OFFSHORE: The bar was a tad gnarly this week, particularly on the last of the run-out. As the swell dropped back it became less of an issue but the relatively small sets still gave the odd boaty a fright either side of the low. There were no real issues, though, apart from the need for a change of clothes or underwear.
Out in the bay and beyond, conditions were as good as they get for this time of year with light to moderate variable westerlies in the mornings and mostly moderate variable easterlies in the afternoons. A south easterly change around midday Wednesday roughed the local reefs up somewhat but it was still fishable and with the snapper (and a few school and spotted mackerel) on the bite there were plenty of anglers keen to get out and get in amongst them.
Some of the larger boats targeted The Hards and the Barwon Banks with some outstanding results. Quality snapper, pearl perch, venus tusk fish and even some yellowtail kingfish were reported on the bite out that way. The 70 metre mark wide of the Northern Banks produced most of the bigger pearlies.
The reefs off Double Island Point were also firing well, especialy for snapper and red emperor. Report and photos (above and below) from Cougar One skipper Mitch Bertacchini... "Hey Bill. We did a nine hour trip on Saturday up to Double Island Point. Weather was beautiful. Flat calm conditions with zero run. The bar still had a decent wave every now and then but was very manageable for most boats. We caught gold band snapper, grass emperor, moses perch, large mouth nannygai, fry pan snapper, gold spot estuary cod, knobby snapper, Maori cod, venus tuskfish, painted sweetlip and a cracking red emperor."
We also received this report and photos (below) from Trekka 2 skipper Nat Turner... "Hey Bill. Here’s a couple nice fish from our nine hour trip up to Double Island Point on Friday. The fishing was hot and cold but we ended up with some quality fish including snapper, jewfish, venus tuskfish and pearl perch. Conditions were good with light winds and minimal current. Cheers, Nat."
The middle reef belt was also worth a look. From Jake Garlick, below... "Hey mate. Fished North Reef on Sunday morning. We boated a few moses perch and venus tusk fish and were bagged out on snapper (got them on 7" Z-Man soft plastics) by 7.30am. Got my PB snapper. It went 92cm and was released to fight another day. Cheers, Jake." His standout knobby catch (and release) won Jake this week's $100.00 Tackle World Noosa/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week prize.
And from Chicko Vella, Tackle World Noosa... "We decided to sneak out for a quick run before the south easterly arrived. We tried in close with only a few reef sharks gobbling our baits, so moved out to the 50m line and managed to pick up several mixed reefies along the way. Lauren (below) was happy with pearlies and grassies. Sonnie was caretaker of the floaters picking up three spotty mackerel and myself putting down live baits and turning them into Maori cod and estuary cod to top up the box. Now I must say: its was the perfect morning. Everything was favourable and summer is looming!! Cheers, Chicko."
Closer to home, Massoud's Reef was good snapper and grass sweetlip, as was Arkwright Shoal and Sunshine Reef. Report and photos (below) from Trekka 2 skipper Nat Turner... "Hey mate. We ran a private five hour trip to Sunshine Reef earlier in the week We had a blast after dark catching quality snapper, jewfish, cobia and gold spot cod. Most fish were caught on whole pilchards and yakkas. The current was steady from the north after dark. Cheers, Nat."
Apart from that, snapper and the odd sweetlip were reported on the bite around first light at Jew Shoal and (along with cobia) along the Hall's Reef stretch.
COASTAL: Rob Bracey, Tackle World Noosa.... "The jewfish (and a few tailor) were out and about between dusk and dawn on the coastal beaches and off the headland rocks this week with Yaroomba, Coolum and the southern end of Alexandria Bay (where quality bream were also on the bite) producing the goods. From Bryn Gall, below right... "G’day. I called in to the shop on Friday arvo and grabbed some bait and advice in the pursuit of catching a jewfish. The bait got me two 45cm tailor at Coolum on Friday night and I used the tailor to upgrade to this 1.0m mulloway. Ticked one off the bucket list. Cheers, Bryn."
During the day, flathead and whiting were biting at Castaways Beach and, together with tailor and dart, at Sunshine Beach. Apart from that, flathead were active at the bottom end of Teewah Beach and, along with tailor and whiting, around Teewah township. Up at D.I. the catch was dart, tailor and good jewfish."
ESTUARY: Rob Bracey, Tackle World Noosa.... "The lower estuary produced quite well this week with whiting schooling across the sand flats at the river mouth on the run-in tide and flathead on the prowl in the deep channels on the run-out. Trevally were also active near the pump station, in the inner Woods Bay between dusk and dawn and, together with queenfish, in the Current Line. Weyba Creek was good for flathead and whiting on drifted pillies and worms.
Further upriver, flathead and queenfish were active opposite the Council Chambers and first ski run while whiting were in good numbers in Lake Cooroibah.
From Jahka Bishop-Holt, above... "Hey. I caught this 94cm queenfish on a 7gm Majorcraft jig while drifting through the Tewantin ski run on Monday. I was using a 1000 Stradic reel with 8lb braid and a 3kg rod. It was a long battle with lots of aerials. Successfully released after a few quick snaps. Cheers, Jahka."
And we received this river report from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hi mate. There's been plenty of flathead still out and about in the lower estuary. We caught some good ones around the Frying Pan, along the Dog Beach stretch and in the Woods Bays. GT's were also active there early in the morning. Pictured (above) is Chris Worthington with a 55cm lizard that he caught and released on Monday afternoon's charter."
FRESHWATER: Grant Budd, Northshore Bait and Tackle... "The freshwater scene is still very much hit and miss. One day reports are amazing and the next the bite is quiet again. It is best to try everything in your power to locate the fish. Have sounders running in down scan and side scan, keep leaders as light as you dare and work edges exposed to the sunlight. Small weighted plastics like ZMan Slim Swimz on 3/8th jigheads worked through schools often gets the bite. For fish holding tight into structure a small jerk bait will often tempt an edge bite. Look at small Zerek Tango shads and even the Berkley Pro Tech bender in the smallest size. These often get hit on long pauses if you suspect there is a surface bit happening. It won’t be long so get your casting accuracy up in preparation for the warmer weather just around the corner.