March signals a cooler change in the weather, but not a cool off in the fishing action!
For estuary anglers, this is the perfect time to take advantage of the large schools of trevally and tailor that come through at this time of the year. The Maroochy and the Noosa rivers are well known for their surface action, especially on top water lures, and this month should prove no exception.
Locating bait schools is essential for this type of fishing and, as is the case with most fishing, matching the profile of your lures to the bait fish will certainly help land you more fish! Likewise, try chasing these speedsters around the low light periods of the day; it seems that as the light changes from dark to bright, the baitfish become disorientated and the predators move in.
Contrary to popular belief, there will still be a lot of mangrove jack around this time of year. This is the perfect time to venture right up your estuary system to places such as the stretch of water between lake Cooroibah and lake Cootharabah in the Noosa River. The cooler water will make jacks a little harder to catch, but certainly not impossible. Try slowing down your lure’s action and focus on keeping your lure as close to the snags for as long as possible.
Another great place to fish is the sand flats. Places like Noosa’s ‘frying pan’ and the ‘black banks’ in the Maroochy are excellent places for a spot of flats fishing, with surface lures the most popular option. Fish that are up on the flats are more exposed and therefore more sensitive to noise, so it pays to choose the stealth approach. By using light lines, small lures and making long casts, catching good fish on the flats becomes much easier.
An important factor of fishing the flats is the wind. Setting up a drift where you cover as much ground as possible – with the wind at your back – is one of the most important things to consider when starting your drift. Some of the species you are likely to encounter while fishing the flats are whiting, bream, flathead, trevally and tailor, but like all fishing, surprise encounters are not uncommon.
For the offshore anglers, March is the perfect time of the year to catch coral trout as they make their way back up the coast in search of warmer water. Some popular locations to target a few trout include both inner and outer Gneerings, Sunshine and North Reef, but any reefy structure with the presence of coral bommies is a perfect location for coral trout.
Cooler weather also brings on the reefies such as snapper, pearlies and sweetlip. Couple that with the light winds in the morning and you have a recipe for some excellent bottom fishing! When fishing for these particular species, it pays to take a few soft plastics with you as they can often turn an average day into a really good one! Plastics in the 5-7” size come into their own when subtly ‘jigged’ around the coral bommies and drop-offs and with a bit of persistence, they can provide some amazing results.
While you’re fishing, it pays to keep an eye on the horizon as schools of mackerel and various tuna species will be on the surface feeding on baitfish schools. Having a rod rigged-up with a small metal slice, or a baitfish profiled soft plastic can be extremely successful on these speedy fish! Places such as Laguna Bay, which is just off Noosa’s bar is an extremely good place to start the search for fish as the calm waters make it a pleasant place for the bait fish to go. It also pays to keep binoculars on board as these make looking for feeding birds and fish much easier.
Spanish and spotted mackerel are both still active at this time of the year, and trolling hardbodied lures at various depths is an excellent way to chase a few. One way to really improve your catch rate is to change lure colours and styles regularly. Once you have caught a fish on a specific lure or colour, change all your rigs to that one to take advantage of the fish and their current feeding pattern.
March is also a great month for fishing on the beach, especially in the early morning before the beaches become too busy. Expect to find some thumping whiting at this time of year, as well as bream, flathead and dart.
Another option for the beach fisho’s is casting some bigger baits out around the gutters at night for species like mulloway, which frequent the beaches in the dead of the night.
For all the info about fishing the Sunshine Coast, be sure to drop into either Davo’s Compleat Angler in Noosaville, or Davo’s North Shore bait and tackle in Pacific Paradise and have a chat to the friendly team. For the latest bar reports and photos and all the latest reports make sure you visit www.fishingnoosa.com.au . Tight lines and bent spines!
Woody won the $50 Davo's Fish of the Week prize with the 19kg Spaniard he caught at Sunshine Reef.
Tate Loh, 6yo, from Little Mountain tempted this 55cm lizard with a whole prawn bait at the Munna Point Bridge.Reads: 1215