OFFSHORE: Crikey! It's been quite a while since we used the.. 'It doesn't get much better than this'... phrase, but that pretty much covers this week. We had great conditions over the weekend and from that point on it improved day by day as the wind and swell dropped to almost nothing by the end of the week. The light variable westerlies were certainly chilly but there were no complaints from the offshore brigade after the last few weeks of rather ordinary weather. The cooling water temperatures, of course, heralded the start of the local snapper season and as you can see by the photos below, it erupted with bang.
Towards the end of the week, the more distant reefs were calling. Report and photos (above) from Chicko Vella, Davo's Tackle World... "Its been one month between trips to Double Island Point and boy, it was worth the effort. After the swell subsided the overnighter was calling. Combination of no wind and current made it easy to find the fish. It's always surprising the species you catch. Not only a good show of early season snapper, but my favourites, the gold band and frying pan. Then there's tusk fish, pearl perch, sweetlip and Maori cod, wrasse and moses perch all in the mix. So get out there and get your fix!"
There was also a few quality fish reported on the bite back along the middle reef belt, although it was those with the good marks who did best. From Petra Benson, above... "Hi Guys. Caught this nice snapper on a floating pilly in close at North Reef on Saturday. Me and the skipper caught our bag limit of eight snapper and one good sweetlip. Earlier we had two humpbacks swimming under our boat and come right up to say hello. It was pretty spectacular but we were worried they'd catch the anchor. So we turned the motor on to scare them back a bit. They were very playful. Got the heart racing. Cheers, Petra."
And From Dave Leonard, above left... "Hi Bill, Opened the snapper account for the season with a nice 83cm model on a floating pilchard. Shaping up to be a good season." Plus this from Joel Hautala... "Weather on Wednesday was absolutely beautiful. Glassed out. Great cloud colours on the way home. Darryl (above right) hasn't been fishing for a long time. He had a magic day. Caught his first ever mahi mahi/dolphin fish at Chardon's Reef. It went for a live yakka"
Sunshine Reef was fairly quiet but managed to produce a few good snapper and grass sweetlip in the early morning sessions. And Laguna Bay was still firing. From Joel Hautala, above... "Hall's Reef Friday. I was cold until these two fish warmed me up. Forgot my jumper but a 20 minute fight with the 15kg cobia helped work some of the westerly chill off." There were also a few tuna (mack and longtail) working the bait schools in close towards the end of the week.
COASTAL: Beautiful conditions on the open beaches this week, if somewhat chilly around first light. Mostly bread and butter species out and about with some good whiting reported on the bite at Peregian Beach. Further up, Sunshine Beach was good for bream, flathead and dart while around the corner, Dolphin Point produced the odd chopper tailor. On Main Beach, whiting were biting at First Point and around the middle rock groyne. On the Noosa North Shore a few flathead were on the prowl north of the river mouth and, together with bream, whiting and tailor, in the surf gutters around Teewah township.
ESTUARY: From Adam Neilson, Davo's Tackle World... "It was pretty chilly on the river as well but those who braved the dawn and dusk freeze got onto some good flathead and whiting at the river mouth. After dark the odd mangrove jack was responding to live fish baits and fresh mullet strips. Flathead and whiting were also biting in the Frying Pan with the odd quality queenfish in the mix. The queenies were responding well to surface lures and soft plastics.
GT's, chopper tailor and queenfish were on the move in the Current Line and, together with a few good grunter bream (javelin fish) and the odd nocturnal mangrove jack, in the Woods Bays. And the jacks were also out at night around the back of the Sound and the main bridge pylons. From Ethan Chilby... "Hey mate. Took the misso out for a spontaneous flick the other night as she has been enjoying honing her lure skills. During an epic session which saw over 10 fish landed she nailed this absolute donkey of a jack (as pictured above) on a prawn plastic. Coming in at 48cm and as fat as they come this thing put up a heck of a fight. With only light line I was so impressed as she handled it like a pro. The look on her face from the fight was priceless. Cheers, Ethan."
The Gympie Terrace stretch was good for quality bream plus the odd golden trevally and flathead. Three year old Leon Thorp (above) was nearly pulled off the jetty he was fishing from at the bottom of Gympie Terrace on Saturday morning when this 63cm lizard (looks huge against the little fella doesn't it) tried to run off with his half pilchard bait. His father Rob anchored him while he played the fish out and then proudly brought him in to Davo's Tackle World for a photo of his catch. And it was a good thing he did, because young Leon's capture won him this week's $100.00 Davo's/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week prize. Upriver at Tewantin there were more flathead on the bite from the mouth of Lake Doonella to the waters opposite the Council Chambers plus jewfish on the prowl in the ski runs and up towards the mouth of Lake Cooroibah. In the stretch between the lakes, mangrove jacks and trevally were still well represented.
FRESHWATER: From Grant Budd, Davo's Bait and Tackle Marcoola... "Lake Macdonald and Borumba Dam are providing some great sized fish as of late. The bass and saratoga are feeding well, especially during the overcast days. Both are hitting surface lures with the Megabass Dog X Jnr and Lucky Craft Sammy 65 top performers. If the sun comes out, switching to smaller jigs and soft plastics like the Z-Man Slim SwimZ 2.5" in Baby Bass will let you fish through the schooled up fish if there's no strong edge bite. Don't forget, when leaving Lake Macdonald; wash down boats and trailers to prevent the spread of Cabomba.
"I caught this 65cm toga (above) at Borumba Dam last Thursday. Got it on a Megabass Dog X surface lure. Released to fight another day. Regards, Grant."
And from Finn Horton-Stephens, above... "Woke up early Sunday morning in the freezing cold. Plan was to target bass at Lake Macdonald. Got to the lake just as the sun came over the horizon and we were fishing. Flicking MMD Splash Prawns around and getting a couple hits on the surface. Kept on paddling in the kayaks around the lake casting with numb fingers and numb toes. Top water went dead so flicked some curly tail Gulps. After a couple of casts this bass was on my line fighting like a beast. Wrapping around weeds and going crazy it was finally netted, photo quickly taken and then released. Regards, Finn."