OFFSHORE: No complaints from the offshore boys this week with light to moderate variable winds and a modest swell the norm rather than the exception. The bar was quite straight forward most days although there were still a few boaties who found that a bit of patience and better timing would have helped them avoid an early morning bath or a bit of air time. The good news was that the reef fish and the pelagics were out and about and looking for a feed.
Double Island Point was well and truly on the cards this week. Report and photo from Trekka 2 skipper Mitch Bertacchini... "Hey mate. We did a nine hour charter to D. I. on Saturday. The conditions were pretty good with light winds and little current. The fishing started out a little slow but soon picked up after a few moves. We caught pearl perch, venus tusk fish, moses perch, snapper, gold spot cod, grass emperor, fry pan snapper and (as above left) scarlet sea perch." And Patrick 'Paddy' Walker (above right) landed a yellowfin tuna and two Spanish mackerel at D. I. (both firsts for him) while trolling what he now calls his 'Lucky Lure', a Halco Laser Pro hard body that his mum found washed up on the beach and gifted to him a while ago.
Closer to home, from the middle reef belt, this report and photos from Wild Thing 2 skipper Nat Turner... "We fished North Reef on a seven hour charter on Tuesday morning. We had great conditions with 5 to 10 knots of SW wind and minimal current. Found a nice rock holding lots of slimy mackerel and we converted them into some quality fish. The standout was an 82cm coral trout which tipped the scales at 7.5kg. Paul McGrath from Newcastle (above left) was happy with that. The rest of our catch was pearl perch, snapper, gold spot cod and Moses perch. Above right, Jason Burns from Newcastle with a nice pearly."
Local angler Josh Collins (above) headed out early on Saturday and spent the morning fishing Chardon's Reef without much luck. Actually, he did hook a few decent fish but the sharks were on hand to tax his catch more often than not. Moving in close on Sunshine Reef later, however, was the game changer. He gave the tax department the slip and his live yakka baits attracted the attention of two decent trout, one tipping the scales at 5.2kg and the other, 4.4kg.
Report and photo from Chicko Vella, Davo's Tackle World... "Well we promised trout and here they are. We laboured hard on Monday. The fish were timid ! It seemed like a midday bite, because they came ON!, all of a sudden. Boated some nice strawberry ones , along with tusk fish, grass sweetlip, pearl perch and spotty mackerel. Bar crossing was a breeze, but current into wind wasn't favourable. Here's Arron McCurdy getting a trout sandwich from his two sons!"
Dave Nettleton, above, has been out of action for over six months after surgery for a torn rotator cuff. His right arm still isn't fully functional but regardless, he motored out to Sunshine Reef on Wednesday morning and tried his luck on the trout. As you can see, he hit the jackpot when this 6.5kg bar cheek took a liking to his live yakka bait. Dave struggled to boat his catch but he managed the task eventually, despite his disability. A second hookup saw him bricked in the reef but Dave was more than content with 'just the one' and headed home a happy man. And one from Lachie Hall-Brown, below left... "Hey Bill. I am 12 from Peregian Beach and I was astonished by this 72cm coral trout. This beast weighed in at 4.8kg. It was my mate Charlie's birthday and he decided to take a couple friends out offshore fishing on Wild Thing 2. I dropped a live yakka down on a paternoster rig and it chomped it completely. Cheers, Lachie."
Laguna Bay was still thick with bait and tuna. Mike Duncan (above right) was trolling a whole bonito behind his jet ski along the Hall's Reef stretch on Thursday morning when this thumper 44.5kg yellowfin swallowed it whole and took off at speed. It took Mike an hour (his reel was loaded with 30lb braid) before he managed to get the fish to the side of his jet ski and another 10 minutes of struggle to subdue it and drag it on board. Not hard to see why we awarded Mike and his fish this week's $100.00 Davo's/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week prize. To our knowledge it's a website record for a tuna. Well done mate.
Finally, from Brenton Mumme, above... "Hi Bill. Went out early Monday morning to North Reef. After a few hours with not much to show we made the call the come in to Halls. After spending a few hours there with not much luck we were about to head for the pub when my floater out the back went off. After a decent fight I managed to land the fish and it went 120cm. There were group hugs and fist pumps all around and you couldn't wipe the smile off my face."
COASTAL: Conditions were great on the open beaches this week and the fish were hungry. On the south side, jewfish were out and about at Yaroomba Beach after dark and dart were well spread with some good fish landed at Peregian Beach and the northern end of Sunshine Beach. North of there, snapper were active off the National Park headland rocks at Hell's Gates and spotty mackerel were feeding in close off the Fairy Pools. Dart were also in good numbers around the river mouth rock groyne while whiting (to 35cm) were biting in the surf gutters around Teewah township on the Noosa North Shore.
Young Hayden Martin (above) fished the river mouth rock groyne early on Saturday morning with his father Terry. While I was there filming the daily bar crossing between 6.00am and 7.00am they picked up some good keeper size swallowtail dart and one small shark using mullet chunks and green prawns.
ESTUARY: The lower estuary was pretty quiet this week with just the odd flathead on the prowl at the river mouth and a few decent whiting in the Frying Pan. Report from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey Bill. We caught some nice flathead around the river mouth on the ebbing tide. The Woods Bays had a few trevally and there were bream around the current line. Plenty of little trevally all along the Gympie Terrace and Hilton Terrace stretches early in the morning. We also got some bream and small mulloway up in Lake Cooroibah. Pictured (below left) is Dan Penny with a 70cm flathead, caught at the river mouth. Later, upriver towards the first lake, he and his mate Alfy caught a couple of pup mulloway using whole whitebait. All fish were released."
Flathead were also reported on the bite in Weyba Creek while small trevally and the odd thumper grunter bream were out and about throughout the system. The odd 50cm+ grunter was reported cruising the Dog Beach/Sand Bags area and, along with queenfish, up around Tewantin. From Matt Trigar... "Morning Bill. My son Spencer and I had a great weekend chasing flathead in the river and some quality fish around the first lake whilst trolling our favourite lures. My young fella was keen to get into some casting as well so we ventured back towards Tewantin for a little practice session with our Sugapen surface lures. After a few casts he had the technique sorted and landed this beauty of a queenfish after a couple of great runs and jumps out of the water. For a while there he wasn't too sure if the run would ever stop! Released to fight another day after a couple of quick photos. Cheers, Matt."
From Paul Taylor, below left... "Hi Bill. I caught this 55cm grunter bream on Sunday at Makepeace Island. He took an 8.5cm Gladiator Prawn lure. I have not seen or caught one this big before and thought that it was worthy of entry in Fish of the Week. Cheers, Paul."
Whiting and flathead were also active in the stretch from Makepeace up. From Ben Robertson, Coolum Beach... "Hey Bill. Took my six year old daughter Holly (pictured above right) for a fish up at Lake Cooroibah on Saturday. It was pretty quiet and we were doing our best to shelter under the Bimini from the rain. On the way home, trolling a pink 50mm Zerek Tango Shad, she hooked this 67cm lizard. The smile says it all. Thanks, Ben."