Exceptional river fishing
  |  First Published: November 2013

Fishing in Noosa last month has been nothing short of exceptional with the river in particular fishing extremely well.

The warmer weather is well and truly upon us, and king threadfin salmon to 7kg have been caught.

The elusive barramundi has also appeared in catches but their location is a closely guarded secret by the anglers; even bribery has not worked! The only barra info we have been able to pry from them is that it is all about live bait and big poppers.

There are also some decent flathead in the river with good catches on Squidgies soft plastic, Gastronomics and Gladiator Prawns on a slow roll.

Night fishing is really producing the goods. A lot of people don’t realise how good the fishing can be at night, particularly with lures and light gear. Stealth is the key with little or no light and all quiet on board the boat. You can really target those larger fish as the bigger fish tend to come out and feed during the night.

One such fish that responds well to lures at night is the mangrove jack. Jacks hide in their snags all through the day but come out to feed at night. They can be found feeding out on the flats at night, so large paddle-tailed soft plastics worked slowly can produce some great jack fishing.

For those of you who have a boat with an electric motor, sneaking around the jetties along the banks of the canals can really pay off. Casting hardbody or soft plastics at or under the jetties can be a lot of fun but you need to be pinpoint accurate. This is where your baitcaster rod and reel will come in handy and aim for the shadow side of the jetty. As the large jack tend to hit and run, be prepared to use a bit of gear.

For those of you that prefer your beauty sleep, try trolling hardbody lures over the rough ground between the Noosa lakes as it can also bring some great results.

As summer approaches the beaches are the place to be. Being up nice and early or going down for a fish after work is the way to go. Noosa’s North Shore, Sunshine Beach, Perigian Beach and all the way down to Mudjimba have reported some excellent catches. The fish in these areas tend to feed at dawn and dusk.

If you are on the beach look for the gutters with the water moving in one end and out the other; bream, whiting, flathead and plenty of dart should be around. A couple of my most favourite baits for the beach is a lightly weighted peeled prawn, as well as small pillies on 1/0 ganged hooks cast out into a surf gutter and allowed to drift under the foam and whitewash. By using these techniques, other fish species like trevally, tailor and maybe even the elusive mulloway may be caught.

There have also been reports of some large mulloway fish off the rock at Point Arkwright. We recently had a free diving spear fisherman in our Marcoola store that reported seeing them up to 1.5m long in the same area, at that size they would be touching the 25kg mark a real challenge for those fishing off the rocks at night. Fresh mullet and tailor fillets are perfect bait for the mulloway as they tend to roll it around in their mouths before taking it, so be patient and wait for the run before setting the hook, as a lot of good fish are lost before the fight has begun.

Mackerel are starting to show up with schools of spotted and Spanish tearing through baitfish schools around Laguna bay. Try trolling diving lures like the Mackerel Mauler, the new River2Sea Torpedos and the X-Rap Magnums. These lures can dive to an amazing 30ft and can be trolled at 6-8 knots.

Keep an eye on your sounder when you see those bait schools; they are designed to imitate a fleeing baitfish and look like an easy meal to a hungry mackerel. Keep your trolling speed up as these fast moving lures are easily taken by these speedsters of the sea.

Another method for mackerel is drift baiting with live or dead baits. If you are fishing braid, tie on at least 5m of heavy fluorocarbon leader and don’t use any wire. By not using wire you might lose a couple of fish but you will get at least twice the amount of strikes. The trick to fishing this method is look for areas where the water is disturbed as mackerel love this type of water. The perfect area is on the side of a reef or large bommie that stirs up the water.

Anchor up current from this area and cast at right angles to the boat as the bait sinks it will come around to the rear of the boat with the current. Berley up with pillies cut into 1” cubes and this will increase the chances of the fish finding your bait. The best way to disperse this is if you throw in one piece at a time wait until you can’t see that piece then throw another, this will also help to bring them on the bite. This method is very successful and has produced some good numbers of fish with lots of snapper also getting caught.

For all the info where, when and how in regards to fishing in the Great Sunny Coast area, drop into the Davo’s Tackle stores at Noosa and Marcoola and we will be more than happy to help. For all the latest reports and fishing information, jump on www.fishingnoosa.com.au and as always, Tight lines and bent spines.

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