Snapper time
  |  First Published: July 2013

Snapper are the fish of the month here on the Sunshine Coast and with a bit of luck with the weather it’s looking like it’s going to be a cracker of a season.

Noosa’s offshore reefs are really firing up with snapper as the temperature drops and the sea flattens out. Sunshine Reef has been the standout with some good sweetlip thrown into the mix as well. The snapper have been schooling up on the northern end and biting best on the change of tide, an hour either way of high or low.

The first rig that goes over the side is always a Black Magic Snapper Snatcher with half a pilchard on each hook. Half the time this is the only rod that gets used because if the snapper are on the bite and your fishing the right spot at the right part of the tide, you will have your hands full with double header hook ups not being uncommon.

Rig number two is my floater rig, which is a medium spin or overhead outfit with 20lb braid and a 2m leader of 30lb fluorocarbon. A small snap swivel is attached at the end for ease of changing rigs and sinker size when the current flow demands that I use more lead. These rigs I have pre-tied in zip lock bags with a different size ball sinker on each rig running straight down to two snelled 6/0 Mustard Penetrator hooks. Also with having a dozen or so rigs ready to go it makes it easy getting bait back in the water after you have just been bricked.

Sinker weight is kept at a minimum and few pieces of chopped up pilchard are dispersed sparingly over the side to drift down with my 3/4 pillie that has the hooks well hidden. Bail arm open and feeling the braid with your fingers as the line slips off the reel waiting in anticipation for the telltale sign of a fumbling snapper bite as it grabs the bait and heads for home. Then it’s simply close the bail arm let the line pull tight and then depending on weather you have hooked a 3kg snapper or an 18kg cobia will determine the duration of the fight!

Chicko at Davo’s in Noosa tells me this is his favourite time to tackle the big cobia out at Chardons and North Reef. Big squid baits are his number one choice hanging off a pair of Mustad Big Gun hooks. Pearl perch won’t be too far away if you can get a bait past the snapper and there may still be some extra-large Spanish mackerel still about so trolling a lure around the reefs could be another good option.

On the beaches mulloway have been caught from the northern end of Mudjimba and good tailor at the Maroochy River mouth on the late afternoon high tides. Sunshine beach has been good for dart, bream and tarwhine along with the odd big green back tailor and school mulloway. Both the Maroochy and Noosa rivers have been producing big tailor late at night and especially under the bridges with Noosa also putting on some cracker sessions in the upper reaches with good trevally and the odd monster queenfish.

The mangrove jack have all shut down for the winter with the odd exception coming from the Twin Waters canals. Flathead numbers are on the rise just inside the Maroochy River mouth all the way up to Petrie Creek and beyond. At Noosa you will find flathead at the Ski Run and up at the first lake. Bream are well spread in both rivers with the bigger fish being caught early in the mornings on prawns and mullet fillet.

This year’s Noosa River to Reef Family was a huge success with 480 anglers taking part. With two boats and over $60,000 in combined prizes there were a lot of very happy anglers here in Noosa and next year promises to be even bigger again.

• Drop into Davo’s Compleat Angler anytime for a chat to see what’s biting and where and hopefully we can put you onto some of the great fish that the Sunshine Coast is famous for. Stay safe out on the water, enjoy your fishing and we’ll see you in at Davo’s soon. If you are in Noosa our Mega store is in Mary street just up from the boat ramp and our Northshore shop is at 938 David Low Way Marcoola opp Surf Air. Tight lines and bent spines!

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