OFFSHORE: The fresh to strong (18 to 20 knot+) south easterlies didn't let up until Thursday morning so the offshore boys didn't get much of a chance to wet a line. There were a few tuna (northern bluefin or longtail tuna, mackerel tuna and Australian bonito) harassing the bait schools in the relative shelter of bay, and at times less than 100 metres from the bar, but with the swell up over the 2.0m mark only the more experienced jet ski anglers and the odd super keen yak angler made the effort. Having said that, local identity Mal Hunt crossed out over a pumping bar on Monday morning on his custom surf cat 'Granite Express' (see video above) and while it didn't look all that elegant, it certainly generated a lot of interest in his boat, his skills and his sanity.
The fish were on the bite ahead of the deteriorating weather and the charter boats were better equipped than most to handle the marginal conditions. Above we have a Spanish mackerel from last Thursday morning's Cougar One charter to Sunshine Reef. The rest of the catch was snapper, sweetlip and cobia.
And this report and photos from Wild Thing 2 skipper Nat Turner.... "Hey Bill. We ran a seven hour charter to Sunshine Reef last Thursday. The 15 to 20 knot south easterlies made it a tad lumpy but fishing was easy with a slight current to the north. We caught tusk fish, moses perch, grass sweetlip and coral trout. Pictured (above) is Alex Todorovski from Perth with a nice trout and (below left) Steve Grace from Maroochydore with a thumper trout that ate a live yakka."
As mentioned earlier, the tuna were tantalisingly close to the bar chasing the bait schools but conditions weren't all that exciting, especially for the small boat brigade. The yak anglers had other ideas, though, and by Wednesday as the swell dropped a bit on the bar they were gazing longingly at the inner bay. I ran into local yak angler Dave McGregor and his son James at the river mouth car park rocks on Wednesday morning. I was heading back to the office after filming the bar crossing and they were unloading their kayaks to chase the tuna in the bay. Anyway, after punching through the bar and braving the sloppy conditions in Laguna Bay, Dave landed a longtail, as pictured above right, and sent us this short video of his adventure.
And the yak anglers were at it again on Thursday morning. Davage Holt from Coolum (above) launched his kayak on the North Shore and trolled the North Hall's stretch with a Lakecraft Sayori-S garfish swimbait. It worked a treat and not long after he had this 11kg Spanish mackerel in the hatch and was hooked up to an even bigger fish. With his line peeling off the reel at an alarming rate, Davage tightened the drag only to have the untethered rod and reel whipped out of his hands by the powerful fish. One Saragosa, Demon Blood combo gone for good but lesson learned we hope. Anyway, it might soften the blow when Davage learns that we awarded him this week's $100.00 Davo's/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week prize for his quality fish and sterling effort.
The charter boats got out as soon as the weather settled and found the fish waiting. Report and photo from Wild Thing 2 skipper Nat Turner... "Hey Bill. We fished Sunshine Reef on Thursday morning's five hour charter. Conditions weren't too bad. We had 15 knots of south-east wind, a strong current to the north and dirty green water. We caught grass sweetlip, snapper, tusk fish, school and Spanish mackerel. Pictured (above left) is Jack Hill from Sydney with his Spaniard that ate a floating pilchard." And from Trekka 2 skipper Mitch Bertacchini... "Hey Bill. We did a seven hour trip to Sunshine Reef. The bar still has some decent waves on it but still manageable with some good timing. We caught longtail tuna, grass emperor, painted sweetlip, tusk fish, moses perch and, as pictured (above right) with Mathew Scott, gold spot cod."
ESTUARY: River report from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey Bill. We caught the odd flathead and bream around the dog beach and the river mouth and some small queenies and goldens at the Woods Bays off the surface early morning. The trevally schools were pretty thick up and down the river. Patrick Noonan (below left) got his cale cale along that stretch on Sunday morning. Tewantin also fished well for bream and flathead and we found some good whiting outside the channel in Lake Cooroibah."
Schools of small trevally were also active at the river mouth (bluefin and GT's) and in the Woods Bays and there were a few good whiting on the bite in the Frying Pan on the run-out tide. There were a few flathead and the odd shovel nose on the prowl in the caravan park stretch. Richard Avery (below left) caught and released his on a whole prawn bait just off the Munna Point sandbanks late Friday afternoon. Along from there, the back of Noosa Sound produced small mangrove jacks, as did the bridge pylons of Weyba Creek. There were also a few good whiting working the sand flats just down from there as well. At Tewantin, the waters opposite the boat ramp were good for the odd flathead while the First Ski Run was good for school jewfish. Further up, mangrove jacks were active near the mouth of Lake Cooroibah and flathead were on the prowl in the lake itself. Andrew Webb from Mountain Creek (above right) caught and released this 39cm mangrove jack just before the first lake on Friday. It went for a pilchard bait. Between the lakes it was mangrove jacks.
FRESHWATER: Above right, from Grant Budd, Davo's Northshore Bait and Tackle, Marcoola... "Hi mate. Got this low 40cm bass at Borumba Dam on Thursday morning. It went for a Jackall Squirrel (Black Gold Spark) hard body lure. I was chasing the saratoga and this was a welcome by-catch. Released after a quick pic. Cheers, Grant."