OFFSHORE: Wow! We've just had one of those weeks where we can say.. 'It doesn't get any better than this!' Light variable winds and an ever decreasing swell set the scene and anglers responded in crazy numbers. Better still, the fish (pelagics and reefies) were on the chew. And with such consistently good weather, some bypassed the action in close and headed for the outer reefs. Report from Chicko Vella, Davo's Tackle World, below... "Lucky there's no restrictions on species at the moment because everything is biting. Its been a while since our last Double Island trip so Tuesday we zoomed up that way in gala conditions. I found a new patch in 60 metres which paid immediate dividends. First drop produced double red emperor. They shared the esky with a nice blue Maori, tusk fish, snapper, sweetlip and wrasse. It was new moon so the fish shut down on dark! No swell and slight current, typical for this time of year."
And from Cameron Hayes, below left... "Caught this 148cm wahoo at the north end of the Barwon Banks on Tuesday. I was trolling a Halco Laser Pro around a school of mack tuna. It put up a hell of a fight. We also got trevally, amberjack, two jacks; 47cm and 48cm (a surprise out there), snapper and a spangled emperor. The trevally and amberjack were caught on floating strips of mack tuna. We bottom bashed for the rest on pillies and squid. Cheers, Cameron."
Back in along the middle reef belt, North Reef rewarded the faithful. Peregian angler Jason Carmody, above right did well there late Sunday morning. Using live yakkas as his draw card he boated a spotted mackerel, one mack tuna and a sweetlip but filled the bin when these 14kg and 15kg cobia joined the party.
Plus we received this from Dave Reynolds, above... "Fished North Reef on Monday morning. Conditions were stupendous. We found the mackerel sitting in mid water. We had plenty of action floating pillies and knife jigging. Ended up with six spotties and one nice Spanish. Headed out at 5am and back at 9am."
And from Paul Breheny... "We fished North Reef on Monday and it was firing. My wife Danielle (above) landed her first mackerel. She got it on a live yakka down deep. Her tally was two for the day. We ended up with four spotties and left them biting. We also caught a couple of sweetlip. Great day on the water."
Still at North Reef, Justin Sykes from Tewantin (above) struck gold there on Wednesday morning when this 9kg bar cheek coral trout tried to run off, unsuccessfully as you can see, with his pilchard bait. It was around 8.00am when he hooked this snodger which was just after the top of a 1.83m high tide.
Further south, Chardon's Reef produced Spanish mackerel, spotted mackerel, longtail tuna and more thumper coral trout. From Josh Collins... "Hey Bill. Went out to target some mackerel at Chardon's on Sunday morning. It was pretty quiet but saw some good fish on the bottom so thought we would mix it up. My house mate Erol (above) cracked this stonka 82cm trout. It was his son Elli's first time offshore and he had a ball, helping reel in a few. Was great to share this moment with him. The rest of the catch was snapper, pearl perch, Maori cod, grass sweetlip and hussar. The trout went for a half pilchard on a paternoster rig. Lucky!" With so many good fish weighed in this week it was always going to be hard to pick a winner for the FOTW Comp but the smiles on this happy father and son team tipped the scales in their favour. So, the $100.00 Davo's Tackle World/ChaseBaits prize goes to Erol and his son Elli. Well done boys!
The fish were going off everywhere and Sunshine Reef was another hot spot. From Daniel Stevens, above left... "Hey Bill. Headed out to Sunshine Reef chasing mackerel on Sunday. Picked up this nice wahoo on a trolled Rapala X-Rap deep diver just before the storm hit. Also picked up a couple of spotties. Well worth getting drenched from all the rain we had. Cheers." And yak angler Jake Jodvalkis (above right) bagged out there in a fast and furious session... "Hey guys. Went out out for a paddle with the fellas around first light on Sunday morning off Sunshine. Lots of small whitebait and tuna around but nothing of decent size. Landed the first Spanish on a trolled garfish. Loaded up the baits again and two minutes later it’s a double Spanish hookup... a snapped rod and lots of spins in the yak managed to get both in before the storm set in. Got a good drenching. Definitely not ideal but great fun! Cheers, Jake."
And Christopher Gibb (pictured above) was another local angler who scored big time on Sunshine... "Hey Bill. Went shopping at Sunshine Reef on the weekend. Recently I've started using live baits during this pandemic to increase my chances of a feed. Managed to catch my first ever yellowtail kingfish on a yakka and it was a 16kg beast! Put up a great fight and was very happy to land the fish. Also got a nice trout and a couple of tuskies. Kingfish was delicious!"
Last but not least, the baitfish schools were thick in Laguna Bay and the Spanish mackerel, spotted mackerel, mack tuna, longtail tuna and big queenfish were hammering them relentlessly. The sheer number of boats out there sometimes shut the action down but those anglers who were prepared to put in the time came back with a feed. And the reefies were still hungry too. From Scott Larking... "Grass sweetlip - 47cm. Caught north of Teewah on Saturday 18th April. Angler (above left) James Larking." And Amy Ablett from Tinbeerwah (above right) didn't let the fact that she's 20 weeks pregnant stop her from joining everyone else in Laguna Bay on Sunday morning. She was looking to score a feed of fresh fish for the family and score she did, christening her new Shimano Baitrunner 6000/Revolution combo, and coming back with three nice (3.5kg -5.0kg) spotties. She picked them up at Hall's Reef on cast Halco Twisty slugs."
By the way, we flew the drone over the bar and lower estuary last Friday. Just a quick one as the north westerlies were still a bit brisk. CLICK HERE TO VIEW.
COASTAL: Dart and whiting were out in good numbers on open beaches this week with some good fish coming from Peregian Beach and (together with bream) from Castaways Beach. The only other reports were of whiting and flathead from Sunshine Beach with spotties within casting distance of the rocks.
ESTUARY: Report from Adam Neilson, Davo's Tackle World... "Those anglers who didn't join the hordes heading offshore this week found that they had the river system pretty much to themselves and certainly made the most of it. For the light tackle guys, whiting were biting on the flats at the river mouth around high tide and in the Frying Pan on the run-in. Flathead were also in good numbers in that area, with mud crabs out and about in the deeper sections.
"Also in the lower estuary, trevally, queenfish and the odd tailor were working the baitfish at the river mouth rock wall, up at the Current Line on the high tide and, to a lesser extent, around the Munna Point Bridge area. Along from there, Weyba Creek produced the bread and butter species this week with whiting, quality bream and (up around the bridges) flathead in good numbers. Further upriver, golden trevally were active in the upper Gympie Terrace stretch, especially around the Noosa Yacht and Rowing Club while good bream and flathead were on the bite at the Noosa Marina and opposite the boat ramp. From Steven Nicholson... "Five year old Levi Nicholson (above) caught this 43cm bream on Sunday afternoon after a hard day's fishing opposite the Tewantin boat ramp. It was on a 1-3kg rod using a live herring for bait." There were also a few jewfish coming from the deeper holes around Makepeace Island."
"Apart from that, the muddies were on the move with the odd good buck coming from the first ski run to the mouth of Lake Cooroibah." From Samantha Broderick... "Hi Bill. Emma and her Dad (above) were at it again. Crabbing was a bit slow, they put in 6 pots for 12 hours and ended up with one keeper. Made great for a crab sandwich for lunch today. Oh, and Emma took some really cool photos if you wanted to share any. Such beautiful weather. Cheers, Sam."