Beach a big mulloway in May
  |  First Published: May 2016

May seems to be the time of the year when the prevailing southeasterly winds start to ease a little and anglers are able to head offshore and be rewarded with good numbers of mixed pelagic and reef species. It’s a magic time as you’re blessed with the best that pelagics have to offer as well as the start of the snapper run.

Double Island Point has produced some incredible catches of reef species including snapper, Maori cod, venus tuskfish, coral bream, Moses perch, and pearl perch as well as the odd big red emperor in the mix. Most anglers fishing the reefs are filling their live bait tanks full of yakkas and slimy mackerel to catch a great number of quality fish. Fresh mullet fillets, bonito fillets, whole squid and pilchards have been the dead baits of choice.

Soft plastics have been a great option to fish the reefs. The ZMan 7” Jerk Shadz have been a proven performer in various colours. Coco ice is my favourite, weighted with elevator heads to complement the tidal movement. Micro-jigs have also produced the goods, and the TT Vector and Palms Slow Blatts in oval shape have had success.

On the North Reef, grass sweetlip, venus tuskfish, gold spot wrasse, snapper, Maori cod, scarlet sea perch and pearl perch are all available to catch. A standard running ball sinker rig to a snelled set of octopus hooks is the most effective rig around the tide changes when there is minimal current. When the run increases, switch to a paternoster rig to keep the baits on the bottom. For those who fish lures, downsize to either the Gulp or ZMan 5” Jerk Shadz.

Chardons Reef has been pelagic central with Spanish mackerel, wahoo and mixed tuna species terrorising bait balls on the surface and subsurface. Floating pilchards or live baits on a set of gangs has seen many anglers hooked up and landing quality fish. Trolling big hardbody deep diving lures has been seen some great action, and the X-Rap 30s and the Samaki Pacemakers in 140mm and 180mm have been the standout lures. Trolling allows anglers to cover larger areas of water, which simply presents your offering to more fish. Sunshine Reef has seen its best run of coral trout in over a decade, with quality fish to 6kg caught and in numbers. A well-presented pilchard, or preferably live bait have undone these fish. Mixed catches of reefies, Spanish and spotted mackerel, yellowfin and bluefin tuna have been in good numbers around Sunshine Reef as well. Work the birds and cast 30-70g metal slugs, or 5-7” flick bait soft plastic lures and expect some excellent results.

In the river we have seen some great fishing for bread and butter species well along the Gympie Terrace stretch. Woods Bays has had mixed schools of trevally (GT, big eye, tea leaf and diamond) that respond well to Blue Blue micro-jigs, Ecogear ZX blades and prawn-style soft plastics. There have also been good-sized bream on small pilchards and strips of mullet and bonito. Around the Frying Pan, whiting have been the main target with good numbers and quality fish caught on live worms, yabbies, surface lures and even small crab profile soft plastics. Crusty Crabs from River2Sea perfectly imitate a small crab, and the whiting can’t resist. Bream, flathead and tailor have also been caught while luring for whiting. As we move into the cooler months, you should see a number of larger mangrove jack taken in the river systems. Jacks will prowl the river systems looking for food and become aggressive, as they want to put on condition before making their way out to the reefs to spawn. This time of year is one of the best to target mangrove jack particularly with live baits like poddy mullet and herring, as this is high on the jack menu at this time of year. Fishing the last two hours of the run-out tide and the first two hours of the incoming tide around structure and holes should achieve success. A standard snelled rig using two 4/0 octopus hooks and a 22-30lb trace line is the rig of choice. A little further upriver the deeper holes hold some nice sized school mulloway. The Samaki Vibelicious Thumper Tails have been a real hit with anglers targeting river mulloway. Apart from the realistic colours, the larger tail vibrates and puts out a strong message down the fish’s lateral line.

May is a great time to target mulloway from the beaches. The new moon is the best time to target them – coincide this with a late evening tide for the best chance of tangling with a 1m+ mulloway. Mulloway are an ambush predator and like to feed on the darker nights. One of the most important things to keep in mind when targeting these fish is to keep any light off the water. Fishing the incoming tide as well as good gutter selection will greatly increase your chances. Bait is the other key factor, and fresh mullet, fresh tailor, a big clump of beach worms or local squid are all on the menu for mulloway.

This time of the year is usually the start of the winter bream run, and pulling 35cm+ bream from the surf is not uncommon – if last year is anything to go by we should see a great season.

• For all the latest information log onto www.fishingnoosa.com.au for up to date bar and fishing reports. Don’t forget to drop into Davo’s Tackle World in Noosa or Davo’s Northshore Bait & Tackle at Marcoola to find out where the fish are biting.

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