Winter, the perfect time to hit the reefs
  |  First Published: August 2014

Water temperatures are perfect at the moment for reef fishing and this means we can expect to see some quality snapper catches!

All our reefs are producing at the moment with Sunshine Reef being a favourite for the anglers with smaller craft; there have been some great sweetlip and snapper taken from this reef with the soft plastics being a favourite amongst anglers. For the anglers with a larger vessels, North Reef is also producing some great catches. Venturing out at night has been especially productive with all-nighters the best way to catch some big snapper. Sweetlip and pearlies are also on the chew and these hard fighting fish always take a liking to soft plastics hopped around the coral structure. One of the most important things when using soft plastics is selecting the correct jighead. 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. For more information about the best colors and styles of soft plastics to use, pop into Davo’s for a chat.

Micro jigging is also a great way to target these fish. This is a fairly new concept for anglers with good snapper, sweetlip and a stack of other reef dwellers all falling victim to the technique. There are some great rods on the market that have been specially designed for this type of fishing. The Gomoku rods from Storm hit the market last year and were an instant hit with anglers, there is also the Salty Stage Light Jigging from Abu Garcia that is perfect for the job. You will need to team this with a light weight reel with good drag pressure. The Shimano Rarenium CI4 in the 4000 and 5000 are perfect for the job. These reels are very light and balance well with these light weight rods. Good quality, high strength braid is also an essential part of the set up, and of course there are the jigs themselves. Our local anglers have had some great success with the Maria Shore Tricker and the Braid Sailfin jigs of which both have been claiming their fair share of fish. The best action is to fish them tight to the reef with small lifts of the rod tip to allow the lure to flutter back down horizontally and you will find that the fish tend to hit them as they drop, so make sure you’ve got your drag set fairly tight as they hit hard and run for cover! To take a look at these setups before your next trip to the reef, call into Davo’s and the team will give you a run down on all things micro jigging.

In the Noosa and Maroochy rivers there has been some great elbow slapper whiting caught on yabbies and surface lures. If you’ve never chased whiting on surface lures before, now is the perfect time to head out to the sand flats and catch a few! A couple of great surface lures are Strada Pencils, River 2 Sea Bubble Pops in the 45mm size as well as the Crystal Pop sinking popper. All three of these lures work along the surface, and when twitched in a certain way, they produce a great action that whiting can’t resist! A couple of key things to remember when targeting whiting is to fish the last of the run out tide until the start of the run in tide, this is when the water is at its dirtiest. Whiting are generally pretty shy, but with a bit of dirty water they will definitely rise for a surface lure! Another factor worth keeping in mind is the wind. A bit of wind chop on the water is a good thing as the fish won’t feel as exposed being up on the sand flats.

Elsewhere in the Noosa River, Woods Bays has been providing some spectacular surface sessions lately, with tailor and trevally schooling up and hunting baitfish and prawns! These bullies of the river tend to force the bait to the surface by hitting the bait from underneath; the early morning is the best time to be in the bays with surface poppers cast around the moored boats as the fish hide under the boats and use a hit and run tactic. Once the sun’s come up a bit, it’s time to tie on a soft plastic, and a prawn profile plastic such as the Zerek Live Shrimp or the ever popular gladiator prawn, are great options when the surface bite gets slow. Another plus of throwing soft plastics as it also brings some other species into the equation such as large flathead and the big winter bream which tend to spawn at this time of the year.

On the beach it is all about the mulloway with large fish over the metre mark a fairly common thing. With mulloway it’s all about patience, large baits like whole squid, large pilchards and one of their favourite’s whole garfish are all on the menu for a large mulloway. Dark nights with little or no moon are the best. Cast heavily weighted baits to the back of the gutter and let them soak. A mulloway bite is somewhat different as they tend to roll the baits in their mouths. They can even pick it up, drop it and then come back to it. Try not to get over excited and let the mulloway take the bait, wait for the run and then set the hooks. A lot of mulloway are lost simply from the angler being over exuberant.

• For all the latest information log onto www.fishingnoosa.com.au for up to date bar and fishing reports and don’t forget to drop in to Davo’s Tackleworld Noosa or Davo’s Northshore Bait & Tackle at Marcoola to find out where the fish are biting, and remember tight lines and bent spines!

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