OFFSHORE: Variable winds dominated the first half of the week which was a good thing as they were mostly light to moderate. From Tuesday afternoon onwards, however, they took on a south easterly flavour and moved into the 15 to 20 knot+ range with seas and swell around the 1.5 to 2.0m mark. So, not a lot of joy for the small boat brigade with conditions on the reefs a bit ordinary. As was the bar at times. For the bigger boats, though, it was business as usual. When conditions allowed, the outer reefs were worth a look with good snapper, cod and pearl perch coming from the Barwon Banks and Double Island Point.
Report and photos from Trekka 2 skipper Nat Turner... "Hey Bill. We ran a nine hour trip to D.I. on Saturday. We had an awesome session on snapper first up. Pictured (above left) is one of the standouts caught on a lightly weighted pilchard. The rest of the catch was pearl perch, venus tusk fish, moses perch, bonito, Maori cod and red throat emperor. Conditions were pretty good with under 10 knots of south east wind for most of the day and minimal current." And from back in on the middle reef belt... "On Monday morning we fished North Reef on a seven hour charter. We caught some nice snapper first up (pictured above right) followed by venus tusk fish, moses perch, coral bream and gold spot cod. Conditions were fair with about 10 knots of southerly wind. Cheers, Nat."
And from closer to home, we received this report and photo (above) from Wild Thing 2 skipper Michael Black... "Hey Bill. We fished Sunshine Reef on Friday. Conditions were a bit lumpy but fishable. We caught venus tusk fish, snapper, sweetlip and spotted mackerel." Tuna were also on the prowl out that way.
In Laguna Bay, Jew Shoal and the Hall's Reef stretch were good for the odd for tuna, snapper and sweetlip. Tuna were also in close around the shark nets. Mike Duncan, above, keen for an early morning fish in Laguna Bay, left his Gold Coast home at 3.00am last Thursday with his jet ski in tow. His early bird efforts were well rewarded, fortunately, when this 13kg longtail tuna tried to run away with his live yakka bait at Hall's Reef around 8.30am. After that it was a quick stop at Davo's Tackle World for a photo and an entry in the FOTW Competition, then off home for a well earned feed of sashimi. Mikes' decision to stop at the shop for some ice and pix paid off in spades when he was awarded this week's $100.00 Davo's Tackle World/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week prize.
COASTAL: Adam Neilson, Davo's Tackle World... "Whiting, dart and flathead were well spread on the open beaches this week with some good fish coming from Peregian, Castaways and Sunshine Beaches. Bream were also in the mix although the quality keepers were in better numbers off the rocks at the northern end of Sunshine. Up from there, off the National Park headland, longtail tuna and snapper were on the prowl in close off the rocks at Hells Gates.
Around the corner, the garfish were schooling in Granite Bay while Dolphin Point produced chopper tailor and trevally. Back on Main Beach, bream and lots of small whiting were biting at First Point and around the rock groynes. On the Noosa North Shore, flathead and dart were on the bite at the river mouth end of Teewah Beach and in the gutters around Teewah village. Further north, Double Island Point was the spot for bream, chopper tailor and yellowtail kingfish."
ESTUARY: Adam Neilson, Davo's Tackle World... "The water's getting colder but apparently not cold enough for the luderick yet. For the last couple of years they've come on the bite at the river mouth car park rocks around mid June. When they're late it's usually only by a week so, hopefully next week we'll see fish like the one pictured (below left) taking flies, cabbage and weed. In the meantime, flathead, bream and chopper tailor have been on the bite in the deeper channels near the mouth while the Frying Pan has produced heaps of elbow slapper whiting, more flathead and, on surface lures, the odd queenfish."
From Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey mate. Luke Sawtell from Brissy (above right) caught this 58cm flathead near the river mouth on Saturday morning's charter. It went for a live fish bait. They walked away with a good feed of fillets. We also caught bream, estuary cod and a few trevally." And, of course, the mullet run is just about upon us! Report and photo (below right) from Chicko Vella, Davo's Tackle World... "Well its that time of year for the annual mullet run, but before they head out to the river mouth with their tummies full of roe, theres a slight window to sample a few yourself . With cast net in hand, these schooling bullets are not only fun to chase, but nothing goes to waste! Beer battered fillets, smoked roe, mullet frames for the crab pot and mullet gut with the onion makes the best bream bait going. Oh yeah, and they're very high in Omega 3 oils and Iodine, if you know what I mean!!"
Continuing with Adam Neilson... "Queenfish and trevally were active in the Woods Bays while Weyba Creek was a good option for whiting and flathead. Live yabbies, prawns and frogmouth pilchards worked well there. Upriver at Tewantin, flathead were on the prowl in the waters opposite the Council Chambers while jewfish and mangrove jacks were lurking in the deeper holes upstream from there and, together with trevally, in the stretch between the lakes."
Last but not least, we received this river report from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Managed to sneak out a few times over the last week. It’s great to be back out on the water operating again. The bream are thick at the moment and it’s hard to not catch them no matter where you fish. We did alright around the mouth on the flood tide for flathead on both live and prawn baits. The Woods were a bit hit and miss. A couple ok sized goldens but it has been fished pretty hard so it’ll come good. All the Noosa Fish Headz boys have been doing pretty well on the soft plastics around that current line and the Coast Guard. Some good diamonds have been netted around there. Hilton Tce fished good for trevally around the rocky structure, no size to them but plenty of fun for the kids. Had a troll a couple times between the lakes on the ebb tide, pretty well guaranteed to catch a couple of flathead so was good to see."
FRESHWATER: Grant Budd, Davo's Bait and Tackle Marcoola... "The impoundments are showing signs of good bass. They're starting to school up and can be found in large groups. Soft vibes, small metal vibes and tail spinners are killing it right now. If you haven’t tried the Jackson Iga jig spinners you are missing out. These super small lures pack a lot of vibration. Be sure to flatten the barbs as the bass crunch these and take them down. These fish are also on the move so it is imperative to have sounders running. In traditional 2D mode, look for long drawn out arches all stacked up as this is a classic bass show. As for surface fishing, why not try once the sun has risen and started to warm the edges. This time of year it is not uncommon to see toga cruising around in sun bathed bays while sipping small flies off the top. With the swell and winds up offshore at the moment, now is the time to hit up your local dam or lake.
And speaking of saratoga, I almost lost this beauty (pictured above) to bent out hooks at Borumba Dam on Monday morning. It measured 77cm off the top. It went for a Megabass Dog X surface lure. Again. This is possibly my favourite photo of a toga so far. Safely released after a couple of pix. Cheers, Grant."