Hot winter fishing at Noosa
  |  First Published: July 2012

Winter is definitely here and fishing for the cooler climate species is becoming serious. Keen anglers of all ages are getting up before first light, rugged up from head to toe, to get in amongst the action.

Along with this cold chill we should start seeing a lot of big bream, winter whiting and various kinds of trevally in large schools. This change in season means a change in tactics as the water temperatures start to drop. To target these winter month species, you must have the ‘know how’ to have a successful trip.


Bream will be prolific as the temperature drops. Since it is spawning season, they will be feeding in large numbers throughout the river. A lot of bream well over the 1kg mark are already being caught, and this will only get better!

You will find bream around the rocky outcrops, jetties and weed flats, mainly where there is good structure or cover for the bream to feed and spawn. The Noosa Marine, Noosa Waters weir, along the main Gympie Terrace stretch, and around the mouth will hold these big bream.

When using baits, consider using half pilchards, fresh prawns or mullet flesh to attract these fish. Use a small ball sinker, size 1 or 2, and a bait holder hook, 2/0 in size. If there is a bit of current, simply add a slightly heavier sinker to keep the bait in the strike zone.

If using soft plastics, small prawn style lures or Squidgy Wrigglers work a treat. Small shad style hardbody lures worked in amongst the structure will produce the goods as well.

Winter Whiting

Winter whiting, smaller cousins of the summer whiting, are another popular fish to target in these cold months. They are great fun on baits and lures.

You will find whiting in numbers around shallow sand flats and in light surf. Whiting have been caught along the sand flats on both sides of the river mouth, and in the woods bays.

When fishing with bait, live sand worms have to be the best pick, but live nippers and prawns will work as well. Use a general running sinker rig, making sure the lead is as small as possible, since whiting are sensitive towards heavier sinkers. Use a light trace, 4-6lb is ideal, and a small long shank hook.

When using lures, small shad style suspending lures fished along small drop-offs will get you fish. Whiting are becoming more popular with surface lures. Small walk-the-dog or popper surface lures are great fun to use when whiting are in action. This imitates a spooked prawn hopping across the surface, and whiting simply cannot help themselves!

Have a go at trying these methods for whiting this winter.


At the moment there have been various trevally caught in the Noosa River system. They are great fun to target and put up an awesome fight, especially on light gear.

Trevally are commonly seen busting up on the surface, smashing schools of live baits. The main action is mainly towards the mouth of the river and in the woods bays, but they can be caught upriver as well. They have also frequently been caught around boat moorings and wharves throughout the river.

These fish are most active in the morning and late afternoon, but will be active right throughout the day if there is a bit of cloud cover. Even though trevally seem to be caught a lot more on lures, using bait is still effective. Whether using pilchards, strips of mullet and live baits, they all work.

If you are just a beginner with trevally, using heavier 10-15lb main line in the river will prevent many bust offs. Using a drifted pilchard on a 4/0 suicide hook is one of the easiest rigs, and is a good working method.

If you have access to a cast net and know how to use it, casting on schools of herring or small mullet and using them as live bait will work a treat.

Trevally will attack all kinds of lures at the moment, since there are so many good sources of bait in the river. Casting or trolling anything from deep and shallow diving lures, to suspending and sinking lures, they will work well. A good tip when fishing with lures is to match the hatch and by looking at the colour of the water. If there are herring or mullet in the river, use darker and more natural coloured lures. If the water is slightly murky, which it has been for a while, use either dark or brightly coloured lures. Remember to always fish according to the conditions.

If you are keen enough to get up early for a fish this winter, consider fishing the Noosa River system as it is been fairly productive over the last couple of months. A lot of anglers have not been leaving empty-handed!

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