With the light winds midweek and the new moon now behind us it certainly feels like winter is here. Anglers have been enjoying the offshore conditions with North reef, Chardons and Sunshine the most popular. Snapper are a more regular catch as the water temps continue to drop. With most fish around the 2-4kg mark, pilchard floaters on 4/0 suicide hooks and long mono leaders are working best.
Snapper love lightly weighted baits or plastics allowed to drift in the current. If doing this try using lighter 20lb setups with heavier 30lb leaders if big fish are present. Four inch grub style plastics give an attractive swimming action sure to get their attention. Pearlies love both plastics and bait as well as slow fall jigs especially around Sunshine Reef. Using 20-30lb braid and 3-4 meter leaders will help keep you connected around the rocky reef sections. Grassy sweetlip and coral trout will also hit jigs on the pause so drift these areas for best results.
The longtail tuna and mackerel are still around for a few more weeks. Whole fish garfish and slimy mackerel baits slow trolled work very well. Look around the shallower parts of Sunshine, Jew Shoal and Halls reef during the sunrise before the boats arrive. You can run diving lures and high speed lures if not using baits. From here you can head wider and do some bottom bashing to complete your day.
The Noosa River is still producing mangrove jacks with the better fish caught in the dark. You can find them around the bridge pylons of Weyba Bridge to the Noosa River mouth. Live baits work very well and cast nets are best for obtaining some live mullet or herring which jacks love. The various channels and gutters of the river mouth have whiting, dart and bream. Small pipi, beach worm and pillie baits work very well on light 6-8lb outfits. If after tailor then you can try the middle rock groyne on larger surf outfits spooled with heavier lines and whole pilchards. Up river toward the lakes smaller jewfish are holding around the various holes and drop offs. They are a favourite snack for bull sharks so get them in quick and always use a landing net.
Lastly with the cooler mornings and winds the freshwater fish quietened down a little. Toward the weekend the daytime and evening temps were a lot warmer. This has seen the bass hitting surface lures around the edges of Lake Mac and Borumba. They are also sitting deep in the snags where the water is warmer once the sun has risen. In this situation try weedless rigged 3 inch soft plastics are securing the bite. Smaller saratoga are taking small flies off the top and small surface lures allowed to sit for very long periods would work best.
Don’t forget 1 June is the closure of the wild bass fishery for breeding so fishing in the Noosa Everglades is off limits.
So on behalf of Jack Mangrove, best of luck on your fishing adventures!