Noosa goes ‘flats’ out
  |  First Published: April 2013

Fishing in the Noosa River has been extremely good lately with some great catches right throughout the system.

In the lower reaches of the river, whiting and bream have been active in the shallows of the river mouth and Frying Pan area and many anglers have been catching these feisty fish on small surface walkers and poppers. This type of fishing is called ‘flats fishing’ and it really is heart in your mouth stuff!

Some of the most productive lures for flats fishing have been Bassday Sugapens, River2Sea Bubble Pops and Atomic K9 Pups. One of the most helpful tools for fishing the flats is using light braid in the 3-4lb range and making long casts along the shallows. This allows you to cover more ground and hopefully catch more fish!

Further upriver, towards Woods Bay and Noosa Sound, the trevally and tailor have been active. Surface lures take their fair share of fish here, but small soft plastics in the 3-3.5" range really come into their own.

Woods Bay holds many species of trevally and it’s possible to catch a good range of species in a single trip! Diamond, cale cale, golden, brassy, big-eye and GT are all in resident and they make for some exciting fishing, especially on light line!

When targeting these fish, it pays to mix up your lures to match what they are feeding on; in April, prawns are on the move. Gladiator Prawns, Zerek Live Shrimps and Atomic Prongs all make for great trevally lures and by slowing your retrieve down, expect to catch some big fish!

From about the Tewantin Ski Run to the mouth of Lake Cooroibah, the fishing has also been good, and this section of the river is noticeably deeper than the rest. Casting soft plastics and trolling hardbodies are the most popular options and you will be surprised about the variety of fish that lives up this far!

School mulloway often take up residence in this end of the river and by locating bait schools and fishing them with soft plastics such as Izumi Gastronomics and Gladiator Prawns, you'll have the chance to tangle with some of these river giants!

This stretch of river is also an excellent place to drop a few crab pots out and is well known for holding some big bucks.

For those that feel a bit more adventurous, between the lakes (the stretch of water between Lake Cooroibah and Lake Cootharabah) is an awesome place to wet a line. This stretch of river looks amazing with the overgrown riverbanks and deep cut banks – it really gives you the feel of fishing in a remote, northern river; but it's only a few hours up the road from Brisbane!

The main target species up here is the elusive mangrove jack and the deep, snaggy water is a perfect place for the big jacks to take up residence. Because of its snaggy nature, fishing snagless soft plastics is a must and the Z-Man 4" SwimmerZ rigged on a TT Snakehead jighead make an excellent option.

April also offers some spectacular offshore fishing and is typically associated with pelagic and reef dwelling species. Spanish mackerel will still be on the bite and trolling deep diving lures around the edge of Sunshine Reef is a very effective method of tangling with these speedsters. Another great way to catch these fish is by trolling whole fish baits such as big pilchards and slimy mackerel on a Davo's trolling rig. These rigs are essentially a trolling skirt with a lead head and run at the perfect depth for mackerel.

On the bottom fishing side of things, coral trout will be well and truly on the chew and Sunshine Reef is the perfect destination. As you sound around, look for drop-offs and coral pinnacle (often called bommies) and by fishing nice and close to these you have the best chance of catching these tasty red fish.

As far as bait selection for coral trout, a whole pilchard on a set of chemically sharpened gang hooks is hard to beat, but don't rule out soft plastics and Octo jigs. Octo jigs in particular are proving very effective on a wide range of species, especially when they are slow jigged next to and around coral bommies.

As the weather cools, snapper will also start becoming more active and will start to move in on the reefs. While normally encountered in their juvenile size, fishing the deeper water of North Reef gives you the best chance in tangling with the bigger models.

Another way to target snapper is by fishing off the various headlands around Noosa, such as Lions Rock and Hells Gate. Jerk shad styled soft plastics are favoured by the smaller snapper and by keeping your lure's action fast and erratic, you give yourself the best chance of encountering a snapper or two.

Next time you come to Noosa for a fishing holiday or if you just want to learn more about fishing, pop into Davo's Compleat Angler and have a chat to the friendly team. For even MORE information about fishing in and around Noosa, visit www.fishingnoosa.com.au for all the latest fishing and bar reports and photos.

Tight lines and bent spines!


Mitchy Fredericks from Davo's Compleat Angler boated this 2.5kg coral trout at Sunshine Reef on Sunday.


Davo's Summer Classic 2013 Tournament had 83 anglers compete and all agreed it was a fantastic, feel good event.

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