Rain, rain go away let us fish another day… please?
  |  First Published: February 2011

Unfortunately the silly season in the Noosa district, and well beyond, was plagued with rain, thunderstorms, squalls, showers and more rain. Rivers were swollen, dams overflowing and inshore waters very badly discoloured from the massive amount of fresh spewing out of the rivers.

While this unfortunate weather ruined many holidays, it will have a long lasting beneficial effect on most systems. Even while it was still raining intermittently the Noosa River was fishing well if you knew what to do.

Local guide Phippsy seems to understand the system very well, and he has assisted plenty of punters in recent weeks to catch and release some very big flathead. Also on the chew for Phippsy and his clients have been jew, tarpon, tailor and trevally. The jacks have been quiet but as soon as we get some warm clear weather they will be well and truly on the prowl.

Crabbing has been difficult with all the fresh in the system with the lower reaches worth a shot. A few good bucks have been potted in Weyba Creek and the first lake, so they are still worth chasing.

Offshore fishing has been very productive with a great run of reefies and Spanish mackerel. Sunshine Reef and Chardons seem to have been the best bets early in the year. Trolling was very productive and bottom bashers also secured a Spanish or two with floating pilchards, gar or a livie drifted away from the boat while they pulled a few quality sweetlip, tusk fish, pearl perch and the odd trout over the gunnels.

Sunshine Reef is very popular and it is fished hard, particularly during the Christmas holiday period. More often than not though it is possible to secure a great feed for the family simply by getting out there early, sounding out some productive looking ground and dropping down a bait. The current has been quite strong so some extra weight might be required to get down to the structure.

On my last trip out to Sunshine we were plagued by squire which I thought was a great sign. Countless little snapper were boated and released in the relatively shallow water and every one swam away strongly. While we did have a poor snapper catch over winter, which is generally accepted to be snapper season, there are still plenty about. No need to panic just yet… If we get a cooler winter this year things will be vastly different.

Two boats in company on the day caught four Spaniards to 12kg and a good selection of reef fish including grassy sweetlip, spangled emperor, tusk fish, Moses perch, and a few morwong as well, which are good tucker in my opinion. There are still a few trout on Sunshine Reef, but try as I might I cannot manage to boat one. I have been drilled into the reef several times though and I am sure the culprit was a monster trout on every occasion. Well, I hope they were anyway!

Unfortunately the regular acts of brainlessness continue at the already busy boat ramps. In recent days I have seen jet skiers parked on the ramp while they fiddle endlessly with their toy prior to actually getting it off the trailer; a large family that reversed their pride and joy right down the middle of a two lane ramp and then proceeded to unload the car and load the boat while other anglers waited patiently for their turn; boats on trailers parked in wash down areas while the owners wandered off to clean their catch at the water’s edge; and, last but not least the champions must surely be the backpackers in their van parked on the ramp enjoying the view seemingly oblivious to the loud and increasingly colourful suggestions that they go and park elsewhere.

It’s always fun in the silly season.

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