Noosa’s offshore reefs are the place to be. Whether chasing exciting reel busting pelagics in the bay, hauling in a great feed off the many reefs, or trolling around for mackerel and many other game fish, the opportunities available are quite vast.
For the time being, some of the close inshore reefs have been providing anglers with exciting action, as mackerel, tuna and wahoo are crashing into all sorts of baits and lures. Trolled skirts and big hardbodies like Rapala X-Raps, Halco Laser Pros and the River to Sea Torpedo have accounted for plenty of fish. Whilst trolling, juvenile black marlin have been responsible for the odd exciting moment, with the area around Chardon’s Reef the most productive.
Cobia, snapper, sweetlip and many other ‘reefies’ have been plentiful around the inner reefs. The coral trout is one of the most sought after of all the reef species, and Sunshine Reef is one of the best places to target them. The trout fishing is a little bit more complex than just sending a lump of squid down on a paternoster rig though, as the trout prefer to take a bait laying on the bottom. Therefore, fish the bait hard to the reef and you will find your trout catch greatly increase. For a detailed rundown on everything trout, come in and see Chicko at Davo’s Tackle World in Noosa. With 8 seasons as a pro trout fisherman under his belt, there isn’t much old Chicko doesn’t know about catching coral trout.
Heading up to North Reef and the Double Island reefs will also see larger Spanish mackerel. This is the time of year when the big fellas come to town, with fish up to 35kg not uncommon. Sweetlip, cobia, pearl perch and the odd snapper will be on the bite as well, along with tuna and mackerel on drifted baits.
The Nearings, Coolum and Murphys Reef to the south always produce well in the latter months of summer, and again pilchard floaters and live baits work well here. Don’t forget to get that berley trail happening, as this will bring the fish to you. Use a good amount at the start and then slow it right down, with a piece of berley dropped every minute or so. Too much and Mr Shark will make an appearance.
In the rivers at this time of year, the upper reaches of the Noosa is one of the top spots for mangrove jacks. Fishing up past Johns Landing to the mouth of Lake Cootharaba is a great area. An early start is essential though, and work the snaggy shoreline with suspending and diving lures. Jacks love to hide in the snags and feed on passing bait as it moves down-river on the tide. Give the River2Sea Live Minnows a go. These lures are also good for trolling, and you may encounter big threadfin salmon, mulloway, giant trevally, and there’s always the chance of a barra.
From Lake Cooroibah to the ferry you can expect plenty of flathead, trevally, mangrove jacks and school mulloway, with soft plastics being perfect in this area. Drifting down-river working a soft plastic will cover a lot of ground and inevitably get you onto the fish. The run-out tide is the best and fishing the low light periods will greatly increase your chances.
Big whiting are on the bite in both the Noosa and Maroochy rivers. Surface lure fishing is taking some great fish up to 40cm. Small popper and sinking poppers are the way to go, but also give the surface walkers a try. Skinny Dogs, SugaPens and Skinny Pops all work extremely well on these delicious table fish.
If you want to find out how to get into this exciting and productive type of fishing, drop into either of our Davo’s stores and have a chat to the team. Let’s face it, if these guys aren’t at work they are out fishing, so their local knowledge is incredible and are more than happy to help to get you on the fish.
Crabbing in the upper reaches of both the Maroochy and Noosa rivers can be very productive in February, as the big bucks are out on the hunt for some female company. Fresh baits like mullet frames and chook frames work well. I like to place my pots in deeper holes and then head off for a couple of hours’ fishing with the fresh mullet fillets I have just taken off the frames. Regular checking of pots is the key to getting a good feed of crabs though.
We have had a sensational summer on the beaches, with some excellent captures of mulloway, tailor, dart, whiting and flathead all coming from the sand. Small dart can get annoying in summer, but they are great fun for the kids and there is nothing better than the big smile you get when they catch something.
Over on the Noosa North Shore, the Third Cutting has been fishing well for small tailor on sunset and daybreak, while up past Teewah some of the bigger tailor have touched the 3kg mark. This time last year, a 5.4kg fish was taken in that exact area, and an old-fashioned 10lb tailor is definitely on every beach fisho’s bucket list.
Night fishing for big mulloway is also worth a try; big baits, big sinker, and let them soak is the tried and true method that most diehard mulloway fishermen use.
Now 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 into Davo’s Tackle World Noosa or Davo’s Northshore Bait and Tackle at Marcoola to find out where the fish are biting.
Graham Mutch won the $50 Davo's Fish of the Week prize with this quality 5.5kg spangled emperor from The Hards.
Richard and Jodie Stonehouse from Tewantin boated a Spaniard and 3 spotties at Sunshine Reef on Christmas Day.
Local lass Maddie is pictured with a couple of nice pearl perch from her trip to Chardon's Reef with Chicko Vella of Davo's Tackle World.Reads: 846