OFFSHORE: Not bad conditions for the offshore boys this week with a steadily reducing swell and mostly light to moderate variable winds from Sunday onwards. There was still a lot of dirty water in the bay and out around Sunshine Reef but the murk line and high tide sessions still produced some good fish.
It was typically feast or famine, though, with many anglers working hard to come back with much more than a small family dinner. Still, those who put in the time did well enough, although few travelled much further that the middle reef belt where cod, moses perch and snapper were active. Report and photos (above and below) from Cougar One skipper Nat Turner... "G'day Bill. We fished on the outside of Sunshine Reef towards Chardon's on Tuesday in very good conditions, although the odd wind change did have us swinging around on the anchor. The current was running from the north bringing some nice blue water. We caught snapper, Moses perch, Maori cod, gold spot cod and venus tusk fish. We did have one bite on the floater but didn't hookup. Cheers, Nat."
And this from Marc Horton-Stephens, below left... "Fishing offshore Saturday morning, early. Trying hard to find clear water and finally saw blue. Caught on the one and only livie I could muster. I tried in vain to revive it for 20 minutes, swam it beside the boat, held it under.... unfortunately, it just wasn't willing to make its way home. Measured 91cm of absolute muscle! Nothing wasted, fed the family, neighbours and friends."
From a bit closer in we received this report and photo (above right) from Trekka 2 skipper Mitch Bertacchini... "Hey Bill. We did a five hour trip to Sunshine Reef on Sunday. Conditions were great with little swell on the bar and light winds out on the reef. We caught snapper, Moses perch and Maori cod."
And Trekka 2 was out there again later in the week, see photos above.... "We did a five hour trip to Sunshine Reef on Wednesday in near perfect conditions. The bar was fairly flat but there is a lot of sand movement in the lower estuary. We caught coral trout, squire, grass emperor, spangled emperor, tusk fish and Moses perch, despite having bananas on board." And on Thursday... "The weather was great with variable winds, a slight current to the south and a flat calm bar. We boated plenty of grass emperor and few squire and tusk fish. There was plenty of surface activity on the reef pretty much the whole trip with some large tuna jumping clean out of the water. Unfortunately we couldn't get the boat close enough to any of the bust-ups before they would spook."
While Jason Milne and his mate Daniele (above) decided to target the Spaniards on Sunshine Reef in their kayaks on Tuesday morning... "Hi Bill - launched off Sunshine Beach at first light with the plan to go wide of Sunshine and find clean water. Full tide shorey made sure we got a warm up that’s for sure! Trolling both pilchards and sauri on weighted skirts we didn't get further then Alexandria Bay Reef before getting a couple of nice Spanish in the kayaks. One took the sauri mid water. The other, deeper closer to the bottom. Mine was 124cm and Daniele's was 105cm. Water was very dirty but warmer in closer that out wide at Sunshine. Make sure Chicko sees this after laying down the little challenge that we might not find them in close. 😁 Back on the beach by 9am."
Speaking of Chicko, here's his report... "Thursday was a great day on the water with perfect conditions in the morning before the wind kicked in. Thinking the fish are always hunting in the dirty run-off paid dividends. Picked up a healthy catch of local produce. Mainly grass sweetlip with a few snapper in the mix. One bonus was the sharks seemed to have the day off, but so did the pelagics. The bar was fine, but the run upriver challenging on low tide. Cheers, Chicko."
ESTUARY: Report from Adam Neilson, Davo's Tackle World... "Jacks, jacks, jacks. Any bit of structure towards the river mouth was holding good numbers of these feisty red devils on the run-in tide. Also, large GT’S were schooling early morning at the car park rock wall (telescope end) while flathead were active in the deeper channels and holes near the mouth. Just up from there, big whiting were biting (on the run in) in the Frying Pan and on the flats. Local angler Brian Smith (below) did well there on Friday with fish in the 40cm to 42cm range the rule rather than the exception. He got them on live sand worms and yabbies. That's a top fish dinner in anyone's language. This impressive catch also won Brian this week's $100.00 Davo's/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week prize."
"Moving along, big eye trevally were schooling at night at the Sand Bags while queenfish, tailor, GT's and goldens were on the prowl in the Current Line and, along with mangrove jacks, in the Woods Bays. Further upriver, whiting were biting across from the Yacht Club and the Noosa Marina was good for cod, mangrove jacks and thumper bream. The waters opposite the Council Chambers produced flathead and lots of big garfish in the shallows on the high tide."
And we received this report from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey mate. We had a good week. Spent most our charters around the Woods Bays, Dog Beach and river mouth fishing the current lines and eddies. Plenty of schools of GT’s fishing well on floating pencil lures, some big bream on prawn around the woods. The Dog Beach fished reasonable for winter whiting and flathead. Jacks were out and about around the Woods and Rickys and plenty of guitar fish are hanging around after that rain. Flatty (above) was from Friday morning. Went 86cm on a trolled diver. Jack from Hong Kong (below left) got his jack at the Woods in the arvo. I think it was on a prawn. It went 50cm. I had a go as we were leaving and got a 48cm jack (inset above) on a livie. All released."
Above right... "Brett Kerwick from Noosa has been chasing a mangrove jack for 20 years and he did a magnificent job to land this 48cm specimen in the lower estuary on Wednesday morning's charter. It went for a live biddy"
FRESHWATER: The impoundments will be quieter with both Borumba Dam and Lake Macdonald now sitting at over 100% capacity and both spilling. Borumba Dam has now risen three metres in the last few weeks so this will see a water temperature drop but we will soon see the fish feeding hard as they adjust. Both dams will be murky so now is the time for heavier soft vibes, blades and tail spinners. Using sounders is important as fish become acquainted with new areas previously high and dry. Surface fishing with frogs will also be a great option and the ChaseBaits Bobbin Frog is sure to be a killer choice as are the new Cicadas. Look for any water entering these waterways as the fish will often sit in the path of this water and feed off anything brought down.