OFFSHORE: Not one of our better weeks. Light to moderate to fresh variable westerlies over the weekend morphed into moderate to fresh south easterlies for the rest of the week. Not ideal, but certainly fishable, if you were keen and happy to stick to Laguna Bay. The swell was up, though, so the bar was gnarly at times. It was 'cold as' over the weekend with pre-dawn temperatures down around the ten degree mark as a result of little or no cloud cover. On the upside it meant blue skies later in the morning, and with the pelagics still around that translated into a few good, if somewhat chilly, days on the local reefs.
Prior to the blustery conditions the outer reefs were still an option. From Dave Leonard... "Hey Bill. Nick Jones and I were chasing the pelagics out wide and got some good results on sailfish (as above) in the morning. In the arvo, in closer, we got Spanish." Nick is pictured below left releasing a healthy specimen.
And from Finn Horton-Stephens, above right... "A dream come true! Me and my dad were trolling a whole garfish out wide when a 50kg marlin took it and went leaping along the surface. Followed it with the boat and after a tough two hours of wrestling this great looking fish came to the side of the boat. We quickly got some photos and then jumped in the water with it for a swim release. What an amazing day it was. One to definitely remember. Cheers, Finn."
Most anglers stuck to the closer reefs this week though and with just a short three day window to work with, and conditions far from perfect, it was hard yakka, even in the relative shelter of Laguna Bay. Jew Shoal produced a few Spanish mackerel around first light but Hall's Reef was the better overall performer, playing host to northern bluefin or longtail tuna, mack tuna, spotted mackerel and Spanish mackerel. From Joel Hautala... "Hi Bill... Photo (above left) from Friday afternoon at Hall's Reef. Trip out to get some vitamin D went well....now we have 19.2kg of sushi..... Mate Bruce Carroll's first longtail. He was over the moon. His TLD25 didn't know it needed to perform so hard but after 35 minute fight it didn't blow apart. We weighed the fish at Davo's so 19.2kg was exact weight. It went for a drifted live yakka." Photo above right... "Time to enjoy beautiful healthy raw fish with soy and wasabi mix. Cheers, Joel."
And they went out again the next day... "More vitamin D for Saturday for Bruce...a very chilly day...this fish (above) warmed Bruce up with a 15 minute workout. A 10kg Spanish mackerel while bottom fishing a dead pike bait at Halls...!!!!" Joel's in depth commentary on his and Bruce's adventures in Laguna Bay, and the great photos to go with it, well and truly earned him this week's $100.00 Davo's Tackle World/ChaseBaits Australia Fish of the Week prize.
COASTAL: The run up to the full moon phase this week saw the jewfish come out to feed after dark at Yaroomba, Peregian and Castaways Beaches. During the day, Peregian also produced dart and flathead, as did Marcus and Castaways, but with the added bonus of bream and whiting. Further up the coast, the northern end of Sunshine Beach was good for tailor, spotted mackerel and quality bream while the bottom end of Teewah beach yielded dart and flathead.
ESTUARY: River report from Adam Neilson, Davo's Tackle World... "With offshore being a less attractive proposition for the small tinny brigade this week, many anglers focused there attention on the river system. Not a bad option either, with tailor on the bite at the river mouth on the high tide at night and flathead active in the deeper channels on the run-out tide. Quality bream were also worth targeting, and in good numbers, along the Dog Beach stretch.
Across from there, whiting were biting on the sand flats in the Frying Pan while around the corner, big queenfish were on the prowl along the Current Line and throughout the Woods Bays. From Bradley Simpson, above... "I've just moved up to Noosa and have been fishing off Noosa Parade, mainly catching bream, happy moments and trevally. Lucky to catch this Queenfish from the jetty there. I was fishing with chicken pieces marinated in garlic. Cheers, Bradley."
Mangrove jacks were working their usual haunts between dusk and dawn with some good fish reported from the structures and moored boats in the Woods Bays and around the back of Noosa Sound. From Paul Smith, above... "Got this 48cm Jack in the early hours of last Thursday morning out back of the Sound resort. Took off like a freight train. Was using whitebait and only a cheap flathead rig with size 2 hooks. Absolutely beautiful dinner that night had by the family." Queenfish were also reported around the lower end of Weyba Creek and, together with golden trevally and tailor, along the Gympie Terrace stretch. Upriver, school jewfish were on the bite in the first ski run at Tewantin and up between the lakes while the jacks were working the mouth of Lake Cooroibah."