OFFSHORE: The weekend warriors got the best of it this week with light to moderate variable easterlies dominating through until Monday afternoon before morphing into a fresh to a strong south easterly blow. On the upside, the bar was quite benign most of the week despite the forecast increase in the swell. On the downside (certainly for the small boat brigade) it was still a bit sloppy and choppy even on the better days, both in Laguna Bay and the reefs beyond.
So, it was pretty much down to the bigger boats to get the runs on the board this week, and the good news was, the fish were looking for a feed. Report and photos (above) from Trekka 2 skipper Nat Turner... "Hey mate. We fished up around Double Island Point on Monday’s nine hour trip. The fish were biting all day, which made for a pretty good looking esky. We caught a heap of quality gold band snapper, some big venus tusk fish, pearl perch, moses perch, mahi mahi and snapper. Conditions turned out to be pretty good with about 10 knots of easterly wind and a slight current. Cheers, Nat."
And we received this report and photo (above left) from Cougar One skipper Mitch Bertacchini... "Hey Bill. We did a nine hour up to Double Island Point on Thursday. Conditions were quite nice once outside the bar but we definitely had to be patient with our crossing. We had a light northerly wind with a trickle of current to the south when fishing. We caught snapper, moses perch, mahi mahi or dolphin fish, pearl perch, tusk fish, coral bream and grass sweetlip."
Plus we received this 'Fish of the Week' entry from Leaon Walker, above right... "A bucket list tick for me. Thanks Fishing Offshore Noosa for making a stop and letting me have a billion casts for my first Mahi Mahi. And thanks to the other anglers on the boat for patiently waiting. Super fun as always. Leaon."
The middle reef belt was pretty quiet with just the odd squire, cod and longtail tuna on the bite. From closer in, though, we received this report and photo (above) from Trekka 2 skipper Nat Turner... "Hey Bill. We fished Sunshine Reef on a five hour trip on Friday morning. The fishing started off pretty slow but steadily improved. We finished up with plenty of grass sweetlip, snapper, pearl perch, tusk fish, brownline sea perch and coral trout. Current was steady from the north. Cheers, Nat." In Laguna Bay, Jew Shoal produced the odd grass sweetlip and squire, as did Hall's Reef but with the added bonus of small cobia.
COASTAL: Whiting were out and about in good numbers on the open beaches this week with some good fish coming from Castaways Beach, the northern end of Sunshine Beach (along with flathead) and the northern end of Alexandria Bay on the run out tide. There were also a few tailor schooling off the rocks at the southern end of Alexandria Bay and off the rocks at the Fairy Pools (on the headland) with trevally and rat yellowtail kingfish in amongst them at times.
Apart from that, bream, flathead and whiting were active from the middle groyne to the river mouth (on Main Beach) and, along with tailor, around Teewah.
ESTUARY: From Adam Neilson, Davo's Tackle World... "Flathead were still in good numbers at the river mouth (on the runout) and, together with whiting, in the Frying Pan. From Roy Kwan... "Hi. I’m the father of Harry, Abby and Tommy. On Sunday, on our last day of our holiday from Brisbane, we went out on a half-day Noosa River Fishing Safari charter. Although the bites were scarce, my boy Harry (below) managed to bring in this croc at the Frying Pan! Measuring in at a few millimetres under the 75cm cutoff, the kids were very keen on keeping it for dinner, however, learning the importance of releasing these big breeding girls, Harry and his siblings were happy to change their minds. Preparing to release it, we noticed it had a tracking tag, the science of which the kids were excited to learn about, reaffirming that releasing the fish was the right thing. So, no fish to take home but some wonderful memories and fish and chips by the river!" Young Harry's quality catch and release earned him this week's $100.00 Davo's Tackle World/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week prize.
Flathead were also on the prowl off the Sand Bags (as were mangrove jacks after dark), in the Woods Bays (as were trevally) and (along with whiting) in Weyba Creek. From Damian Woelders... "Hi Bill. My son Luke (below right) was very proud to catch his first big flathead on Friday morning. It measured 62cms. He worked hard for this one and it put put up a great fight and took line from his light weight threadline reel and rod. The fish fell for a prawn that Luke baited himself and the young natural angler did a great job keeping the fish's head in the water so it could be netted without breaking the light line."
River report and photo from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey Bill. We did pretty well on the water over the last week. The weather played in our favour and the fish were playing the game most days. We caught quality flathead and whiting at the river mouth, in the Frying Pan and a couple of flathead around the Woods Bays. Leo, (pictured above left) who was on holiday in Noosa, caught and released this 83cm flathead just near the fisheries office on Saturday's charter. Plenty of bream near Lake Doonella and along Hilton Terrace. Also got some nice whiting in the shallow water in Lake Cooroibah."
From Joel Hautala, above left... "Weekend weather was windy offshore.... So dusted off the whiting rods and the tinny...Huffed and puffed with the king size yabbie pump. Recovered after 12mths of no hard yakka getting yabbies ..... This 43cm whiting made the afternoon. Great big fat fellow...great start to first summer whiting fish in the Noosa River." And from Michael Whitehead, above right... "G’day Bill. I’ve been chasing whiting on lure for a while now and was real keen to get amongst some topwater action with the ‘poor man’s bonefish’ .. so on Tuesday morning I headed out in the yak with the MMD Splash Prawn and flicked it around the seagrass and sandy shoals in the lower estuary. Worked the shallow water at the start of the runout tide. This beauty, measuring a tick over 40cm, snaffled the lure from the surface and then raced all around the river for the next couple of minutes. Before I landed this one I lost a few; because of their soft mouths the trick seemed to be to ease the drag right back and just let them make those speedster runs. Happy days. Cheers, Michael."
Upriver, flathead were also active opposite the council chambers, school jewfish were on the bite Makepeace Island and mangrove jacks from the first lake up. Oh, and the muddies were on the move. From Charles Sweeney, above left... "G’day. My name is Charles. On Saturday I caught this very nice trevally about 100 metres past the first lake. It was 46cm and I caught it on a small prawn. We released him to catch for another day. Cheers, Charles." And this from Geoff Stirzaker, above right... "Went up the creek with my mate Dan and got the hooks into this nice Jack. It took a live biddy and proper played up before we got it in the net. He went 46cm on the tape. Water temp is up in the creek. Should be a few more of these bigger models turning up in the next few weeks!"
FRESHWATER: Grant Budd, Davo's Northshore Bait and Tackle Marcoola... "Away from the river the freshwater continues to warm up with healthy bass caught around the edges. Now is the time to hit the water first light as we head toward a new moon phase. You can even use weedless soft plastics cast onto lilies and hopped off for the bite. Away from the edges there are schools of bass to be found. These fish are picking plastics off the bottom in the 2-3 inch sizes. Take a look at the new Powerbait power grub in bleak colour. Use this with 1/4oz jighead or more and slow wind it back to you. For added bite grab a tube of the new Gulp gel. This is a new scent that is already proving great on many fish. And don’t forget to keep an eye on your SIPS permit expiry date.