Despite the deluge dirtying up the rivers and spewing massive amounts of fresh into the inshore reef systems, the fishing has been fantastic!
Offshore fishos have been having a ball chasing Spanish mackerel, spotties and delicious reef fish such as coral trout, snapper, pearl perch, sweetlip and plenty of other species.
There was a lull in proceedings as the massive deluge temporarily shut down pretty well everything, however it didn’t last too long at all. To further complicate matters though, the incessant swell and wind made life miserable for those keen to get outside and wet a line, particularly those with holiday time to burn.
When the seas abated for long enough to allow safe bar crossings and reasonably comfortable conditions offshore, there was a veritable flotilla of boats heading down the river with crews brimming with expectation. Most weren’t disappointed. Sunshine Reef seems to have been the most productive area to fish, with the slightly further afield Chardons Reef also fishing very well.
Spanish mackerel have been the star of the show with plenty being caught right up and down the coast. Most are taking floating baits with a few nailed on the troll. The average size of the hard pulling and tasty fish is around 8-9kg with the odd fish coming up at 12-15kg on the lie detector.
Gar and pillies have been good baits, and if the action is slow it can be worth trying a sinker at the business end to drop the floater down into the water column.
Local fisho Mike Campbell suggested this to me via radio when we were out on Sunshine Reef recently and the change of tactic soon brought a Spanish of 9kg undone on a gang rigged gar. Mike and his mate landed four quality mackerel along with a pile of snapper, sweetlip and other assorted reefies and another thumping cod.
My companion for the day was Brad Milton who was well and truly tested by a black tip reef shark that kept a very healthy bend in his new rod for half an hour or so. The shark was the best part of 2m and was released boat side. Brad pressed on and boated sweetlip, tuskfish and a coral trout, which made his day.
Other bluewater anglers fished the evening session and fared well on pearl perch, sweetlip and spangled emperor. The pearlies seem keener after dark these days, and they can be hard to locate but once you find a willing patch of fish the rewards can be fantastic.
In the river there have been plenty of catfish pushed downstream by the continual flow of fresh from the headwaters. Phippsy reports good catches of quality flathead, mainly in the lower reaches.
The rare barramundi captures are well documented and Davo’s staff member Chris Lacey landed a great fish recently; it was promptly photographed and released. Occasionally very small barra are caught in cast nets in the Noosa system so there must be a breeding population here somewhere.
The beginning of February saw Davo’s Bait and Tackle shop change hands for the first time in almost 20 years. Greg and Cheryl Lacey will be moving on to other opportunities and we wish them all the best and thank them for their fantastic service and advice during their ownership of this iconic tackle store. In turn we welcome new owner Peter Wells and wish him all the best and of course we will continue to support Davo’s into the future.
The Noosa River mouth and its on bar can be a tricky proposition at the best of times. On rare occasions the bar is dead flat and exit/entry is easy. Most of the time there are breaking waves on the bar and extreme caution must be exercised when crossing in either direction.
The fantastic Noosa Coastguard are on duty 24/7 and they really do provide an excellent service. They recently held a well attended bar crossing course run by Coastguard stalwarts Robin Hood and Peter Brady. This very informative session was well worth attending and I urge local boaties to sign up for a similar evening in due course.
I further urge the local boating fraternity to become Associate Members of Coastguard which is very worthwhile, economical and supportive of an excellent service run by a bunch of very dedicated volunteers.Reads: 1745