Water temperatures are at perfect levels at the moment for reef fishing and this means we can expect to see some great snapper catches!
The middle and outer reefs have been the best for these fantastic tablefish with North Reef producing some great catches. Berleying up is the perfect way to attract the fish. Small chunks of pillies dropped over the side at regular intervals will help to bring the fish on. Sweetlip and pearlies also on the bite and are a great by catch (if you want to call it that) when targeting snapper.
Another way to capture a great reef species is to try hopping a soft plastic around the coral structure. For this type of fishing you want the soft plastic to look as natural as possible, so chose the lightest jighead you can get away with. Lots of plastics work well but the 5” ZMan Scented Jerk ShadZ in the coconut ice colour are a favourite of mine. For more information about the best colours and styles of soft plastics to use, pop into Davo’s for a chat with the team and we will give you the good info on what is working where.
Tuna are still on the bite with some nice longtails and yellowfin being caught just off the coast and the inner reefs. A trolled lure is perfect for chasing tuna. The Live Target lure is one such lure; it can be trolled at higher speeds of up to 10 knots which is perfect for tuna and mackerel. A well cast soft plastic with a high speed jigging motion is also a great way to target these speedy fish. It pays to keep an eye on the horizon as the best way to find these fish is by looking for the flocks of birds that follow the tuna around. You may also see the odd spotted or Spanish mackerel, yellowfin tuna and mac tuna while chasing these schools.
Winter means large bream and big tailor. The Noosa North Shore is one of the best places to target tailor, with larger fish being caught up past Teewah. A great way to fish for tailor is at night with large pillies or fresh mullet cast to the back of a gutter with good water movement. The larger fish like to feed at night or the low light times of early morning and late afternoon. There is always the chance of a nice jew then as well, and through the day there have been good catches of dart and bream.
Around the rocks and headlands snapper and sweetlip are also being caught. Flat Rock in the Noosa National Park has been a favourite spot for the locals. You will need to pack light as this is a fair walk from the car park and, as with all rock fishing, never turn your back on the sea. These fish are often just around the edge of the rocks, so short, accurate casts right at your feet will give you the best chance to catch a snapper or two. Snapper also love lures, and a soft vibe such as the new Fish Candy Paddle Vibe hopped across the rocks and structure will put you in with a great chance of catching some nice snapper.
Noosa Sound and the Woods Bays area have been going off with big trevally feeding on the surface on the bait schools brought in on the tide. A great way to target these fish is with surface poppers like the River2Sea Bubble Pops and Halco Roostas. Poppers make for a really exciting way to spend an early morning’s fishing.
Flathead are in good numbers at the moment, with the upper reaches of the river proving to be the best location to find a feed. Don’t forget your size and bag limits – there’s a minimum size of 40cm, a maximum size of 75cm and a big limit of five per person.
The second ski run has been where the majority of flathead have been caught, with trolled hardbodies a very effective method of catching these fish. Another great way to catch flathead is a cast-and-retrieved soft plastic (lately we’ve been using the Davo’s custom-rigged Gladiator Prawn). Flathead are ambush predators and will explode out of the sand to catch a baitfish or shrimp. If you maintain contact with the bottom as you retrieve your lure, you will give yourself the best chance to tangling with a big flathead.
Big bream are a great species to target during the cooler months. These fish can be very finicky about eating a lure so light line is a must. I reckon 3lb to 4lb line is about as heavy as you want to go. And something worth a look if you intend to do deep water breaming is a spool of straight-through fluorocarbon. Because fluorocarbon has low light refraction properties and excellent abrasion resistance, it’s perfect for this kind of application.
As far as lures go, soft plastics such as Squidgy Wrigglers in blood worm or ZMan GrubZ in motor oil work well. Another great lure for this type of fishing is blades or vibes. These small lures are made of metal or plastic and give off a very strong vibration when worked.
Until next month, feel free to call in and see the team here at Davo’s Tackle World in Noosa or Davo’s Northshore Bait and Tackle in Marcoola for all the latest on what’s biting and where. And, as always, tight lines and bent spines!Reads: 944