The great thing about May is we usually enjoy the best of both worlds, as the warmer currents hopefully stick around and keep the pelagic bite hot for the rest of the month. The further north you go, the more likely this is to happen, so areas off Double Island would be where I’d be heading in the hope of bagging some big pelagics.
This is also the start of the snapper season, with the bigger fish on the deeper reefs. Head for the Barwon Banks on a good day, with North Reef also a great feeding ground for them. Soft plastics like the Fuse 110mm paddle tail are a great way to hook snapper, and with the motion of the boat doing most of the work, you can simply leave the rod in the holder. If you are fishing a paternoster rig, put a soft plastic on the top dropper with a lighter jighead, so if you do get baited you are still in the game. With snapper fishing, deeper water usual means larger fish, so that 60m mark is a great depth to target them.
Large mulloway and cobia are also on the cards at this time of the year. In fact, it is said that as the whales start their northern migration the cobia become more prolific. For the small craft that don’t feel comfortable making the trip to the Banks or North Reef, then Sunshine Reef is a great option, with sweetlip, Maori cod, squire and the odd trout hanging around. Sunshine Reef is also a great place to give micro jigging a go, as with the shallower reefs you can use some of the lighter jigs. The Shore Trickers from Maria are sensational and have been working a treat for our resident micro jigger Chris, who has got the action down pat. Call into Davo’s Tackle World in Noosa and hit him up to find out what it is all about.
On the beach, the cooler months mean the start of the tailor and winter bream run. As the water starts to cool we will see those beautiful silver winter bream appear. Fish of 40cm are not uncommon, and with a diet of prawns and small fish, are an easy mark for the beach angler. Small pillies, whitebait and hardiheads are all on the menu, with prawns also a favourite. The southern beaches around Marcoola and Yaroomba are a great spot to chase winter bream, as well as Noosa’s North Shore.
You are also likely to come across tailor while fishing the beach, as they make their northern migration up towards Fraser Island. We are starting to see great improvement in the quality of the fish, as well as the size of the schools. It was reported last year that the water up at Fraser was black with fish and I haven’t heard that term used for quite some time. When you do come across a school of tailor, give the good old Halco Twisty a go. They come in chrome and gold and work a treat with a fast retrieve.
Another great fish improving in numbers are the mulloway. These have a varied diet, with squid, worms and baitfish of all kinds, but probably the most successful has to be a fresh mullet fillet on a set of ganged hooks, or a snelled rig of 5/0 hooks. Mulloway are a challenge off the beach, with the best I saw last year tipping the scales at over 25kg and 143cm in length. Now that’s not easy to land, especially on the beach with a decent swell.
The cooler months are also great in the rivers, with the Noosa and Maroochy producing great fish. Tailor and trevally will be coming into the systems in abundance, so surface poppers and walkers are the way to go. The Skinny Dog from River2Sea is a real favourite, and the cooler mornings should see some great surface action with these predators following schools of bait in on the high tide.
Areas like Woods Bay in the Noosa River and Black Banks in the Maroochy are the go, and if you can time this with an early morning high tide, you will have everything in your favour. Also give the river mouths a go; the run-in tide with slugs fished with a fast retrieve should also see some good results.
A little further upstream, good structure is the ideal place to start. Pontoon, jetty and bridge pylons are all places that bream and other predators love to call home. A run-out tide is good here, as the fish will tend to sit in the lee of the structure and ambush passing morsels of food.
This is a great time for plastics fishing, with the new Squidgy Prawn proving to be a real cracker. Laced with a nice smear of S Factor, these new plastics have been the business. With a great range of colours, styles and sizes, they are perfect for flicking around structure. Fishing the upper stretches of the Maroochy and Noosa rivers has also paid dividends, and drifting down with the tide flicking prawn profile and paddle tail soft plastics should see you pick up some nice flathead. The deeper holes upriver should also be holding some nice school mulloway.
So for all the best advice, the gear you need, and where the fish are biting, call into Davo’s Tackle World Noosa or our store down at Marcoola — Davo’s Northshore Bait and Tackle. Also check out the latest catches, fishing reports and bar crossing info at www.fishingnoosa.com.auReads: 499