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Reefs deliver fine fish
  |  First Published: October 2010



While the cooler weather has continued around Noosa with a chilly burst in late August, the generally coincidental snapper have failed to materialise in numbers on the inshore reefs.

However, those anglers with boats capable of the lengthy trek to the Hards, Barwon Banks or north to Double Island Point have cleaned up!

The closer and obviously more accessible reefs such as North, Sunshine and Jew Shoal have delivered some quality table fish like small snapper, Moses perch, tuskfish, sweetlip and pearl perch, however the cracking snapper are still on the way!

Those who braved the chilly conditions and fished offshore at night had some memorable sessions taking quality pearl perch on plastics.

Plastics tend to out fish bait and pearlies seem particularly susceptible to plastic offerings, often greedily swallowing the whole thing. Pearlies are fantastic on the table and are highly regarded by Noosa locals.

To the north, Double Island Point has delivered quality snapper, magnificent scarlet sea perch, Maori cod and at some spots, plagues of Moses perch.

The Barwon Banks have also fired well and hopefully this will continue, or even improve through to October and beyond. Catches of big red throat emperor, quality snapper and impressive amberjack along with pearlies and other reef suspects have made the run out wide worthwhile.

Closer to shore, the Noosa River has very good populations of bream in the lower reaches with the Woods Bay area worth a shot. Fishing in the shallow water at night and the deeper sections during the day is a good way to get started.

Small amounts of berley will keep the fish interested, however it is best to keep a few fish for the chef and come back another time for the next feed.

A few flathead are turning up in Weyba Creek and the Tewantin stretch of the river. Phippsy continues to put clients on to quality flatties, mostly on soft plastics.

The odd jew is also being caught. If you are chasing these brutes the ski run is a good place to try your skills and patience.

Mangrove jack are still available and as we head into the warmer months they will once again become a viable target for the rank and file anglers amongst us – me included.

I know of one seriously dedicated Noosa angler who uses ridiculously light spin gear, wades deep sections of the river in the dark, reads the tides like a book and rigs plastics in a very specific manner. His local knowledge is second to none and he catches jacks, monster flathead, greenback tailor and fat sharks as well. His attention to detail and daring efforts to remain stealthy certainly seem to be paying off.

The lower reaches of the river, particularly the river mouth and Woods Bay regions, have continued to deliver tailor and trevally.

Soft plastics and poppers seem to be the best option, however small live poddies will rarely go unnoticed and almost anything with fins will greedily gobble down a struggling mullet.

Live prawns are another great option and big whiting, aggressive bream and an endless list of local species will scoff these as quickly as you can get them in the water.

Concentrate on areas where there is a bit of current and deep water adjacent to shallow water and you will be in business.

The humble nipper or yabby is a great bait as well and I have seen monster flathead taken on these readily available delicacies.

Best of all, you only need a yabby pump and a couple of keen kids to collect the yabbies. Bream and whiting also show quite a liking for these creatures.

Again, only take enough for the session and release any unused yabbies back where they were caught, preferably in shallow water.

Lastly, some rather worrying photos of a large school of substantial snub-nosed dart that were netted off the beach near Noosa were circulated recently. These fish were taken by professional fishers who have every right to do so.

However, it seems a pitiful waste of a magnificent resource when you consider the minimal rate per kilogram they would have been paid. Fly anglers in particular would pay an arm and a leg to be able to tangle with these fantastic sportfish, and undoubtedly would release the majority after the battle.

Perhaps some sensible limitations need to be placed on all sectors of Queensland’s fishery, not just the humble recreational Mums, Dads and their kids out to have some fun and perhaps bring home a feed.

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