Anglers love the winter weather on the Sunshine Coast
  |  First Published: July 2016

The fishing in the Noosa River over the past month has again been sensational; the river shows a great diversity at this time of the year, with the whole system producing great fish.

Starting at the mouth, tailor have been all the rage with large fish taking a liking to baits, soft plastics and smaller slugs on a quick retrieve. The Halco Twisty has always been a favourite but there are plenty of slugs on the market that are great for the job. The Colt Sniper from Shimano is actually a micro jig but works extremely well as a fast retrieve slug. The Colts have a great holographic pattern and are perfect way to excite a hungry tailor.

Down towards the Dog Beach and the Frying Pan, good sized whiting have been taking a liking to live worms, yabbies and the humble peeled prawn. A lot of anglers these days are having great success on popping the surface for whiting. The 50mm Bolt Ballistic popper is a great surface popper with the perfect action that whiting can’t resist.

Around the Woods Bay’s area, tailor, trevally and larger bream have been smashing baitfish, with the low light periods and a high tide the most productive. Lightly weighted frog-mouth pilchards are a great bait. A popular technique is to cast a pilchard into the feeding fish and let it sink slowly through the water column.

Another option is surface fishing with larger surface walkers. I’ve had good success on the River2Sea Skinny Dogs, with the 110mm size a good match for the baitfish that are there at the moment. These surface lures work well with a walk-the-dog action imitating a struggling baitfish or prawn.

Further upriver the larger flathead are in great numbers. This is that great time of year where they can tend to ‘nest up’, that is, a larger female will attract smaller male suitors. Working brighter coloured soft plastics across the bottom, like the Fuze 80mm fin baits, should see results. Work areas like the Ski Runs, Weyba Creek and the mouth of Lake Cootharaba. If you do catch a couple of smaller fish, keep working that same area as chances are big mamma is there as well.

Another great species that frequents the river at this time of year are school jew, these fish can be found from the mouth right the way upstream. Fishing the deeper sections of the river has been the best bet with paddle vibe soft plastics a great way to target them. The Thumper Tails from Samaki have been very popular and as the name suggests the tail has a strong vibration that send out a signal to the fish’s lateral line of a struggling baitfish. These have been very popular upriver were the water is that little bit dirtier.


The offshore scene at this time of the year is sensational, and it’s all about the reef fish. Big snapper are on the most wanted list of most anglers. The closer reefs are really starting to produce with some good quality snapper coming from Sunshine Reef, Jew Sholes and Halls Reef. When fishing these reefs you can also expect to encounter grass sweetlip, pearl perch, moses perch, venus tuskfish, gold-spot cod and Maori cod.

These reefs are perfect for micro jigs and soft plastics. Fishing plastics is great at this time of the year because there can be a fair few smaller pickers that will destroy a bait as soon as it gets to the bottom, leaving nothing but a clean hook. Fishing plastics keeps you in the game. Some anglers will fish both bait and plastic on a dropper/paternoster rig, with the bait at the bottom and a plastic on a lightly weighted jighead on the top dropper.

Micro jigging is another style that has really gained momentum over the last couple of years. There are two types of jigs on the market: the traditional knife jig style and flat fall jigs. The latter tend to fall a little more horizontally, imitating a dying baitfish. The TT Vector and the Zetz Slow Blatt have both got the runs on the board, producing some outstanding reefies.

A little further afield, the Barwon Banks fishes extremely well at this time of the year. Large snapper, pearl perch, cobia and trag jew are all on the menu. The reefs off Double Island are also a great hunting ground, yielding some larger snapper and red emperor.


On the beach the fishing has been excellent, with the migration of tailor up to Frazer Island, big winter bream, the ever-present dart and of course winter whiting. Most anglers are gearing up for the tailor run at this time of the year, with the area between Teewah and Double Island on Noosa’s North Shore a real favourite with anglers. The good old-fashioned pilchard is still the favoured bait of many. The most successful method is to rig them on ganged hooks, cast to the back of the gutters and then roll them under the white water.

Casting slugs is also a great way to get amongst the tailor, especially if you have a good school of fish in the gutter. Remember the more anglers the better when it comes to targeting tailor, as this will keep the school in the same area for longer.

Larger winter bream are also on the chew, and fish to 40cm are not uncommon. Fish this size are best returned as these are the breading stock and can be up to 30 years old.

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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