By Jack Mangrove
Spring has sprung and we started with light South West winds making fishing the inshore reefs a pleasure. Larger boats still headed wide and picked up various reef and pelagic species. For land based anglers those in the estuary along Gympie Terrace and further up between the lakes found shelter from the winds. Overall estuary fishing has seen an improvement with a mixed bag of trevally, bigger flathead, whiting and bream as well as a spring time mangrove jack or two.
Offshore has seen DI and North reef featuring snapper, amberjack, Maori cod, pearl perch, cobia and longtail tuna. In closer, Sunshine Reef has smaller snapper and sweetlip that are great fun on light inshore combo’s with 4 inch soft plastics, small jigs and 15-20lb lines and leaders. The headlands of Noosa and Arkwright have had brids working small baitballs. The fish are likely to be small queenfish, tailor or mac tuna so if you are fishing these areas be sure to have a metal slug or chrome lure to cast at them.
In the estuary the whiting, flathead and bream can be found around the river mouth. This area is changing rapidly and sand is uncovering rocks which means food and cover for fish. The northern side of the river has the frying pan which is a great place to lure fish for whiting and bream as well as bigger flatties. Best baits would have to be live beach worm on a fine worm hook and very light weight. Cast into the gutters and let the wash carry your bait around to find the fish. If after bigger flathead come inside the river mouth and fish the dog beach and the mouth of Woods Bay. There are many drop offs here and the current pours out giving the flatties a shot at a passing whiting or mullet. Lure fishing works very well with diving lures a great option. For bait anglers using whole fish baits and squid strips on snelled or gang hook rigs is the go. Be sure to release any fish over 60cm as Sept and Oct is their breeding season and its always great to do your bit for the fishery.
Upstream away from boat traffic small jewies are still getting caught on baits and soft plastics in the 3-4 inch size range. If you get a bite be sure to strike hard as they have hard mouths. When out of the water it is important to correctly support these fish and return them quickly as they do not do well out of the water. The Ski run is a great place to find these fish and trevally along with mangrove jack that will sit under any laydowns waiting for a passing prey item.
Freshwater continues to warm up and as we move further into spring the saratoga should be breeding so they will be scarce. Some big bass are appearing in Lake MacDonald and getting caught around the weed edges on suspending jerk baits. Pay attention to prime bite times and explore your local dam or lake while we have this amazing weather.
Lastly be sure to get up to speed with the recent changes made by fisheries QLD. These changes are effective as of 1st Spetember 2019 and effect snappper and pearl perch to name a few species.
So on behalf of Jack Mangrove, best of luck on your fishing adventures!