OFFSHORE: For the first time in quite a while the swell on the bar became a bit of an issue, especially for the smaller boats. Coming from the east and steadily increasing to around the 2.0m+ mark by Monday, it caught a few boaties by surprise. As a result, we filmed a number of spectacular aerial displays and the odd wet one. See video above. On the upside, there were no incidents. On the downside, conditions weren't the best and the fishing was hard yakka.
Fresh to strong variable easterlies dominated the weekend and, at best, only dropped back into the moderate (12 to 15 knot) range in the latter half of the week. As a result, few boaties ventured beyond the middle reef belt. Most, in fact, worked closer to home with Sunshine Reef and Laguna Bay topping the favourites list. Mitchell Huddleston (above) headed out to Sunshine Reef early on Tuesday morning. Trolling a whole pilchard on a ''Chicko Troll Rig' he hit pay dirt around 6.00am when this 9kg Spaniard crashed the party. Happy with that, he headed back in, with a quick stop at Davo's for a photo of his catch.
And this report and photos from Trekka 2 skipper Mitch Bertacchini... "Hey Bill. We did a five hour trip to Sunshine Reef on Monday. Conditions were a bit ordinary at first but calmed off throughout the trip. The bar has a few good waves on it but a bit of patience and there’s no problem getting out. We caught Spanish mackerel (as above), cobia, spangled emperor and spotty mackerel. And on Tuesday we did a seven hour. Conditions weren't great to begin with but by the end of the trip it was quite nice. The bar had a solid wave on it. We caught coral trout (as below) , grass emperor, venus tusk fish and pearl perch."
And this from Cougar One skipper Nat Turner... "Hey Bill. We fished Sunshine Reef on back to back five hour charters on Tuesday. Overall, conditions weren't too bad however there were a few solid waves on the bar. On the morning trip we caught Spanish mackerel (above), cobia, and some nice venus tusk fish (below), while the afternoon trip was similar with the added bonus of quality grass sweetlip. The sharks took more than their fair share though. Cheers, Nat."
The relative shelter of Laguna Bay was attractive to the smaller boats and yak anglers with small mack tuna and longtail tuna active in close and cobia and Spanish mackerel cruising around Jew Shoal and the Hall's Reef stretch. Jord Wiegerink (below) braved the slop and chop of the bar and bay and fished Hall's Reef on Sunday morning. He didn't say how long he stayed out but it was just long enough to nail this 6kg cobia on a pilchard floater and head back in.
COASTAL: It wasn't terribly exciting on the exposed beaches for the surf anglers this week with early morning, when the winds were lighter, usually best. Whiting, dart and flathead were still around, though, with some good fish coming from Peregian Beach and the northern end of Sunshine Beach. The tuna were close in at times and within slug casting distance of the rocks at Hell's Gates on the National Park headland. Flathead were active around the middle rock groyne on Main Beach (along with lots of small whiting) and at the river mouth end of Teewah Beach on the Noosa North Shore. From Kylie O'Loughlin... "Harry O'Loughlin (below left) caught his first big fish on Friday on his new Christmas line. It was at the river mouth end of the Noosa North Shore. A 60cm flathead... went for a beach worm." Harry's personal best capture and Ginger Meggs smile won him this week's $100.00 Davo's Tackle World/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week prize. Moving north, whiting were biting in the gutters near Double Island Point while bream and trevally were on the prowl around the rocks.
ESTUARY: With the increase in boat traffic the river mouth was fairly quiet. Just up from there, however, trevally and tailor were on the bite along the Dog Beach stretch while flathead and whiting were biting in the Frying Pan area on the run-out tide. Further along, the Current Line and Woods Bays were good for the odd trevally and queenfish. River report from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey Bill. We fished the Woods Bays early mornings before the boat traffic got through it. We caught queenfish, flathead and bream. Paul Norris from Brisbane (above right) caught and released this 73cm queenfish on Friday morning's charter. It went for a live prawn bait. Further up, the Gympie Terrace and Hilton Terrace stretch fished well for golden trevally."
Mangrove jacks were still out and about around the back of Noosa Sound between dusk and dawn while Weyba Creek was good for flathead and whiting. Further up, the Noosaville stretch produced some quality javelin fish and bream. From Cail Lavelle... "Hello guys. Took my boy Aiden (above left) down to the Noosa river on Monday for his 6th birthday with his new rod and tackle box. He was happy to catch a bream. All he wanted to do was fish for his birthday so we made a day of it." There were also a few barracuda cruising the Noosa Waters canals. Liam Higgins (above right) caught and released his biggest ever fish (a 60cm barracuda) on Saturday while fishing there with his father Bruce after getting a few tips from Mick at Davo's. It went for a whole slimy mackerel bait.
At Tewantin, the waters around the Noosa Marina produced mangrove jacks (mostly after dark) while flathead were active there and along the ski runs. David Bowtell from Noosa (above right) is pictured with a 63cm flathead and Angela and her uncle Nigel from Maleny (above left) a 68cm specimen which they boated there while on a Noosa River Fishing Safari. Both fish went for prawn baits and were successfully released. Apart from that, mangrove jacks and trevally were still on the prowl between the lakes and mud crabs (despite the holiday traffic) were reported to be the move throughout the system.
FRESHWATER: Lake Macdonald and Borumba Dam have been tough on the fly and surface anglers with winds coming from all angles. When the winds are up the best option is to throw hardbodies at the snags or slow troll. The dam and lake levels are consistently dropping so travel slowly and use a mix of deep and shallow diving lures. The deep diving Zerek Tango Shad is the perfect bait sized lure for bass and yellowbelly. If you're after saratoga, spinnerbaits are sure to lure a few fish from the snags with a moderate retrieve speed. If heading to Borumba you should only do this if you have a four wheel drive as the boat ramp is now closed due to water levels. You'll be launching on the stones and the banks are unstable and steep so go slow when driving out. Good luck.