By Jack Mangrove
What a week! From consistent glassy days we have seen some very varied conditions across the state with winds strong enough to blow you over. With the winds there has been a sharp increase in swell making inshore the best option.
Offshore the west/south west winds allowed anglers to fish the closer reefs on the weekend and the charters made wider trips to North Reef and even DI. With double paternoster rigs dropped the species list has been varied with pearl perch, tusk fish, grassy sweetlip, Moses perch, mulloway and cobia. Sunshine has great numbers of sweetlip, pan sized snapper and even school mackerel! Be sure to use a short length of wire above your gang hooks and keep swivels small as mackerel have amazing eyesight and will bite anything that looks like a small baitfish.
Surf fishing has been providing anglers along the coast with good catches of solid mid 30cm sized whiting and bream before the swell arrived. In the clear waters the inshore gutters have given anglers with basic estuary rod and reels a chance to land some chunky whiting and bream. The best places to fish have been inside Laguna Bay, the Noosa River mouth and inside the points as the swell on the open beaches reached 4-5ft.
Inside the river, bigger flatties are showing up as August and September is the time of year the big breeding sized females congregate. The sand flats of the frying pan is a popular spot as is Woods Bay and Munna Bridge. These areas are also great places to try to lure whiting and bream. There is a multitude of ways to target these fish with diving lures the most popular. You can also try soft vibes for working areas with current and deeper drop offs. Remember upping leaders to 12lb or more to help you stay connected as a big 80cm or more fish will require a lot of patience to land so take your time and always carry a big landing net! Other methods include live baits and soft plastics on slightly overweighted jigheads. We are also seeing a run of small queenfish and jewfish throughout the system. Both will take the lures previously mentioned but queenies will also take a slug cast into busting up fish and worked back at speed. You can also expect to pick up a small GT or tailor when doing this. Mangrove jacks are starting to show up with the Ski run and between the lakes two popular spots with plenty of structure to hold such fish. Live baits and hardbody lures cast into the snags or worked along the bottom work well here especially around submerged timber or across rock bars.
Freshwater fishing has quietened down a bit following the full moon last week. With increased daylight hours the late afternoon bite will be a great time to chase fish across the various impoundments and river systems. Wild bass fishing is still off limits with the season coming to an end this month. Until then search for densely schooled fish and drop jigs, spoons and run plastics through any tightly schooled up fish for the bite. Fishing the snags is always worth a try just be sure to sit as far back as you can as the water clarity is very high and fish will spook easily.
So on behalf of Jack Mangrove, best of luck on your fishing adventures!