OFFSHORE: Hmmm. Not one of our better weeks. Quite fishable conditions over the weekend, ahead of moderate to fresh (sometimes strong) variable easterlies in the latter part of the week. The standout day was Saturday, especially for the smaller boats. Monday was a tad marginal. After that, the focus was on the developing Covid-19 situation anyway with restrictions imposed on Tuesday morning and a three day lock-down from 6.00pm Tuesday night.
Anyway, while the sun was shining (or the rain stayed away) the good got going. I know that's a mixed metaphor but it was a mixed bag on the local reefs as well with the middle reef belt, and more specifically North Reef, producing frypan snapper, sweetlip, gold spot cod, snapper, moses perch and pearl perch.
Closer to home, Sunshine Reef continued to reward the faithful and those with good marks. Report and photos (above and below) from Cougar One skipper Mitch Bertacchini... "Hey Bill. We did two five hour trips to Sunshine Reef on Saturday. In the morning conditions were beautiful but towards the end of our second trip the southerly started to come up. The bar was very manageable swell-wise but has become very shallow in the last week or so. We caught longtail tuna, moses perch, striped snapper, chinaman fish (released), venus tuskfish, pearl perch, grass emperor, snapper, sweetlip and yellowtail kingfish."
And the pix below came from Alan Aplin... "The Bluewater Charters guys made our day. Thanks so much for a great time. Great birthday present for Cris."
South of there, Arkwright Shoal and the the waters around Old Woman Island were fishing well for keeper size snapper and grass sweetlip. There was also some good squid coming from down that way. Squid jigs in the 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 sizes were showing good results. In Laguna Bay, Jew Shoal was the spot for snapper around first light while the Hall's Reef stretch continued to produce the odd cobia (on trolled hard body lures and floaters), squire and sweetlip.
COASTAL: Mike Sultana, Northshore Bait and Tackle... "Tailor have started to come back into the surf gutters with a few choppers taken around Yaroomba and, along with dart and whiting, at Peregian Beach. Work the run-in tide at night for the bigger fish. Lures were working well in the same area (dusk and dawn) with the Halco Twisty being the pick because of its holographic pattern. Further up, Castaways Beach produced flathead, dart and whiting, as did the northern end of Sunshine Beach (in close off the beach) but with the added bonus there of quality bream and the odd chopper tailor off the rocks.
On the National Park headland, longtail tuna were within slug casting distance of Hells Gates while off the Fairy Pools over the weekend and after dark, jewfish were responding well to fresh mullet slabs and/or live beach worm clusters under balloon. There were also still a few garfish schooling in Granite Bay. Over on the Noosa North Shore dart, flathead and whiting were biting north of Teewah township. There were also a few chopper tailor active up towards D.I.
ESTUARY: From Adam Neilson, Tackle World Noosa... "The bread and butter species were still out and about with whiting responding well to live yabbies, prawn pieces and small surface poppers across the sand flats near the river mouth, the bottom and top of the Frying Pan and the Munna Flats area. Flathead were also on the prowl with the odd keeper coming from the waters out from the sand pumping station. The luderick, as happens, have gone off the chew.
Bream were in good numbers along the platform stretch, around the Sand Bags and, along with trevally, queenfish and mangrove jacks (after dark), in the Woods Bays. The jacks were also out and about at night around the back of Noosa Sound and (more so around first light) along the north shore side of the Noosaville stretch. Apart from that (as far as the lower estuary was concerned) whiting and bream were active in Weyba Creek."
Upriver at Tewantin, flathead were active around Lake Doonella and opposite the Council Chambers while school jewfish were on the prowl below the car ferry and in the deep holes between the lakes. From Joshua Gameiro, above... "Hey Bill. I got this 70cm Jewie on Saturday on a 5gm micro jig on light gear... 6lbs. Caught and released." Joshua's quality catch and release earned him this week's $100.00 Tackle World Noosa/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week prize.
And the upper river system certainly seemed to be where it was all happening this week. From Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey mate. This week we caught a few tailor in amongst all the mullet hanging by The Sand Bags. There were some big tarwhine there too. Had a fish up Weyba Creek and found some good whiting and a few nice mud crabs. Upriver, though, the Tewantin stretch fished well for flathead and there has been some real big schools of GT in the area. Pictured from recent charters we have Will Armytage (above) with his GT and Rachel (below) with her 57cm flathead."
FRESHWATER: Grant Budd, Northshore Bait and Tackle... "Freshwater still dominates with smaller bass coming from the lakes and dams. They are feeding up in prep for cooler months ahead which is often the spawning run. As mentioned in previous weeks wild bass and impoundment bass have the same natural urge to spawn. When this happens they gather in huge numbers and it can be like shooting fish in a barrel. Often deep down these fish respond very well to flashy jigs and blades. With many on offer be sure you crimp the barbs on smaller hooks as a hungry bass will swallow lures making removal very hard. A barbless hook makes life safer and faster and you rarely drop fish. A different lure of choice is the soft vibe. These often overlooked lures emit huge vibration and have the prefect baitfish look. Take a look at the smaller Zerek fish trap and Samaki fork tail in the smaller 65mm and 70mm sizes.