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Busy times, shy fish
  |  First Published: December 2012



One thing that can be relied upon for this Christmas is that Teewah Beach will be busy.

The Christmas holidays and the volume of traffic along the beach can cause fish to be fairly tentative or to even stay away from the surf gutters. That doesn't mean that fish can't be caught, but for best results, early morning before the traffic starts, at dusk or during the night would be advisable.

Fishing at night also has the advantage of the algae that rises into the water column during the day settles on the bottom at night, which means little effect on the fish. So far this season there has only been small blooms of Anaulus australis, but as the summer heats up, this algae could well make its presence felt. If the water is brown, then you'll know to fish at night.

Species that will be available to beach anglers at this time of year include, whiting, dart, bream, tarwhine, tailor, trevallies, queenfish, mackerels, tunas, kingfish, flathead, jew and snub-nosed dart. With this range of species potentially available, there are any number of methods by which anglers can go about finding a feed.

Soft plastics are definitely worth a go for flathead, in particular, and jew, tailor and bream. Metal lures can come into their own with the range of pelagics available at this time of year with surface feeding schools always a possibility, or simply by retrieving over coffee rock patches in the surf for tailor or trevally.

The ever-faithful pilchard at dawn, dusk or at night is always a chance of attracting tailor, bream, jew, flathead or golden trevally and are often being taken by Spanish mackerel that can feed in the surf gutters at dusk.

By far the most popular method is still the humble old worm or eugarie, and with good reason. Almost anything can take either of these baits, but whiting, dart, bream, tarwhine, flathead and possibly giant trevally and snub-nosed dart are all potential captures on these baits.

Although the quality of the fishing hasn't really improved since the netting season, which is a phenomenon of the last couple of years only, there has been the odd feed taken. Whiting and flathead have comprised most catches, but the occasional tailor, bream and dart are making appearances. Algae permitting, this should remain the case over the next month.

There has recently been some talk of diminished worm numbers along Teewah Beach and eugarie numbers have been low for some years. With that in mind, it would be in everyone's interests to be a little conservative with the numbers that you take. If you have enough for a couple of days, then make sure that the water you are keeping the worms or eugaries in, is changed at least once per day, but ideally twice or even three times to keep them healthy and with the potential to be returned to the surf if unused. Broken worms will kill all the whole worms in a bucket, and same for the eugaries, so be sure that only live whole worms and eugaries are kept together.

The beach up until recently has been fairly horrible to drive on in places with anything other than an hour or so either side of dead low tide being a slog. A strong southeaster with an accompanying low pressure swell has finally flattened the beach out, but the sand is building up quickly again and, depending on further southeasters, it could be ugly by Christmas.

Boxing Day has a 7am high tide, which is when the bulk of the traffic is likely to arrive. I couldn't imagine a worse way to start a holiday than by lining up for everything before arriving at the ferry and the likely queue that will be there early on the 26 December and then a high tide slog to the camping ground.

Those that can arrive on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve should do so, or it might be worth waiting until a lower tide just after lunch or even on the 27th. I know a good camp site is important, but most of those will be taken by the pre Christmas campers anyway, so you may as well relax and stay sane.

As the sand builds on the beach and conditions become dry from the lack of rain, the beach entry cuttings at the first and third cut, Freshwater Rd, The Leisha Track and into beach camping spots are all becoming soft. Unless some rain turns up soon, I foresee major traumas at the third cut in particular. The sheer number of trailers and caravans that are towed up the beach these days, means that the cuttings are quickly cut up when there is a high volume of traffic.

Those that are towing trailers or vans should be well prepared for a potential bogging with tow straps, D Shackles and a shovel. Most importantly though, tyres should be deflated to no more than 18lb psi in each of the vehicle and trailer tyres. If the rain fails to arrive and the sand is soft, then 13-15lb psi for vehicles that are towing would be more appropriate. Most campers these days have 12 volt compressors on board and tyres can always be reinflated at the first opportunity. Travelling as close as possible to low tide isalso be a good idea.

Signage currently at the ferry states that all fires are banned on the Noosa North Shore, including Teewah Beach camp fires. This may change for Christmas, but if it doesn't rain between now and then, it will probably be a fire-free camp this year. I would suggest checking with QPWS prior to loading up the ute with firewood to see whether camp fires are permitted. Rangers are obviously concerned with the currently dry conditions, so much so I believe, that the Cooloola Great Walk Trail has been closed to prevent walkers being trapped in the event of bushfire.

Last Christmas I became inundated by people who hadn't purchased camping permits before arriving at the beach, found that the camping grounds were full and hoped I'd be able to find them accommodation in Teewah Village. While there are still some vacancies for Teewah holiday properties, this may not be the case by Christmas. Therefore, it would be prudent to book a camping site prior to leaving home or it is likely that there will be nowhere to stay.

As is now the norm, Police will be staying in Teewah with other patrols from Rainbow Beach assisting from the north. The Random Drug Testing Unit will be accompanying the RBT Units and mounted Police will add to the incentive not to drink and drive or speed, and to wear a seatbelt. As painful as it is to have to tolerate the long arm of the law in a place that has historically been a little lawless, there is a lot to be thankful for when the boys in blue make their presence felt at this time of year. Unless that is, you're here to do the wrong thing.

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