May is magic for coral trout
  |  First Published: May 2013

May always heralds the cooler change on the Sunshine Coast and really brings out the best in the numerous reefs scattered up the coastline.

This is the magic time of the year to fish the reefs off the Sunshine Coast for big coral trout. Sunshine Reef, North Reef and even out wider hold good concentrations of coral trout hiding around coral pinnacles and drop-offs.

When it comes to catching trout, they are hard, dirty fighters and their sole objective is to rub you off on the closest piece of razor sharp coral or rock. When choosing bait or lures for trout it pays to keep your offering close to or on the bottom. Octo jigs and Berkley Gulp Nemesis soft plastics are gun lures and extra heavy jigheads are a must in this situation.

Another effective way to catch coral trout is with a gang hooked pilchard rigged with a big ball sinker and dropped to the bottom and not moved. As the little fish pick at your bait any trout in the area will take notice. As soon as the trout hits you MUST get it away from the bottom.

Believe it or not, mackerel will still be around and the bigger models tend to come through later in the season. One of the most popular ways to target Spanish mackerel involves rigging a Davo’s XXL pilchard (or similar sized oily baitfish) on a chin guard rig and sliding an attractor skirt over the top. By doing this method, it allows you to troll these baits for long distances without the bait breaking up.

A popular location for chasing mackerel is the inside and outside edges of Sunshine Reef, as well as The Blinker off Mooloolaba.

On the river side of things, this is the time of year that trevally and tailor school up in the various bays and deeper holes scattered around the Noosa River, with Woods Bay and Noosa Sound a couple of standouts. In these deeper sections, the trevally and tailor herd baitfish and prawns to the surface and start a feeding frenzy! These frenzies are a great opportunity to catch fish, as with all the excitement in the water, the fish will blindly smash almost anything!

Further upstream, flathead will be hanging around the edges of sand banks in and around the ski run and have been responding well to Gladiator Prawns slowly rolled across the bottom. In the same section, around the middle of the river, school-sized mulloway fish (or soapies as they are known when they are juveniles) will be hugging tight to the bottom and also respond to a slowly worked soft plastic kept tight to the bottom.

Right up the top most section of the river has also been fishing well with mangrove jack making their annual trip up to the pristine looking waters of the everglades. The Noosa everglades are a stunning destination and hold a wide variety of fish such as bass, tarpon, mangrove jack and many more!

A lot of people are surprised that you can catch large mangrove jack in freshwater. It pays to take some heavier gear when you’re up there because fish in the 50-60cm range aren’t uncommon! If you want some more information about fishing Noosa’s everglades, drop in and have a chat to the team!

On the beach front, Noosa’s north shore will be expecting the annual tailor run. Places like Double Island Point and the First Cutting are excellent locations for a few quality tailor. Whole pilchards rigged on a gang hook flicked out into the entrance of a surf gutter produce some great results, especially right on dusk when the fish are a lot more active.

Another great option for fishing the surf is heavily weighted soft plastics worked quickly across the bottom with big paddle-tailed lures the way to go.

Don’t forget the Noosa River 2 Reef Family Fishing Classic is coming up soon, so be sure to mark down the dates in your calendar! The comp kicks off on Friday 31 May and runs to Sunday 2 June. Last year, the comp proved a big success with huge giveaways including a boat, motor and loads other prizes! It is a great family friendly event with plenty of people already signing up. Please go to www.fishingnoosa.com.au for more information and don’t forget when you are up Noosa way, drop into Davo’s and have a chat with the friendly staff.

Tight lines and bent spines!

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