March is massive Spanish mackerel time!
  |  First Published: March 2016

Offshore fishing at this time of the year always depends on the weather, but with a bit of luck we should see plenty of good days to get out on the water and take advantage of the many reefs just off Noosa and Mooloolaba.

Spots and species

Sunshine Reef has to be one of my favourites out of Noosa – not only is it a shorter journey, but the list of species to be caught here is very impressive. The bottom list includes coral trout, sweetlip, and Maori cod. On the pelagic side expect to see tuna, spotted mackerel, wahoo and of course big Spanish mackerel. This is the time of year when trolling can be rewarding. Deep diving lures trolled at a good pace along the edges of the reef will definitely improve your chances. Some of the great options in deep divers at the moment are the Halco Laser pros, the Samaki Pacemakers, and of course the Zerek Bluewater limited. All these manufactures build quality lures with quality hooks and have a great range of colours.

Little Halls is another spot that isn’t too much of a journey. When the spotty mackerel are on, it can be hard to get bait past them to get into anything else from the bottom.

North Reef is another great reef that can really fire at this time of the year; lots of quality bottom fish and one of my favourites, big cobia. There have been plenty of big cobia hooked and lost of late so check your gear is up to the job. Good solid leader is crucial as well as braid, I am running 50lb on most of my gear with 60-80lb leader, even though a lot of anglers tend to go back to mono leader at these depths I still like to run fluorocarbon for its better abrasion qualities. Livies or a pilchard slowly floated to the bottom has been the most successful for me.

Another great option while fishing North Reef is micro jigging, this relative new style of fishing has really taken off with a great deal of anglers stating that they are getting better results with jigs than with bait. If you are yet to give the micro jigs a go, drop into either of our stores and one of our staff will take you through what you will need.

A trip up to Double Island Point or out to the Barwon Banks are, as always, at the hands of the weather, but if the forecast is favourable definitely worth the trip. The big red emperor is the target fish up here but you can also expect big snapper and pearl perch.

Noosa River

The Noosa River has been fishing well with trevally and tailor action on the increase. With queenfish, tailor and a variety of trevally feeding on prawns and baitfish right throughout the system with majority of the action being centred around Woods Bay. Mangrove jack captures are definitely on the increase with the most successful fishers getting out at night; these fish tend to feed more aggressively around the new moon period and when there is a bit of average weather around, good sized fish have been taken from the mouth all the way up to the lakes on anything from prawns to live bait, soft plastics and hardbodies. Casting around structure is the best bet so the pontoon and jetties in the Noosa Sound are the perfect home for these ambush predators.

For those after a feed of flathead, the mud flats along the Tewantin stretch of the river is always worth a go. The Keitech soft plastics have been a hit with the flathead and come in a great range of sizes, shapes and colours. Also up river threadfin salmon have been on the chew, and are happy to take live bait or a well presented mullet fillet.

Whiting activity is also good with some elbow-slappers getting caught around the shallow sand flats of the frying pan and the dog beach. These tasty fish are great fun with small surface lures worked across the top of the water. I like the Sugapen Surface Walkers from Bassday, with a good walk-the-dog action the whiting can’t resist. For those that enjoy a spot of crabbing, now is the perfect time to put in a few pots out. With the recent rains and cooler temperatures there are more about and they are full and super sweet. There are many myths about the best bait for catching crabs; from chicken carcass to tins of cat food, but the most consistent method has been good fresh mullet.

Beach days

On the beach, the Noosa North Shore has again been the spot to be, or to be more precise, the stretch between Teewah and Double Island. mulloway have been on the mind of most anglers heading that way, fresh mullet, tailor fillets and large clumps of beach worms have all done the job. Fishing at night with very little moon has been the most successful over the last few months. In the closer gutters, chopper tailor, bream and the ever present dart have been plentiful and taking prawn and smaller baitfish like hardiheads and whitebait. No need to cast a mile as most of the time they are just about swimming at your feet.

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 & Tackle at Marcoola to find out where the fish are biting, and remember tight lines and bent spines!

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