OFFSHORE: A bit of an ordinary week for the offshore brigade. It was fishable (if a tad sloppy at times) earlier in the week with fresh (15 to 20 knot+) south westerly winds dominating. Under the circumstances, most of the smaller boats that ventured out chose to work in close in the lee of the land where it was relatively calm. From Tuesday onwards, however, the winds took on a more southerly, and then a south easterly flavour, which effectively shut the offshore gate for a few days. There was a lot more to concern ourselves with, anyway, with dangerous bush fires raging across the Peregian Springs/Beach, Weyba Downs area causing major damage, mass evacuations and road closures. Fortunately, there were no lives lost and no serious injuries that we know of and by Thursday morning the blustery conditions were but a memory and the bar and the bay looked an absolute treat. Looks like a good weekend coming up too.
Under the circumstances the middle reef belt was about as far as anyone cared to venture. Jason Below (above left) boated a gold spot cod at North Reef on Sunday morning while on a five hour Cougar One charter. It went for a half pilchard bait. The rest of the catch was keeper size snapper and pearl perch in good numbers. The following day they worked the waters closer to home... "We fished in close on Sunshine Reef on Monday morning. We were out of the wind and lucky enough to get onto a few yellowtail kingfish. Young Jan from Switzerland (above right) did well to hook his kingy, and with a bit of help from our deckhand Sam Cherry, he was holding it up for a photo not long after. The rest of the catch was grass sweetlip and Moses perch. Cheers, Nat Turner."
Even closer in, Ian Tagg (above) heard a whisper that mackerel and tuna were on the prowl along the North Shore side of Laguna Bay so launched his kayak from the middle rock groyne and headed over that way on Sunday morning. He was trolling a Rapala X-Rap hard body lure along the Halls Reef stretch when it took a massive hit. The mystery fish stripped off a lot of line before it spat the hook. Not long after he hooked up again, this time on a more manageable 8kg (est) Spaniard and, happy with that, headed back in, stopping briefly for a couple of quick pix for the Davo's/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week Competition.
Note: Changes to Fishing Rules in Queensland are now in force as of September 1, 2019. To view all the details in PDF format, simply... CLICK OR TAP HERE.
COASTAL: The surf anglers did quite well this week. Unaffected by the south westerlies, they were out in numbers chasing the pelagics. The rocks at Double Island Point fished well for yellowtail kingfish and tailor while the beach produced whiting, bream and (with drone assistance) Spanish mackerel. South of there, whiting, dart and tailor were active around Teewah township and flathead were on the bite at the bottom end of Teewah Beach. On Main Beach, whiting were in numbers if not size while over at Sunshine Beach the catch was bream, dart, tailor and (again, with drone assistance) Spanish mackerel. From Dave McGregor, below left... "Hi Bill. Got out early on Friday morning and converted a couple of Davo's pillies at Sunshine Beach as the sun came up."
And Kirsty Casey (above right) and her partner popped into Davo's Tackle World on Friday afternoon and picked out a beach combo that would best suit their first attempt at drone fishing. Senior staff member Rob sent them off with a Penn Prevail ll 10' 19kg-24kg overhead surf rod and a Penn Fathom FDH40 overhead reel loaded with 50lb braid. Then on Sunday we received this report and photo, above right... "Hi there. I caught this legend of a Spanish mackerel using mullet strip at Sunshine Beach early Saturday night. Went into Davo's and got a new rod and reel and it came up with the goods. Thanks guys!!! For a size comparison with the photo, I'm 6ft tall and was seriously struggling to hold it upright!! Have a good one, Kirsty." This impressive capture won Kirsty this week's $100.00 Davo's/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week prize. Apart from that, bream, tailor and whiting were biting at Castaways and Peregian Beaches.
ESTUARY: The bread and butter species were out and about in the lower estuary this week with flathead the main target at the river mouth and whiting in good numbers in the Frying Pan. From Alison Girt... "My six six year old son Oliver (below left) went fishing with dad at the break wall on Saturday. He was so excited to catch this 69cm flathead and he pulled it in all on his own!! Nearly as big as him. Released after this quick photo. Regards, Alison."
And from Nic Bosworth, above right... "Hey Chicko. Caught this monster whiting on your live worms at the Frying Pan. Nearly had to call the Westpac helicopter to help us bring it in." Across from there, tailor and queenfish were active around dawn and dusk along the current line and the Woods Bays.
River report from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey Bill. We fished the Dog Beach for bream, flathead and got snipped off a few times there earlier in the mornings. There were also some whiting opposite the Yacht Club feeding on yabbies. The ski runs still producing some bream, flathead and queenfish. The fishing up towards and inside Lake Cooroibah was pretty good with flathead in good numbers throughout the channel on baits and trolled lures, plus GT’s, the odd mangrove jack and small mulloway. Kade from Melbourne (above left) caught and released this healthy 49cm mangrove jack on Saturday's charter. It went for a live biddy. And Brendan Pickering from Melbourne (above right) caught and released this 90cm flathead on Sunday's charter."
"And later in the week, Jesse from Melbourne (above left) caught and released this 75cm flathead on a live worm up in Tewantin." As mentioned, jewfish or mulloway were active up towards Lake Cooroibah and in the deep holes in the stretch between the lakes while mangrove jacks were in ambush mode around the snags. From local angler Zane Hermance, above right... "Sunday morning. It was my first cast and resulted in a hard ten minute fight. I didn't have a clue what I had on the line. My little 1000 was zinging like crazy then this beast finally broke surface... 94cm of a jewie. Couldn't believe my eyes. Released safely."
FRESHWATER: The impoundments are warming up and as we move further into spring the saratoga should be holding their young in their mouths. This will mean they will be quieter but very hungry once they let them go. Some big bass are making their presence felt in Lake Macdonald and getting caught around the weed edges on suspending jerk baits. The Norries Laydown minnow is perfect for this area, just be sure to have a long pause between ripping it.