By Jack Mangrove
This week’s weather has been warmer than usual, which has seen the offshore scene come alive this week with anglers making do of short weather windows and reaping the rewards.
North reef as well as Double Island has been providing anglers with scarlet sea perch as well coral trout and snapper. These fish have been taken on both bait and lures, with heavily weighted pilchards on paternoster rigs as well as live baits and slab baits claiming the better fish.
In closer Chardons Reef and Sunshine Reef has been the pick for anglers chasing reef fish including lipper and squire with the big Spanish mackerel cruising around these areas as well. For anglers chasing these fish, slow trolling dead baits such as slimy mackerel, sauries and garfish the better option. Don’t be shy to troll close to the boat as the sound of the outboard brings fish in for a closer look. Longtail and mac tuna have been in close around hells gates and in the bay area. To target these line burners, anglers need to ‘match the hatch’. Using smaller 15-30 gram slugs have been the preferred weight to cast. Halls reef has seen some quality snapper as well as tusk fish and Maori cod. These have been caught on whole slimy mackerel on weighted Tru-turn gang hooks and pilchard/squid combos on pater-noster rigs. For anglers preferring lures, 5-7 inch soft plastics have been working best. A slower approach has seen the most success with a single and double hop along the bottom.
The Noosa River has also felt the effect of the warm week with mangrove jacks, trevally and whiting really turning it on for the estuary anglers. The snags near the dog beach as well as the upper reaches with live mullet and fillet have worked very well. After dark is the best time to target these elusive fish as they feed during fading light, so optimise your chances and hit the snags! Trevally fisherman have seen the river come alive with the warmer weather as GT are aggressively hunting bait fish around woods bay and the dog beach. These fish are best targeted with surface walkers with a twitch, twitch pause action which trevally can’t resist. Be sure to target these fish during low light periods as they are less hesitant to hit surface lures. Other species of trevally such as goldens and diamonds have also been boated by lucky anglers near the coast guard and woods bay area. These fish are bottom feeders and hit lures and bait presentations such as prawns and smaller whole bait fish fished close to the bottom. Don’t forget to throw out a few crab pots as we approach the full moon. Be aware of the stronger currents and keep pots close to the mangroves.
Along the beaches deep gutters formed by cyclone Oma have granted beach fisherman with some of the best gutters in months. Jewies and tailor are about with most fisherman collecting great feeds of elbow slapper whiting as well as dart, bream and flathead during the daytime. For whiting, the traditional beach worm on a running all sinker rig has been working well.
The freshwater impoundments have been alive with fish. Saratoga, bass and yellow belly have all been actively feeding as a result of this week’s warm weather. Saratoga will eat anything that fits in their mouth and a lure that creates a surface commotion will do really well including surface frogs and walkers. A slow roll with these lures will draws bites when fished around logs and weed edges. If chasing bass, use your sounder to find a school and use blades and vibes. Perform slow lifts through the school and it won’t take long until there is a fish on board.
So on behalf of Jack Mangrove, best of luck on your fishing adventures!