OFFSHORE: Wow! Pretty much a record for the shortest offshore week in recent memory. We had a lovely day on Friday and a perfect Saturday morning with light variable northerly winds prevailing. After that, however we were hit with strong south easterlies and a steady build up of outside swell and seas destined for the 2 to 3 metre mark. And that was it. Apart from lots of rain. Not sure if we needed any more of the wet stuff but it's certainly preferable to bush fires.
While conditions permitted, Double Island Point and marks wide of there were certainly worth the effort with amberjack, Spanish mackerel, longtail tuna, cod and jobfish on the bite. From Cameron 'Hallsy' Hall, above... "Hey legends. Had no work for the Friday so with the wind and conditions looking epic I called a few mates but only one was able to get the day off. So Bazz and myself packed the rods, gear and a whopping 350l of fuel. Luckily no more as she only just got up on the plane ha ha. Shot out from Noosa to sound some ground way out in no man's land. What seemed endless sounding definitely worked in our favour. Found a spot in 70m of water that seemed untouched. Bait balls everywhere so mac tuna was strip baited and heavy weights to get down as current was nuts... north to south so long drifts were the only option. Snagged some good species. A lot of gear was lost to sharks and a gaff to the bottom of the foot will make a good story for a few years. Was a trip you only get in a blue moon will be rubbing it in to the boys that didn't pull a sicky come Monday. Cheers, Hallsy." Cameron's standout green jobfish and trout cod won him this week's $100.00 Davo's Tackle World/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week prize.
Ahead of the weather change, the fish were on the chew big time, and those who took advantage of Saturday morning's window sure reaped the rewards. Jamie Watkins from Gympie (above) picked up this 80cm, 5.5kg snapper out on North Reef on Saturday morning. It went for a live slimy mackerel.
Also out on the middle reef belt, local angler Ryan White (above) was on his way to Chardon's Reef from Sunshine Reef with a couple of mates on Saturday morning when his trolled Halco hard body lure (a Red Head Laser Pro, best we can gather) was smashed by this quality 12kg wahoo.
From a bit closer to home, we received this report and photo from Cougar One skipper Nat Turner... "Hey mate. We fished Sunshine Reef on a five hour charter on Saturday morning. Pretty good conditions with a slight current from the north. We caught coral trout, grass sweetlip, Moses perch, venus tusk fish and a few reef sharks. This trout (pictured above) was was the standout and came in just as we called last drop. Cheers, Nat."
Brian Lynchi from Tewantin (above) targeted Hall's Reef on Saturday morning but finding little or no action there, headed over to Sunshine. Not a bad move, actually, as shortly after getting there his trolled hard body lure was monstered by this 9.5kg Spaniard. Oh, and he picked up a decent size spotty as well.
And from Trekka 2 skipper Mitch Bertacchini... "We did a five hour trip to Sunshine Reef on Saturday morning. Conditions were beautiful with very little wind and a light run of current to the south. We caught school and (above) Spanish mackerel, grass emperor, pearl perch, tusk fish, snapper and Moses perch."
Arkwright Shoal and the waters off Peregian also produced a few longtail tuna, spotted mackerel and Spanish mackerel, as did the Hall's Reef stretch in Laguna Bay. Nicole Robinson from Cooroibah (above) was one of many who headed into the bay on Saturday morning ahead of the forecast south easterly blow. There was no surface activity where they dropped anchor but her slimy mackerel floater attracted the attention of this 9.5kg Spaniard and that was all she was hoping for. Without a net or gaff (pays to be prepared) they had to tire the fish out and gill it at the side of the boat. Job done, they headed back in.
ESTUARY: Report from Adam Neilson, Davo's Tackle World... "It was pretty quiet on the fishing front as the weather has kept a lot of people off the water. For those who did venture out the jacks were still in good numbers in the lower half of the system. Flathead and whiting were in reasonable numbers in the deeper channels of the Dog Beach and Frying Pan on the run-out tide. A few trevally are being caught at the current line in the early hours of the morning while jacks were active around the back of the Sound at night. Trevally on the surface early in the morning, and some nice whiting from the shallows just upstream from the Munna Point Bridge. There have also been reports of good numbers of mud crabs throughout the system."
From Merv Reed, above left... "Surprise catch midday Friday while fishing for flathead near the river mouth. Before being washed out by an early storm. A 49cm mangrove jack. Caught on 12lb monofilament line and 20lb Fluorocarbon trace. Using poddy mullet on ganged hooks. Cheers, Merv." And from Joe Relic, above right... "Hey guys. Thought I’d share a photo of the 47cm mangrove jack that I caught in the river on Tuesday night. Got it on a mullet strip on a 3/0 hook. Mick from Davo's was very helpful with the info that helped us get on to this fish. Much appreciated. My first for the species! Kind regards, Joe."
And we received this report from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey Bill. The weather has been a little restrictive but when we have headed out we still managed a decent catch. Plenty of school trevally and flathead around the Woods Bays. The sand flats in the Frying Pan fished well for whiting. Nothing of great size but in good numbers. Tewantin had plenty of bream, javelin fish and flathead around Lake Doonella on the run out. Pictured (above) is Dee from Brisbane with her 58cm dusky. Caught and released on a livie on Tuesday's night charter."
FRESHWATER: From Grant Budd, Davo's Northshore Bait and Tackle... "The recent rise in water levels has seen a lot of grass floating on the surface of the dams which can ruin well placed surface lures. This is a great time to fish diving lures and slow rolled soft plastics in the 3” paddle tail size. For a lure that has a great swim take a look at Berkley Nemesis in Bloodworm. This has a great action when jigged and is sure to get the attention of any passing or schooled up bass or yellowbelly. The ChaseBaits Mudbug is also another great option for those looking to mimic a small red claw. Lake Macdonald has been overflowing for weeks now and is also rather quiet. It is a case of having a few lures out the back like the Rapala Jerkbait shallow and Ecogear SX48 and running sounders while trying to find the fish. The usual spots of the Bubble Trail and Three Ways appear to hold fish but they are definitely on the move so good luck.