OFFSHORE: It was all on for the weekend warriors this time around with light to moderate (10 to 15 knot) variable westerlies prevailing through until Monday afternoon. After that, fresh to strong south easterly winds restricted most offshore activity to the relative shelter of Laguna Bay. On the upside, the tuna were on the boil not far from the bar, and beyond, with plenty of small mack tuna breaking the surface. The larger longtails were lurking beneath them.
While the going was good though, the outer reefs were worth a look. From Wills Palfry, above left... "Hey Bill. We fished The Hards on Sunday. About 50km offshore and what a day! The fishing was excellent. First spot was on fire with big pearlies, snapper and a gold band snapper. We were also lucky to have an encounter with a white pointer that hung around the boat for about 20 minutes while we were on anchor. He started getting more aggressive coming closer and closer charging at the boat then he struck at the propeller so we full throttled out of there and got out of his way. So amazing to see. Cheers, Wills."
And we received this report from Trekka 2 skipper Nat Turner... "Hey Bill. Looks like the change of seasons is upon us with crisp wintry mornings We fished Double Island Point on Saturday for quality gold band snapper (as above), amberjack, pearl perch and squire in good numbers. Not much current to speak of.
There were also plenty of squire about on the closer reefs. Sunshine Reef and North Reef have produced good numbers of those for us with the better fish coming on the old faithful paternoster rigs. North Reef has also produced quality cobia (as pictured above), moses perch and good pearl perch. Cheers, Nat."
Closer to home, Sunshine Reef was again a good option for the small boat brigade and yak anglers. From Jason Milne, above and below... "Hi Bill. Snuck out for a fish around Sunshine Reef. There was very little sign of any pelagics about so the focus was on bottom bashing which returned some great table fish. Best bite time was on the hour after the tide change with baits hard on the bottom. Pilchards, either whole or chunks, got the better bite. Cheers, Jason."
As mentioned, Laguna Bay held plenty of mack tuna and the odd longtail, especially later in the week when the blustery south easterly winds chopped up the exposed reefs. There were also a few Spanish mackerel on the prowl in the stretch from Big Hall's Reef to Stingray's on the North Shore side of the bay.
COASTAL: Adam Neilson, Tackle World Noosa... "School jewfish were responding well to live beach worms and fresh mullet slabs in the Coolum/Yaroomba area while whiting, tailor and dart were on the chew at Peregian Beach. Flathead and whiting were biting at Castaways Beach and, together with bream, at the northern end of Sunshine Beach. On the Noosa North Shore, whiting, dart and flathead were active around Teewah village and up at Double Island Point.
From Dave McGregor, above... "Hi Bill. I called into Davo's on my way out of town. I'm heading off to chase the mackerel around Australia over the winter. First stop Teewah Beach! On Monday afternoon I pinned a live yakka on and after about 10 minutes I had a huge strike..... LOL, on a beautiful Davo's saurie that I had floating on a short string In front!! My first hitchhiker. The livie was smashed soon after only to drop whatever it was, probably a longie. I had scoped the beach earlier and took the frame up to a nice gutter around zone 3 and scored this thumper on the low tide just after dark. The rest of the catch was seven spot dart, whiting and tarwhine off the beach using pilly fillets as pippies were scarce. My local has given me a dream send off! Cheers, Dave."
ESTUARY: River report from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey mate. The river is still fishing reasonably well. The water temperature is certainly dropping off though. The Woods Bays and river mouth/lower estuary stretch fished well this week for flathead in very good numbers. Pictured (below) is Cooper from Tasmania with a 70cm specimen which he caught in that area on Saturday afternoon's charter. We mainly fished the Tewantin ski runs and the Lake Cooroibah area most of the week though, catching moses perch, bream, tarwhine, flathead, tailor and the odd trevally."
And from Adam Neilson, Tackle World Noosa... "Flathead were on the prowl on the run-out tide at the river mouth. Flicking small plastics like the Powerbait Minnow into the passing current and working it along the drop offs is a great way to find them. Bait anglers using simple running sinker rigs will also pick them up with small strips of mullet. Golden trevally were also reported on the high tide in the deep channels at the mouth and together with queenfish and tailor, at the Current Line. Whiting were schooling on the sand flats and drop offs in the Frying Pan and, together with bream and flathead, in Weyba Creek.
Upriver at Tewantin, bream and javelin fish were in good numbers around the Noosa Marina while school jewfish were active in the deeper holes throughout. From Michael Whitehead, above... "G’day guys - with the cooler weather and the mullet beginning to congregate in the lower river I figured jewies might be on the prowl too, so took the yak out Monday morning to have a look around. I was flicking the 7gm Major Craft Jigpara jig and was thrilled when this 66cm beauty picked it up off the bottom and took off with it. He took close to 100m of line off me on the first run, then when I started to get a bit back I just let him tow me and the yak around a bit. A few pics and he was on his way back to join the rest of the mob. Cheers." Michael's artful fish photos, quality catch and release and toothy smile (we don't usually see his face) won him this week's $100.00 Tackle World Noosa/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week prize.
FRESHWATER: Grant Budd, Northshore Bait and Tackle... "Freshwater still ticks along with the impoundment waters starting to clear up following the heavier rains. Many anglers are looking forward to the big schools which will hold in the lower main parts of the main basins. While we wait for this the warmer weedy edges are where you will find bigger bass. Try throwing smaller suspending lures with a twitch and pause retrieve for the big hit. If after a lure then look at the Zerek Tango Shad 50mm which is a great baitfish size sure to tempt a strike. Late in the day when the sun is higher and things heat up you can try surface for toga. It will be tough as they have excellent eyesight but the strike makes it worth the effort. Should you catch one be sure to keep it in the net to recover and calm down. They are easier to handle after time in a net which makes for a safer experience for not only the fish but yourself."