OFFSHORE: The bar was a bit gnarly earlier in the week. Not a big swell but the sets packed a bit of a punch, catching a few weekend warriors by surprise. There were no incidents, though, and things settled down as the week drew to a close. By Thursday, in fact, there was barely a ripple on the channel. The northerly winds continued their run, making life a tad uncomfortable for the smaller boats at times, but all in all it wasn't a bad week for the offshore boys.
The good news, of course, was that the fishing was excellent, especially for those anglers able to go the distance. Cougar One kicked their week off with three consecutive nine hour charters to Double Island Point and came back with plenty of top quality fish. Report from skipper Nat Turner... "Hey Bill. We had an absolute ripper run on our D.I. trips with good conditions and a lot of quality fish boated from Friday through until Sunday. We caught snapper (as above) gold band snapper (pictured below left), thumper pearl perch to 65cm, cobia, venus tusk fish, jewfish or mulloway, moses perch, lots of scarlet sea perch or nannygai on Sunday (below right) and a few gold spot cod. Not a lot of current to speak of but we did have a mahi mahi come by for a look. Cheers, Nat."
Below left is Marcus with a good example of the quality of the pearl perch boated on those charters. And Peter 'Pedro' Doff (below right) fished D.I. with a few mates on Monday and had a blinder. First off he dropped a good mahi mahi beside the boat, much to his disappointment, but later made up for it when this 14kg red emperor took his yakka bait. The rest of the catch was pearl perch to 3kg and grass sweetlip to 5kg. Peter was pretty pumped when he weighed in his standout red at Davo's and will be even more so, I think, when he learns his fish won this week's $100.00 Davo's/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week prize.
Apart from that, there was plenty of action closer to home with coral trout, cobia, Spanish mackerel and spotted mackerel out and about on Sunshine Reef.
Report and photos from Trekka 2 skipper Mitch Bertacchini... "Hey Bill. We ran a five hour charter to Sunshine Reef on Sunday. Conditions were a bit lumpy with a crappy swell from the north east making the bar hard work with not a very big gap between the sets. We caught yellowtail kingfish (as above), grass emperor, coral trout (far bottom left), cobia (as pictured directly below), painted sweetlip, venus tusk fish, longtail (northern bluefin) tuna and flathead."
And from Chicko Vella, Davo's Tackle World... "We've been bombarded with northerly winds which are expected this time of year, so out and back early makes good sense. After our Offshore Fishing Club Xmas party Ollie Gettinby (below right) put his hand up for just that. Tuesday's 4.00am departure was one the hardest exits I've had to endure from the Sand Bags through to the mouth. Just in gear bumping most of the way due to the very narrow snake like channels and low tide!! But once out, happy days. Completed a few hours session on Sunshine Reef, perfect current, wind mild early. Worked hard for our fish, landing several sweetlip. Hi fives all round when three coral trout were boated. A Spanish on the floater didn't make the 75cm measure. Cheers, Chicko."
It looks like the local yak anglers have come out of their extended hibernation. From Elliot Gray, below left... "Hey Mate. Launched off Sunshine Beach on Monday morning. Caught this 95cm spotty trolling a slimy mackerel behind my kayak. Oh, and also picked up a 48cm grass sweetlip. Cheers, Elliott."
And from Rodney Brook, above right... "Launched at south Peregian with Animal and Gravity about 5.00am on Tuesday. Shore break was not nice and after watching both get out easy I struggled to get a break. Third attempt I hit a lull and was out. Woohoo! Trolled a soft plastic and a slimy for a hour or two before my big rod went off. Result, one 79cm Spanish. Woohoo! On the board! What next as I only had one Spanish rig? Happy with the fish in hatch I changed up both rigs to bottom bouncing and a soft plastic on the light rod. First cast ahead and put in holder and started to bottom bounce and in a few minutes the little rod (2-5kg Penn Power Stick) went off . Shit, this could be interesting and after about a 20 minute fight I see a (110cm on the brag mat) cobia beside my yak. It was spent so I took my time to sink the gaff in and into the hatch. Woohoo! They might have heard me on the beach. So pumped!"
COASTAL: The open beaches were pretty quiet this week with north Sunshine Beach being the standout on the south side. Flathead, bream and dart were the active species there while along from there, keeper size cobia were on the prowl within casting distance of the rocks at Hells Gates. Around the corner, Dolphin Point produced good trevally, chopper tailor and small flathead. Across Laguna Bay, flathead, whiting and the odd quality dart were active in the surf gutters around Teewah village while up towards the top end it was Spanish mackerel (small), yellowtail kingfish and, off the northern end, giant trevally
ESTUARY: The usual suspects were active at the river mouth with whiting in the shallows around high tide, bream and flathead on the chew on the runout. Hamish from New South Wales (below) boated this 33cm bream near the mouth on Friday while on a Noosa River Fishing Safari. It went for a whole prawn.
And Yvonne Radloff from Rockhampton, Queensland (below left) caught this 62cm flathead at the river mouth. It went for a Davo's frogmouth pilchard on 3x ganged hooks. Mangrove jacks were on the prowl after dark out from the river mouth car park rocks, the Dog Beach snags and around the boats in the outer Woods Bay. There were also a few lizards in the Woods. Mark from New Zealand (below right) caught this flathead there on Saturday while on a Noosa River Fishing Safari. It went for a whitebait floater. Apart from that, the Culgoa/Munna Point/Noosa Sound stretch was good for big eye trevally and jacks at night
Upriver, flathead, bream, golden trevally, tarpon and a few estuary cod were on the bite around Tewantin from dawn till dusk while mangrove jacks were on the prowl after dark. Whiting were biting in the Lake Cooroibah boat channel while between the lakes it was, as usual, mangrove jacks, jewfish and trevally.
FRESHWATER: With Lake Macdonald open again after the recent bush fires we have seen some chunky bass just over the 45cm mark hitting a variety of suspending lures cast or trolled along the weed edges. Borumba had a mixed bag of yellowbelly, bass and toga taking a wide range of lures with slow trolled spinnerbaits working well. Be on the water early during the holidays to beat the heat and the boats and navigate with care through the timber sections.