Volatile Wet Gives Promise
  |  First Published: November 2010

Forecasts of a volatile wet season seem to be on track with spring producing a sequence of trade winds from the south east. These winds are generally the scourge of the beach fisher, but times have changed and south easterlies are these days the wind direction of choice for spring and summer.

The spring northerlies of previous years have provided perfect growing conditions for algae that bloom in the surf zone of Cooloola and Fraser Island. Fishing when these algae are present is usually not a terribly prosperous venture, but the cooler south easterlies don't allow the algae to bloom to the same extent and fishing is still worthwhile.

Of course that is great except that south easterly winds cause heavy seas and sweep that do make angling fairly challenging. Escaping these conditions is not impossible though, as close to the mouth of the Noosa River is quite sheltered by Noosa Heads and the northern side of Double Island Point provides a calm alternative to fish also.

The south easterly winds are slowly forming gutters from the Noosa River north and these gutters are already producing whiting and flathead along with the odd tailor. Bream should also be available along this stretch, as should dart, golden trevally and tarwhine.

The beach between the 1st cutting and the 3rd cutting is now closed to vehicles, but also has several good gutters forming that will slowly move north. Accessing the closed section of beach is by foot from either end, or to park at the 2nd cutting turn off from The Wilderness Track and walk to the beach from there.

Heading north from the 3rd cutting, the gutters are not as prevalent and the beach is more exposed to the onshore winds. There are smaller drains running parallel to the beach that will hold bream, tarwhine and whiting if conditions allow. Calmer conditions allow the channel that runs all the way along the length of the beach to be fished.

Higher sections of sand that are built up provide a platform to fish the channel during lower tides. The water in the channel generally has a reasonable depth of water and acts as a highway for fish to move along. Much of the channel however is open sand country that hasn't any holding features or structure. Therefore it is important to target locations that provide some sort of habitat where fish would congregate.

Narrower sections of channel with a near reachable sand bank at the rear that 'bottlenecks' the sweep along the beach are ideal. Fishing upstream of the bottleneck reduces the amount of sweep to contend with and is also where fish tend to gather. Rock patches in the channel are also good habitat that can be fished with bait or metal lures.

November is a difficult month to forecast from a fishing point of view. If algal blooms and the weather allow angling, then tailor, dart, whiting, golden trevally, jewfish and possibly early season school or spotty mackerel are all on the cards.

Vehicle Access News

In late September, Kate Jones, the Minister for Environment and Resource Management, announced her department's decisions on vehicle access permits and camping restrictions in Cooloola under a Recreation Area Management. As of October 17, access to much of Cooloola will require a vehicle permit.

Daily, weekly, monthly and yearly permits are to be made available online, from QPWS offices and from The Beachfront Caravan Park near the 3rd vehicle access cutting on Teewah Beach. If booked online through the DERM website, daily permits are $10, weekly $25, monthly $39.35 and yearly $197.20. The daily permit if purchased manually (not online) is $15.

Camping in the Teewah Beach camping zone will be capped at 2,500 campers. Therefore it will be worth booking early for Christmas as there are usually in the vicinity of 4,000 campers in this area during the Christmas to New Year period and at Easter. But the expansion of the Freshwater Camping Area and The Beachfront Caravan Park will compensate for that to a fair extent in the near future.

Vehicle permits don't apply from Rainbow Beach township to Inskip Point and including Inskip, or south to Middle Rocks. That will make one of my favourite locations to fish a busy little place.

As mentioned above, the beach between the 1st and 3rd vehicle access cuttings has been closed to vehicles as of Oct 11. This has been on the agenda for a few years now and I'm sure regular users of the Beach Front Caravan Park will certainly appreciate the benefits and especially those with younger children.

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