A fine time to head offshore!
  |  First Published: June 2016

Now that the prevailing south-easterlies have started to ease a little, anglers are able to head offshore and be rewarded with good numbers of both mixed pelagic and reef species. It’s that magic time where you’re blessed with the best the pelagics have to offer as well as the snapper really embracing the run.

Double Island Point area has produced some incredible catches of reef species with snapper, Maori cod, Venus tusk fish, coral bream, Moses perch, and pearl perch as well as the odd big red emperor in the mix.

Most anglers who fish the reefs have found that filling their live bait tanks full of yakkas and slimy mackerel has done the trick when it comes to claiming 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 for fishing the reefs and a few proven performers are the ZMan 7” Jerk ShadZ in various colours. Coco ice is my favourite, weighted with elevator heads according to the tidal movement. Micro-jigs have also produced the goods with the TT Vector and Palms Slow Blatts in oval shape getting the runs on the board.

On North Reef you’ll find grassy sweetlip, Venus tusk fish, gold spot wrasse, snapper, Maori cod, scarlet sea perch and pearl perch. A good rigging method is a standard running ball sinker rig to a snelled set of octopus hooks. This rig is most effective around the tide changes when there is minimal current. When the run increases switch to a paternoster rig to keep the bait 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. However, those choosing to troll big hardbody deep diving lures have also had some great action, with the X-rap 30’s and the Samaki Pacemakers in 140mm and 180 mm producing great results. Trolling allows anglers to cover larger areas of water, which in turn 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 in good numbers caught. A well-presented pilchard or preferably live bait has undone these fish. Mixed catches of reefies, Spanish and spotted mackerel, yellowfin and Bluefin tuna have been in good numbers around Sunshine Reef also, with anglers working the birds and casting 30-70g metal slugs or 5-7” flick bait soft plastics paying dividends.

In the river we have seen some great fishing for bread and butter species along the Gympie Terrace stretch. Woods Bays has had some great mixed schools of trevally (GT, big eye, tea leaf and diamond) 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 perfectly imitate a small crab and the whiting can’t resist.

Bream, flathead and tailor have been caught while luring for whiting. As we move closer to the cooler months you should notice a number of larger mangrove jacks taken in the river systems. Before the water cools, jacks tend to prowl the river systems more often looking for food and become aggressive as they attempt to put on condition before making their way out to the reefs to spawn. This time of year is one of the best times to target them. Use live baits like poddy mullet and herring, as that’s what they will mainly feed on at this time of year. Fish the last two hours of the run-out tide and the first two hours of the incoming tide around structure and holes. 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 are holding some nice sized school mulloway. Target them with the Samaki Thumper Tails Paddle Vibes – apart from their realistic colours, the larger tail vibrates and puts out a strong message to the fish.

For the beach anglers May is a great time to target mulloway. The new moon is the best time, so coincide this with a late evening tide to give you the best chance of tangling with a 1m+ mulloway. These fish 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 increase your chances. Bait is the other key factor, 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, pulling 35cm+ bream from the surf is not uncommon, and if last year is anything to go by we should see a great season.

• Now 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, and remember tight lines and bent spines!

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