Sunshine Reef shines bright
  |  First Published: May 2014

The various reef systems off Noosa’s sheltered coastline have been fishing extremely well over the past weeks and, as the weather gets colder, expect some magic fishing!

Sunshine Reef is just one of those reefs. It is one of those reefs that is a blessing being so close to the mainland, it gives the angler with a smaller vessel a chance to go out and have a crack at a diverse range of fish. When the water is warmer it attracts a great population of mackerel and tuna. In the cooler weather expect to catch pearl perch, snapper, cod and sweetlip. The great thing about this time of the year is that you get the choice of both. So if you are heading to Sunshine Reef make sure you have quite a diverse range of lures, soft plastics and bottom bouncing rigs.

If you do have a bigger vessel, then why not try a trip out to Barwon Banks or The Hards. Both these reefs are about 50km offshore and the water is a lot deeper averaging between 50-60m. A trip out to these reefs can be very rewarding with pearl perch, red emperor, amberjack, job fish and snapper just to name a few inhabiting these reefs.

While mackerel are not normally a cool water fish, they seem to be sticking around later and later every year. Trips out to these reefs have to be well planned and that does not mean making sure you have enough bait and lures. Check the weather, wind, tide and swell. Make sure the boat has plenty of fuel, oil and battery power and of course safety gear. Check your PFDs flares and EPIRB are all in date and in working order. These reefs are great fishing grounds but it is a long way home if something goes wrong.

On the beachfront, it is great time to be out and about. Calm conditions at this time of year have drawn a lot of people to the beach and as a result, there have been some good catches. Dart, whiting, good bream and of course big winter tailor have been the most notable captures. Noosa’s North Shore all the way up to Double Island is the pick of the places to be.

For big tailor the low light periods, early morning and evening, are the best times. Large pillies, mullet and gar are perfect baits. This is the time to get out your favourite beach rod spooled up with 20lb line and 30-40lb fluorocarbon leader. Cast to the back of the gutter and roll the bait back into the white water; this is the area where the tailor love to feed.

There has been a suggestion that you only use mono line on the surf reel, but more and more anglers are moving towards braided lines. They say it gives them better feel for that finicky bite of the mulloway. For those of you that do not have a 4WD don’t despair, as the southern beaches fish equally well. In fact, some of the larger mulloway and tailor come from Perigan to Maroochy North Shore.

In the river, trevally and tailor are extremely thick around the Wood’s bays, as well as the back of Noosa Sound. Along with the trevally, school mulloway, flathead and bream have been joining in the feeding frenzies and it pays to keep your lure close to the bottom to maximise your chance of catching some of these fish.

Soft plastics, like the Gladiator Prawn, have been the most effective method so far. And if you’re unsure about which plastic to choose when chasing these fish, be sure to drop by one of the Davo’s stores for all the local info!

Up river has been equally good with large flathead as one of the main targets. A great way to nab a nice flathead is to head upriver on low tide find yourself a nice bank with just a few inches of water covering it, lift the motor to shallow water drive and nudge up onto the bank. Using bright coloured soft plastic like the Gastronomic Shad-tails or the Squidgies Whip baits cast all the way around the boat. Make sure you keep your soft plastic on the bottom, you are sure to drag it past the nose of a nice flathead as they lie in wait to ambush a passing bait fish. I have seen some cracker fish caught this way in less than a foot of water.

The Noosa River to Reef Family Fishing Classic is coming up and, with only a few week to go, be sure to register asap either at www.fishingnoosa.com.au or drop by Davo’s Noosa or Marcoola stores and fill out a entry form. Make sure you get your entries in by the 23 May to take advantage of the cheaper entry fees. One of the great things about this competition is it is geared towards families with some great prizes for kids, such as rod and reel combos and kayaks, as well as the major prizes of two boat packages for the adult entrants. So, from the team here at Davo’s see you at the River to Reef and tight lines and bent spines!

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