OFFSHORE: Offshore the winds have been a mixed bag of calm to gusting. Most days we have seen light winds early morning, building in the afternoon. This has seen the local reefs more popular and the south east winds have made Sunshine Reef and Jew Shoal two great options. With snapper, pearl perch and sweetlip on offer to 60cm this is the time to run lighter 5-8kg spin outfits. The middle reef belt was also worth a look, especially in the morning sessions. The tinnies got the short end of the stick later in the week, however, as the swell on the bar took on an easterly flavour and moved into the 1.5m to 2.0m range.
Report and photos (above and below left) from Cougar One skipper Mitch Bertacchini... "Hey Bill. We’ve been quite busy lately with the holidays. We did a couple of five hour trips on Friday in perfect conditions. No wind and a slight current to the south. One trip to North Reef and the other to Sunshine Reef. The fishing was quite good with both reefs producing snapper, pearl perch, cobia, moses perch, tusk fish and plenty of grass emperor. Regards, Mitch."
And when conditions permitted, a run up north was always on the cards. Report and photo (above right) from Trekka 2 skipper Nat Turner... "Hey Bill. We had a busy week getting out every day with pretty good results. On the nine hour trips to Double Island Point we caught snapper, mulloway, scarlet sea perch, pearl perch, tusk fish and amberjack. Closer to home, Sunshine Reef fished well for coral trout, pearl perch, cobia and the odd snapper. Cheers, Nat."
In Laguna Bay the bait schools were still in good numbers, attracting small pelagics such as juvenile mack and longtail tuna and school mackerel. Apart from that, Jew Shoal was good for sweetlip and snapper, as was Hall's Reef but with the added bonus there of cobia and the odd bigger longtail. From Dan White, above left... "Hi Bill. A great soft plastic session at Jew Shoal on Friday morning. Tom cleaned up with some squire (best 54cm) and sweetlip (best 56cm) and was smoked on the last drop of the morning. Gulp 4inch Grubs did most of the damage. Glassy conditions and a couple of whales to top it off. Cheers, Dan."
The photo above right is of 'Best Photo' Snapper Challenge winner Marc Horton-Stephens collecting his $450.00 Spotters/Tackle World prize package.
COASTAL: Some good results from the open beaches and rocky points this week with golden trevally making their presence felt off the rocks at Yaroomba. Whiting were in good numbers with the standouts coming from Peregian Beach (where dart were schooling), Castaways Beach (together with flathead) and at the northern end of Sunshine Beach (along with bream) and off the rocks, small cobia. There were also a few elbow slappers on the bite in Alexandria Bay.
On the National Park headland, longtail tuna, cobia and rat yellowtail kingfish were within casting distance off the rocks at Hells Gates while tailor were schooling around the Fairy Pools. Apart from that whiting were biting on Main Beach and, along with flathead and good size bream, around Teewah village.
ESTUARY: Report and photos from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey Bill. The fishing has been pretty good to us this week. There were still quality flathead and some really good whiting around the river mouth. Jill from Bundaberg (below right) boated this flathead there on Wednesday morning's charter. And Lou from Caloundra (below left) caught and released this absolute horse of a stargazer near the Dog Beach on the same day. The Woods Bays were a little bit hit and miss but we got a couple of flathead and bream there. Weyba Creek was also good for flathead and whiting. Around Goat Island we got quite a few nice whiting and the odd long tom when we were hiding from the wind. The Tewantin ski runs produced some nice queenfish and trevally."
And from Adam Neilson, Davo's Tackle World... "The flathead were still active at the river mouth in the deeper channels on the runout tide while whiting were in good numbers in the Frying Pan and across the Munna Flats. Baitfish from the bay were drawing in the trevally with the Sand Bags, Current Line and the Culgoa/Munna Point stretch seeing some good early morning surface action at times. The back of Noosa Sound was still a good option for jacks at night.
Weyba Creek was another whiting hot spot, with live prawns and yabbies working well, while the Gympie Terrace stretch produced some good trevally, despite the boat traffic. Ky Edwards (above) was fishing near O-Boats on Gympie Terrace around lunchtime on Thursday when this 49cm golden trevally tried, unsuccessfully, to run off with his whole prawn bait. It took him ten minutes to land it and he was looking forward to a fresh fish dinner that night.
A few elbow slapper whiting were also biting along the Noosaville stretch. The Pearl family, who are holidaying in Noosa, hit the jackpot on Friday when they came across a hungry school eager to snack on their live prawn and sand worm baits. Daughters Hayley and Caitlyn (above left) are pictured with just two of their standouts, the biggest of which was 44cm. Further upriver, flathead were on the prowl at the Council Chambers while mangrove jacks and jewfish were on the bite at the mouth, and at the top of, Lake Cooroibah. From Charles Sweeney, above right... "G'day. My name is Charles and I come from Noosa. On Thursday me and my dad were fishing just past the first lake and I caught this silver Jewfish. It was 76cm. I caught it on a mullet strip. Cheers, Charles."
FRESHWATER: Grant Budd, Davo's Northshore Bait and Tackle Marcoola... "The bass are currently a popular target as the saratoga move toward breeding. The water temperatures continue to climb although we did see a short cold snap which quietened things down a bit. For now, break out the spinnerbaits and work them over dense timber and points. These areas will see the fish seeking cover but will break cover and come flying out and smash your lure as it passes overhead. Another option are weedless ZMan Slim SwimZ and Keitechs flicked along the weedy edges for bass and steeper edges for a yellowbelly.
From Toby Hunting, above... "Hi guys, I'd like to enter the fish of the week competition with my 46cm bass. I caught it in Lake Macdonald on Friday in the middle basin where it splits of into three legs. It was my first ever bass and I was quite excited. At the time, we were trolling hard bodied divers. I caught this beast on a 75mm Atomic Hard Shiner in Blood Red. I initially snapped my rod (not pulling up a big fish sadly) getting out of a snag. I was using a spare rod and it was like good karma. The fish was released safely. The day was very calm with little to no wind basically until we were packing up. Thanks guys. Regards, Toby." His detailed report and quality catch and release earned Toby this week's $100.00 Davo's Tackle World/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week prize.