With the building swell and heavy rainfall offshore has been very quiet this week. However the fish have had a break and the freshwater run off should have the reefies fired up. The weekend is showing good signs of lighter winds and swell. You can expect to see good catches of sweetlip, pearl perch, snapper and coral trout on Sunshine Reef. With the dirtier water bigger grub tail and paddle tail plastics are the go to and using light jigheads gives a natural fall that snapper love. If bottom fishing there will be strong current so using lighter 20-30lb braids are best for direct contact to your lure. Don’t forget the bigger Spanish mackerel are still about and will happily take big baits slow trolled and floated downward. Using bait elastic keeps baits intact when casting pilchard floaters and helps prevent them from twisting lines when bringing them back in. Halls and Sunshine reef will be the go to reefs while there is a moderate swell still running. Out wider we should start seeing the occasional big snapper and jewfish falling for well-presented baits, jigs and plastics in the 7 inch size with lots of scent.
The estuary has been the more popular option due to the winds, so aim to have the wind behind you. Flathead and trevally have been the main captures around Dog Beach, Munna Point and Woods Bays with some chopper sized tailor starting to show up as well as Queenfish. Queenies can reach up to a metre with the current line and woods bays two great places to find them. They love a fast paced surface lures like poppers and skipping pencil lures. Fishing heavier leaders of 15-20lb is important for both species as they can rub through lighter leaders during their big jumps they are known for. Be sure to carry a decent landing net and handle both species quickly if intended for release. For flathead and trevally a strip of fresh mullet is a great bait that also appeals to bream. Octopus style hooks give the best presentation for flesh baits due to the wider gape and shorter shank. Mangrove jacks will be a lot quieter but can still be found around the heavy structure or overhanging cover offered by submerged trees. Have a try around Noosa Marina and along the various jetties and pontoons around Noosa Sound. Casting vibes and hardbodies deep into cover and burning them out can trigger a reaction bite just be sure to run heavy drag and be prepared to work hard to extract these hard fighting fish.
Freshwater has certainly quietened down with the recent rains and water temperatures have dropped significantly too. Using a sounder in deeper water will show you the fish and it is important to use lures with a lot of vibration including tail spinners, blades and vibes worked close to the bottom. If hunting for saratoga then subsurface lures will be the better option as the sun rises. Surface lures like frogs and cicadas are best fished slowly so they are easily detected by the big fish.
So on behalf of Jack Mangrove, best of luck on your fishing adventures!