and then slowly went off the chew as the week progressed. In the video compilation above, Bob Cameron, Colin Russell and John 'Cobby' Cobb show us how it's done. Below, Bob and Cobby are pictured with a couple of these feisty sportfish. Moving along, golden trevally, diamond trevally, queenfish and tailor were on the prowl along the Current Line and in the outer Woods Bay while whiting and bream were on the bite in Weyba Creek. Upriver at Tewantin, bream and javelin fish were schooling around the Noosa Marina while further up, school jewfish were responding well to soft plastics and live fish baits in the deeper holes. Early morning sessions worked well there."
There was the odd standout trophy fish as well. From Marcus Locke, below... "Hi there. My brother Chris took me out for a fish late Wednesday night. We put some serious hours in with the rain and cold but it was well worth the effort! This monster Diamond Trevally was caught on a 6” Zerek Cherabin soft plastic and after a very difficult fight (made worse by not having a landing net on board) we released it to fight another day. This was the biggest fish I’ve caught so far, and safe to say I’ll be making the trip back to Noosa again soon! Thanks for reading, Marcus Locke." The smile says it all but put it together with the story and this absolute stonker trevally and it ticked all the boxes to win Marcus this week's $100.00 Tackle World Noosa/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week prize.
And the canals produced well. Declan Naylor (below right) caught and released this nice jack in Noosa Waters on Sunday morning. It went for a live herring.
From Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hi Bill. The Woods Bays were a little bit hit and miss this week but we did manage a couple nice trevally and some good size tailor there. There were also heaps of big sea bream schooling near the river mouth which was a nice added bonus. Ethan from Toowoomba (pictured above left) caught and released this thumper 38cm specimen there on Friday morning's charter. It went for a whole prawn bait."
"Upriver, flathead and trevally were active around Tewantin while up towards, and inside, Lake Cooroibah we picked up heaps of moses perch, some good flathead and lots of bream. Rowan from Noosa (pictured above left) caught this 60cm (est.) flathead on Sunday morning's charter and Kim from Gympie (pictured above right) caught this thumper spotted sicklefish in the same session."
FRESHWATER: Grant Budd, Northshore Bait and Tackle... "Impoundment fishing remains constant with smaller fish schooling up. Over the next month you can expect to find big concentrations of fish hanging around the main basins and dam walls. As mentioned in previous weeks these fish still go through their natural response to breed but can’t because of the walls in their way. Winter time is a great time to fish jigs on bass and the Hot Bite spoons work very well."