By Jack Mangrove
With the winter weather now upon us we are now greeted with light winds and light swells that makes living and fishing here worthwhile. Offshore, Halls Reef has been producing some cracking long tail tuna and Spanish mackerel. These fish have been taking pilchard or slimy mackerel on gang hooks and cast out unweighted. The bay has a lot of pilchards, so take a live bait jig out as these make excellent live bait. Elsewhere on the reefs Sunshine has been producing nice sweetlip, coral trout a few pearl perch along with the occasional pelagic. Bigger snapper and pearlies are out wider around Barwon Banks and the Hards. The smaller 50-60cm fish are in closer and for the lure fisherman be sure to have soft plastics and slow fall jigs ready to go. Curly tail grubs in the 4-9 inch size lightly rigged and allow to slowly fall downward are a huge hit for snapper. Double Island is a great option for those in search of amber jack, cobia, jew fish, Spanish mackerel as well as good reefies. If heading out under the cover of darkness be aware that there are some early season whales around so take care.
The headlands of Noosa have small snapper with a few reaching legal size and of course small trevally and bream with dart and whiting making up the catch. Further north toward Teewah the tailor have been showing up so break out the gangs and whole pillies. Again beach fishing for whiting, dart and bream only needs a simple running sinker rig for most of these fish. Elsewhere the tailor are sporadic and have turned up in the surf zone and have been chasing the baitfish so look out for birds diving and have a 30-40 gram slug ready to cast.
Estuaries have been fishing with great variety of trevally, flatties, bream, whiting and the occasional winter jack. For those chasing whiting, bream and flatties concentrate your efforts around the river mouth rock wall, the dog beach and the frying pan. Best baits are beach worm and peeled prawns with larger whole fish baits on light gang hooks for flatties. For those using lures then small surface walkers on 6lb gear is a great way to target these whiting and bream. In the frying pan and Woods Bay you can also expect to find a few tailor and possibly a queenfish around the dog beach and woods bay areas. Mangrove jacks are hanging out along the ski run and around Noosa Marina. For these fish, live baits are one of the best ways to get them as are prawn imitation soft plastics in bloodworm colours.
Freshwater has been quieter, however flicking suspending hardbodies has produced some cracking bass and toga from the timber. For these fish it is worth upping leaders to 14lb as these fish will run will run straight back into the timber. With the drop in winds and slightly warmer daytime temperatures the waters will have warmed a degree or two making now a great time to hit the local dams.
So on behalf of Jack Mangrove, best of luck on your fishing adventures!