OFFSHORE: As if to make up for last week's extremely ordinary conditions the weather gods certainly turned it on for the offshore brigade this time. Light to moderate variable winds were the norm rather than the exception and a steadily decreasing swell set the scene for quite idyllic conditions on the local reefs. Even better, the fish were well and truly on the bite with all manner of species (reef and pelagic) responding enthusiastically to live baits, flesh baits and lures.
Double Island Point, of course, was a strong favourite with the bigger boats. From Trekka 2 skipper Nat Turner... "Hey Bill. We ran a private full day trip to D.I. on Friday in great conditions. We caught quality red emperor (as above left), tusk fish, Maori cod, tomato cod and mahi mahi. The current was steady to the south. And on Sunday we had a good show of pelagics on the sounder so started off by jigging with great success. After everyone on board had caught a Spaniard or two (as below) we moved on to chase the reef fish. We landed some quality large mouth nannygai (as above right) and pearl perch. Cheers, Nat."
And from out wide we received this report and photo (below left) from Mick Hardcastle Tackle World Noosa... "Hi Bill. Conditions were good on Saturday so we headed to The Hards and got onto a good bite. The snapper and pearl perch were thick and there were a few amberjack in the mix as well. Cheers, Mick."
Plus this from Cassandra Buenen... "Hi Bill. Took my friend Larisse (above right) out fishing on the weekend and after we pulled up a few small 30s models she dragged this PB 74cm coronation trout up! Caught on a chunk of mack tuna as bait at the Barwon Banks. What a weapon! Regards, Cassie."
Closer in, North Reef was a preferred option for anglers looking for clear water. One of those was a very excited Lauren Sawers from Doonan (above) who caught her first ever Spanish mackerel there on Sunday morning and at 9.5kg it was a great debut. She boated her Spaniard using a live yakka on a stinger rig as her draw card. Lauren's quality capture and mega Colgate smile won her this week's $100.00 Tackle World Noosa/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week prize.
And John Reid, below left, was another... "Spanish Mackerel from North Reef on Sunday. Measured 1.1 metres. Picked it up near the bottom on a yakka. Shimano Tyrnos 20II from Davo's got the fish to the boat quickly without being sharked. Note antique Davo's cap on antique skipper. Cheers, John."
Sunshine Reef, however, really produced the goods this week, much to the delight of many. From Alma Karozis, above right... "Hi. This is a picture of me and my very first time offshore fishing, landing this beautiful specimen of a yellowtail kingfish on Saturday. It was one hell of a fight (pulled like a freight train) it was extremely exciting. My lower back and arms had a good workout. I can’t wait for my next trip back out and get amongst it. The bait I used was fresh mac tuna that was caught on the way to Sunshine Reef where the kingfish was landed. Perfect conditions, perfect day, perfect fish! Regards, Alma."
And we received this report and photos (above and below) from Cougar One skipper Mitch Bertacchini... "Hey Bill. We had a very busy weekend on the charters. We did five, seven and nine hour trips and enjoyed beautiful conditions from Sunshine Reef to Double Island Point, and points in between. A flat bar made things even better. The fishing definitely didn’t disappoint either with plenty of variety of fish. We caught painted sweetlip, trevally, tuna, coral trout, school mackerel, spotted mackerel and Spanish mackerel, yellowtail kingfish, venus tusk fish, red throat emperor, snapper, Maori cod and grass emperor."
While Christopher Gibb (below) did well there on Saturday... "Hey Bill. Been a hot bite with the yellowtail kingies lately. Was fishing Sunshine Reef with live yakkas on the weekend and caught this monster. It’s the second big one in two weeks so thought I would share it with you guys. They put up a huge fight!"
Laguna Bay, though, was still worth a shot, especially for the tinny brigade and yak anglers. From Chris Smith... "My fiancé Steph (below) and I ventured out on the kayak on Saturday afternoon as she was keen to get her first Longie. The fish were popping up intermittently, but she eventually managed to sight cast and connect to a good one. What made the catch more special is that she landed it on a 2500 Shimano, 10lb braid and a 3-6kg estuary rod. The fish had her in a bit of pain for 25min before I could grab it. It was a proud moment. With some fresh tuna steaks to refuel the aching muscles I took her out again on Sunday morning at first light and she managed another cracker fish! Both were landed just off the National Park headland. Cheers, Chris."
