OFFSHORE: Variable northerlies dominated the offshore week. Not the end of the world when they were light to moderate but when they moved into the moderate to fresh zone (which was the norm rather than the exception) it became a tad sloppy. Thursday, with light variable southerlies, was the standout.
The September Snapper Challenge has attracted entries from right across the Sunshine Coast with some good fish coming from the southern grounds. From Marc Horton-Stephens, above... "Cracking session on Wednesday morning at Mooloolaba 18 Mile. Berkley Pink Gulps got best results. Three snapper over 75cm. One kept, two released. Impressive at that size! Finn's fish (as below), his biggest ever snapper at 81cm, fought for 15 mins on super light line."
And we got this entry from Dave Mengel, below left... "We had a 3m bronzy buzzing around us all day Sunday at the Gneerings. Shaped like a missile. Super fat maybe a big female. Lucky we had some clearwater and could see around 15 to 20 metres. Anyway, after 5 hours of sending out the burley trail I pulled a 20 metre dive and this one came up over the ledge. No time to spare hit it with the spear and stopped him from busting off under the ledge. Cheers, Dave."
Back up this way, North Reef was good for cobia, jewfish and more snapper. Petra Benson, above right, sent us a photo of her best fish (so far) for the Snapper Challenge.. "Hey guys. We went snapper fishing last Thursday at North Reef. It was a bit slow with the current against the wind but we persisted and got a few nice snaps. This was my largest at 62cm. We also got a 2m Tiger Shark to the boat just before we left which was fun on light gear. Cheers, Petra."
Further north, D.I. was on for the bigger boats. Report and photos (above) from Trekka 2 skipper Nat Turner... "We fished up around Double Island Point on Sunday and Monday. We caught some quality snapper both days on soft plastics and floating pilchards, as well as jewfish, cobia, longtail tuna, pearl perch, venus tusk fish and moses perch. Conditions were great on Sunday but got a little bumpy by Monday afternoon. Slight current to the south in most areas."
Some smaller boats managed to head out to the more local reefs when conditions were favourable, coming home with small snapper, sweetlip and a coral trout or two from Sunshine Reef. In Laguna Bay, Hall's Reef was good for a few grass sweetlip, as was Jew Shoal, but with the added bonus there of snapper.
COASTAL: The open beaches continued to produce the bread and butter species with quality whiting showing up in good numbers at Castaways Beach and (together with dart and flathead) at the northern end of Sunshine Beach. Just up from there, tailor were schooling off the rocks at the southern end of A-Bay.
Whiting and small tailor were active off the middle rock groyne on Main Beach, and around Teewah, while dart, tailor and bream were on the bite up at D.I.
ESTUARY: Adam Neilson , Davo's Tackle World... "Flathead were still in good numbers in the deeper channels down at the river mouth (going for soft plastics, frogmouth pilchards and live fish baits) while whiting were responding well to flies, live beach worms, prawns and yabbies across the sand flats.
Up from there, trevally were on the prowl along the Dog Beach stretch, in the Current Line and in the Woods Bays. From yak angler Jack Dekort, above... "Hey guys. Been some good sized trevs getting around the lower estuary. Picked up the GT on a Swim Prawn and the golden on a trolled hard body diver. Both released. Cheers, Jack." Jack's quality double header earned him this week's $100.00 Davo's Tackle World/ChaseBaits Australia Fish of the Week prize.
Report and photos from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey mate. We saw flathead in good numbers around the Woods Bays and river mouth this week. I picked up this 84cm specimen (as above) over the weekend just before the holiday rush arrived. And Terry from Brisbane (below left) caught his 65cm lizard on Tuesday's charter. Both fish went for live baits and both were released." There were still some decent size queen fish and trevally at the current line as well. We snuck up into Weyba Creek to get out of the northerlies when necessary and found some nice whiting and bream feeding around the sea grass. The odd GT fell victim to us around Tewantin as well. They responded best to a soft plastic early on in the piece."
Mangrove jacks have started to make their presence felt around the bridge pylons and jetties of Noosa Sound while flathead and whiting were biting up in Weyba Creek. From Brock Hewitt, above right... "Hey mate. Picked this red girl up on Wednesday morning in the canals! Went for a cast Gold Bomber deep diving hard body lure. Measured 46cm. Took a couple of quick pix then released safely. Some nice ones starting to kick up a stink. Cheers, Brock!"
Bream were in good numbers up along the Gympie Terrace stretch and around the Noosa Marina at Tewantin. From Will Clavarino... "Thanks Chicko for helping us pick out Isabella's (pictured above) lucky shirt." Apart from that there were some good size jewfish responding well to soft plastics and live baits around Makepeace Island while flathead were active on the run out tide in the boat channel at Lake Cooroibah. Trolled hard bodies worked well there.
FRESHWATER: Grant Budd, Davo's Northshore Bait and Tackle Marcoola... "The impoundments are seeing a change with Borumba Dam now up to 21 degrees in places. The rains haven't clouded the water much and the saratoga are starting to pair up with some aggressive behaviour between fish noted. This makes them harder to catch, making bass and yellowbelly a better target. The bass appear to be holding further up in The Arms and not so much in the open. They're also enjoying the warmer waters around the edges so where the sunlight hits at first light is a great area to try. Small suspending jerkbaits and minnow style soft plastics like Keitech Easy Shiners are perfect for this style of fishing. Go a weedless rig on Mustad Megabite hooks when casting into cover.