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Offshore options abound
  |  First Published: December 2013



For offshore anglers, Noosa should fish well this month. The opportunities available are quite vast – chasing exciting reel busting pelagic fish in the bay, hauling in a great feed off the many reefs or trolling around for the mackerel and many other gamefish.

For the time being, some of the close inshore reefs have been providing anglers with cobia, snapper, sweetlip and many other reefies, along with the occasional large cod. Chardons Reef has been the go-to spot for those wanting Spanish mackerel and marlin. The fish haven’t been huge but there have been lots of them.

Marlin reports have come in from far and wide, and it is shaping up to be the best season in years. Trolled skirts and swimming gar have accounted for plenty of fish.

Coral trout on Sunshine reef are in full swing now, and with the right gear and getting on the water early you can increase your chances of hooking some good fish. Trout fishing is a bit more complex than just sending a lump of squid down on a paternoster rig, as the trout prefer to take a bait laying on the bottom. A simple running rig with a couple of glow beads will increase your catch of trout or, if you want a more detailed run-down, chat to trout expert Chicko at Davo’s in Noosa. With 8 seasons as a pro trout fisherman under his belt, there isn’t much Chicko doesn’t know about catching these fish.

Sweetlip and cobia should be on the bite at North and Massouds reefs along with tuskfish and Spanish mackerel on drifted baits. The Nearings always produces well in the later months of summer, and some deep fished live baits will pick up anything from cobia to kingfish on the morning tides with a good berley trail going.

For the kayak offshore fishers, try trolling a Davo’s Spanish Special lure on your way out to the reefs, as the big mackerel love nothing better. A feed of trag jew should also be on the cards for those fishing at North Reef, and you should keep an eye out for more marlin and mackerel here too.

RIVER and ESTUARY

The upper reaches of the Noosa River at this time of year are home to hungry mangrove jacks. Trolled lures fished early in the morning will produce plenty of jacks for those fishing up past Johns Landing and around the mouth of Lake Cootharaba.

Big threadfin salmon, mulloway and giant trevally are caught in the Noosa River each year and their numbers seem to be increasing thanks to all the people who practice catch and release.

From Lake Cooroibah to the ferry you can expect plenty of flathead, trevally, mangrove jacks and school mulloway at this time of year, and this area is best fished with bait on the change of the tide. The ski run has been fishing well early in the morning for mulloway and trevally on soft plastics, and the Tewantin channel should still be holding cod, jacks and good trevally after dark.

Big whiting are on the bite in both rivers, and those anglers perfecting the art of surface luring are taking some great specimens to 46cm. It seems unlikely that targeting whiting on surface lures could really work, but I’m here to tell you that it does – even I can do it! If you want to find out how to get into this exciting and productive type of fishing, drop into the store and have a chat to one of the team.

Crabbing in the upper reaches of both the Maroochy and Noosa rivers can be very productive in January, as the big bucks are out on the hunt for some female company. Fresh baits and regular checking of pots is the key to getting a good feed of crabs. Fresh mullet or (my favourite) flathead frames are as good a bait as any, and crab pot placement is essential to get them up into the deeper holes close to the bank and snags.

We have had a cracker summer so far at the Maroochy River mouth with some excellent captures of mulloway, tailor, the odd queenfish and bull shark just to keep you on your toes. The Twin Waters canals have been providing anglers with some hectic sessions down at the weir with big trevally up to 5kg crashing baits and lures.

Those putting crab pots in at Twin and Noosa Waters have been having little trouble getting a feed of bucks, and casting a fresh, unweighted mullet fillet has also undone plenty of mangrove jacks in both waterways.

BEACHES

Whiting have been in good numbers from Mudjimba to Sunshine Beach. Small dart can get annoying in summer but don’t forget there are plenty of bigger fish out there with them – you may just need to switch to a bigger bait.

Over on the Northshore, the third cutting has been fishing well for small tailor on sunset and daybreak. Up past Teewah, whiting and dart should be on the bite during the run-in tides, and there is always a chance of tailor or mulloway after dark as well.

For info on what’s biting and where, go to fishingnoosa.com.au or drop into Davo’s Complete Angler Noosa or Davo’s Northshore at Marcoola. Tight lines and bent spines!

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