Anglers Hope for Better Conditions
  |  First Published: March 2012

Unfortunately the last of the holidaymakers didn’t enjoy the best weather Noosa can offer. Unsettled weather conditions delivered windy days, a sloppy swell offshore and plenty of rain.

This made conditions difficult for fishos with the river also showing plenty of colour, but there are still options for those keen enough.

Offshore conditions haven’t been all that favourable for weeks, but those who grabbed the occasional brief window of opportunity generally came home with a feed. Discoloured water offshore isn’t necessarily a disadvantage, particularly on the closer grounds such as Little Halls, Halls and Jew Shoal.

The recent fresh will push prawns and baitfish by the tonne out through the bar and the closer reef structures are where the parties will be. Grassy sweetlip in particular get into the feeding frenzy on the close marks. You may also encounter spangled emperor, snapper and from time to time mobs of hungry cobia.

A little further afield at Sunshine Reef there has been plenty of activity well into February. Those fishing at night have done particularly well with good hauls of grassies and a few snapper, stripies, pearl perch and coral trout. Occasional schools of spotted mackerel seem to be returning also. It seems that at present you need to be on the water when the fish are there – there is no pattern to follow.

Sharks have been a problem of late with many hooked up anglers disappointed to bring only a head to the boat. A few smaller sharks have been taken home for a feed, and by and large they aren’t too bad on the table. The best bet is to bleed the shark immediately and keep it in an ice slurry until the fillets can be removed.

Longtail and yellowfin tuna have been occasional captures also, with some quality fish up to 15kg landed. Most tuna have been under the 10kg mark though. Schools of bonito and mac tuna have been around and whilst not many people rate either species as a food fish they are highly regarded as a useful addition to the bait table. The frame can be munched up in the berley pot so nothing goes to waste.

Of course we are all still waiting in earnest for the seasonal pelagic run. The most probable cause for the late run is that the fish have followed the warm current and its incumbent bait supply straight past Noosa, as is often the case. Usually though, the schools fill coastal waters from the south and within weeks we are well and truly in business off Noosa.

Once again though we have had plenty of rain which cools the water and pushes pelagics further out to sea looking for cleaner, saltier water. So we can only hope that we get a well deserved warm dry spell which will no doubt have us all chasing mackerel and tuna with a vengeance.

The river has been a tad difficult too, however most keener anglers have been nailing jacks, the odd jew, trevally and tailor. Bait fishers, in particular those using live worms, have found quality whiting and a few bream and flathead in the lower reaches of the system.

The river too has had its fair share of shark sightings with tailor and trevally being pinched by the hungry brutes, particularly in Woods Bay. There seems to be a bizarre misconception around Noosa that there are no sharks in the river or canals. I have no idea how this all started but believe me, there are plenty of sharks in this system, particularly when the water is a tad coloured as it is right now.
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