We also received this report and photo, below left, from Craig Wilson... "Very quiet on North Reef with dirty water and westerly wind chop making it uncomfortable. Went to shelter in the lee of the sand dunes at Teewah Reef and scored this 80cm gold spot late morning on a live yakka. Regards, Craig."
And from Hall's, Hayden Wallbank, above right... "Not a bad Saturday morning with grassy like this hitting the deck all morning... 62cm of brute strength."
COASTAL: Mike Sultana, Northshore Bait and Tackle... "The beaches from Mudjimba up to Yaroomba have been fishing well with odd tailor in the close gutters. These fish will increase in numbers as the weather cools. The producing tide has been a run in, with first thing the morning the better fish. With the early start to the season these fish are a little smaller so make sure to keep your pilchards small and on a rig of either 3 x 2/0 or 3 x 3/0 hooks.
There have been good catches of whiting between Coolum and Sunrise Beaches, most fish are taken on worms and peeled prawns on the start of the run out tide. Dart are still chewing hard with the larger fish smashing pipis and flesh baits. Some nice jewies have shown up later in the evening with the best time around the new moon. Live bait such as fresh mullet, tailor and legal whiting have been the undoing of these great fish.
ESTUARY: Adam Neilson, Tackle World Noosa... "With lots of bait size prawns running there were fish everywhere in the system this week. Flathead, mangrove jacks and whiting were on the bite down towards the river mouth and around Munna Beach while in between there were trevally, small tailor and queenfish at the Current Line and jacks and flathead in the outer Woods Bay. From Joshua Pimm, below left... "Hey guys. Check out my new PB 74cm flathead. Caught and released at the Dog Beach on Friday. It went for a live herring on a 1/0 Demon circle hook. Cheers, Joshua."
And from Grant Birkett, above right... "Hi. I caught this 69cm flathead near the Frying Pan on Sunday afternoon while fishing on my kayak. It went for a live winter whiting. Thanks, Grant." There were also a few cod and jacks on the prowl in that area. From Stephen Kirby... "On holiday in Noosa for a week.... Hudson, Griff, George, Jacob and Sam (pictured below) fished the Frying Pan area every day in the rain and ended up with these nice fish, releasing all except the mud crabs. Caught on live herring late afternoon. They went out every day at dawn to get bait. Caught lots of other fish but these were the best."
"Mud crabs and sand crabs were out and about in the lower estuary while Weyba Creek was good for a few quality whiting. Upriver at Tewantin mangrove jacks, big bream and flathead were reported around the Noosa Marina while further up again, flathead were active in and around Lake Cooroibah."
Report and photos from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey mate. Fishing has been reasonable the last week, although a tad hit and miss around the place at times. The Woods Bays fished well for flathead and queenfish. A couple schools of big eye trevally and moses perch as well. We were catching them on cut up yakka. Brett Power and his son Connor are pictured (above) with a queenfish, caught and released while fishing the dirty and clean water line. Connor's flathead was about 58cm. Weyba Creek had a fair bit of whiting, nothing massive but enough for a feed if you put the time in. We had to fish 4lb and small hooks to get them to bite. The Tewantin area was a bit quiet this week but Lake Cooroibah had plenty of javelin fish and the odd flathead."
Above left, another photo and report from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey mate. Regular client Des Penny with a GT which he caught and released in the Woods Bays early Thursday morning. We caught big eye, tea leaf and giant trevally as well as tailor. Big hook ups and plenty of bust offs."
Last but not least, from Michael Whitehead, above right... "G’day guys. The fishing in the lower river was a little tough going for a few days after the rain, but headed down to the Munna Bridge on Monday morning to give the 7gm Jigpara Microjig a bit of a workout. Was real pleased when this lovely diamond trevally snaffled it close to one of the pylons. A couple of casts later it was bitten off by what I’m presuming was a big flatty. Cheers, Michael."
FRESHWATER: Grant Budd, Northshore Bait and Tackle... "The impoundments are hard work at the moment. Lake Macdonald hit 115% capacity and has been spilling consistently. SEQ water are holding Borumba at 80% so caution should be taken once beyond the ski zone. There should be a few opportunities when the rains end and some warmer weather hits. Surface fishing is still viable and the bass will be on the prowl for insects falling from trees after the rains.