The fishing along Teewah Beach in December can be very rewarding with the arrival of pelagic species for the summer season and bread-and butter-species still present. Added to this, there is no longer any prospect of nets spooking the fish, and the warmer water and air temperatures mean that anglers can enjoy their activities in relative comfort.
Spanish mackerel are generally the first of the pelagics to arrive in Laguna Bay with the last two years providing vastly improved numbers of these magnificent fish as early as late November. School and spotted mackerel usually follow fairly closely behind, and by Christmas these fish will have become well entrenched off Rainbow Beach and will have started making their way down to Laguna Bay and Noosa.
Yellowfin, mac and longtail tuna tend to arrive during January, but early season yellowfin are often taken prior to Christmas, with juveniles being the more consistent of catches. Depending on baitfish concentrations, the other tuna species can also be taken during December in Laguna Bay. However, most will still be in Hervey Bay with Inskip Point being the most likely location in this region to warrant targeting these species.
Over the years I have found that late December is when the tailor schools start to make their way back down the coastline following their northern spawning migration. Schools of large and hungry greenback tailor are often encountered at this time of year and, along with the presence of Spaniards, can make fishing with pilchard or flesh baits a very worthwhile exercise. Using a short wire trace of around 20cm and black swivels is recommended for both tailor and Spanish mackerel to reduce the chance of being bitten off.
Whiting have been around in good numbers during October and November with some very large specimens being taken. I have lost count of the number of fish that I've seen in the 35-45cm bracket lately and this should continue in December.
Reasonably sized tarwhine and swallowtail dart have been regular captures as well, with the occasional average bream.
December is also when snub-nosed dart (also called oyster crackers or permit) begin to be caught off the beach. These are excellent sportfish, and Christmas nearly always has the odd snubby making some lucky angler’s day.
Should weather forecasters be correct in stating that a wet summer is on the way, with prevailing southeasterly trade winds, there is hope that the algae that has plagued us in recent years might be kept at bay for the first time since 2001.
Many readers would now be in the process of organising their Christmas holiday camping trip to Teewah Beach and inspecting the gear that has been in storage for the past year. I thoroughly recommend that, along with checking that your camping gear has survived its long period of storage, you consider purchasing camping permits now. If you leave it until later, there may not be any left. Capped camping numbers of 2500 people in the Teewah Beach camping zone means that there are 1500 less positions available this Christmas than have been available in previous years. Booking in advance is the only certain method of purchasing a camping permit and avoiding a long drive home from the ferry on discovering that there are no permits available at the Moorindil St QPWS office.
When you purchase your camping permit, grab a vehicle permit at the same time. Vehicle permits are now mandatory for Teewah Beach, and these can also be purchased from QPWS offices.
Quality whiting catches should continue in December.Reads: 1813