Spotties in the bay! Yes we finally had a narrow window of opportunity mid-week for the offshore crew to tangle with a few of these early season speedsters. Reports of bait balls the size of double decker busses, flocks of seagulls with tuna and mackerel chopping the water were coming through thick and fast.
Sunshine reef down toward Caloundra was the general area with the birds helping give away the location. The bigger spanish mackerel were caught out at North Reef and Chardon’s Reef as well as in closer along the Halls Reef section. For the bigger spanish then big baits on squid skirts and slow trolled worked well. As usual the lure of choice was the Halco twisty and Arma Metalik slugs in the 20-40g range. On lighter gear all you need to do is simply cast these into the school and crank them back at full speed. Be sure to use inline single jigging hooks for fast and safe unhooking. It is also a great idea to use more abrasion resistant fluorocarbon leaders of 20-30lb and a good rod length. This is so you can detect your leader knot coming through the guides and not smash your lure into the rod tip.
Other fish taking drifted gang hooked pilchards and well-presented soft plastics include smaller cobia around the 3-15kg range as well as smaller longtail and yellowfin tuna. For those fishing hard on the bottom with traditional paternoster rigs the mackerel have been snipping off a few hooks ,but landing a range of coral trout, snapper, sweetlip, pearl perch and maori cod.
In closer the river is starting to wake up from the new moon phase last weekend. In the lower estuary we have seen some great flathead around the drop off’s, especially around Weyba Bridge, Dog beach, Back of Noosa Sound toward Lake Weyba and the Frying Pan. These fish have been taking a range of soft plastics, live yabbies and prawn baits. Soft plastics that have been working are Zman curly tail in the darker colours like bloodworm fished on 1/8th and 1/6th jighead weights.
The whiting have been coming out in good numbers especially around the frying pan, Lake Weyba and along Gympie Terrace. These fish have not only been taking fresh baits of worms and yabbies but hitting smaller surface poppers and stickbaits. If you are lure fishing then use short 6lb leader and poppers like the Rapala Ultra-light pop and Zerek poparazzi. For the stick baiters then Nomad Dartwing 75mm and smaller Sugapen 58mm.
Mangrove jacks have been a little quieter but up river away from the crowds is the best option with the Jew Hole and various deep water holes and rocky patches between the lakes. The best baits are livebaits and even fresh dead bait like mullet fished as a strip on a 3/0 octopus style hook and 20-30lb leader as a starting point. If lure fishing then poppers like Lucky Craft G-splash, Rapala X-Rap Pop and OSP Louder popper cast against the snags and slowly popped out into the open is a great option.
Off the beaches the swell has kept most anglers away but the headlands of Yaroomba and Arkwright have been producing small jewfish, lipper, bream, dart and the odd tailor. Running single hook paternoster rigs has been keeping gear away from the snaggy bottom with mullet, pilchard and fresh worm baits the best.
The fresh is still a bit quiet but reports of decent Saratoga have been taking subsurface lures rather than surface lures. Great lures to look at include the OSP bent minnow, Westin swim and Rapala Twitchin Mullet. For the bass anglers working small spinnerbaits and casting weedless rigged Keitech Swing impact 3.8” into the lilies and twitched out.
Now for all the latest information log onto www.fishingnoosa.com.au for up to date bar and fishing reports, don’t forget to drop into Davo’s Tackle World, Davo’s Boating and Outdoor in Noosa and Davo’s Northshore Bait & Tackle at Marcoola for all the right equipment, bait and advice to get you catching. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and remember Tight Lines and Bent Spines!