The changing seasons also mean a change in the fishing as we move into April and the cooler weather starts. The water temperatures also start to drop, so the species we target are different.
As the cooler months approach, we tend to move into that more southerly weather pattern that is a little more predictable, giving boat owners more options as the outer reefs become more accessible. This, in turn, brings those cooler water fish.
That’s not to say that the mackerel fishing that we have enjoyed over the last couple of months is over, we just have a lot more options. In fact, this is the time when the really big Spanish mackerel move onto the inshore reefs like the Jew Shoals, Sunshine Reef and Little Halls. All are within striking distance for the smaller boats as well as the seasoned kayaker.
April is also a great month to go bottom bouncing for species like coral trout, squire and grassy sweetlip. Early mornings are best for trout, and when teamed with a high tide and live baits like yakkas and slimy mackerel, you’re in with a really good chance. If you can’t get livies, the good old squid and pilchards will also get the job done.
Another great option is to give micro-jigging a go. The Colt Snipers from Shimano or the ZetZ Slow Blatts are both outstanding jigs, and have the runs on the board. Simply let them flutter to the bottom, and when you are on the bottom work them up 4-5m and then open the bail arm and let the jig drop again. Keep a close eye on the line as the jig makes its way to the bottom, as most times they get taken on the drop. Be ready as these fish hit hard, and soon as they feel they are hooked they’ll head for the nearest bit of coral or hidey hole, and the fight will be over before it’s begun.
When bait fishing, try using a running sinker rig with the bait on the bottom, and make sure you also use a lumo bead, as this will protect your knots from being bashed by the heavy ball sinker. Try to fish the leading edge of the reef depending on the run, as this is where the bigger fish will be waiting for a passing morsel.
Further out on Chardons Reef and North Reef you can expect to find pearl perch and the odd snapper as the water cools over the coming months. Mackerel, tuna, mahimahi and big cobia are also on the chew, which gives you a good variety of species to target. That’s the great thing about this time of year – the options are endless.
In the Noosa River there are plenty of larger whiting back on the chew. If you’re using bait, the stand-outs are live sand worms, yabbies and soldier crabs. For those anglers keen to try surface fishing or sight casting, try the Bassday Sugapen, Strada Viral or Jackson Ebi Panic Prawn.
Trevally are still in good numbers around the lower reaches. Anglers fishing Woods Bays, the back of the Noosa Sound and Munna Point have had some great results using surface lures in the low light, with micro jigs and soft plastics working well as the sun gets a little higher in the sky. Flesh bait like cut pillies and mullet strips have also worked well for bream, flatties and trevally. Make sure you use lighter fluorocarbon leaders to improve you bite rate. Jacks are really on the chew, with some large fish taken over the last few weeks. Live baiting into the night has been the key.
The Maroochy River has had a flathead explosion, with good-sized flathead taken in the stretch between the Motorway Bridge and Chambers Island. Most fish are being caught while drifting soft plastics. Try the Squidgy Wriggler or any of your bloodworm-coloured favourites and you should do well.
Outside the mouth of Twin Waters it has been surface action central, with a wide variety of trevally being caught on surface lures such as the Lucky Craft Sammy 65. Inside Twin Waters around the bridges, the aggressive mangrove jack are still taking fresh mullet and bonito fillets. Make sure you fish unweighted baits with 2/0 or 3/0 lightweight octopus-style hooks such as the Mustad Penetrator.
If you want to sneak upriver a little further, Coolum Creek and Dunethin Rocks have produced some nice jacks on suspending lures. Good-sized whiting have been taken on the Black banks, Chambers Island and the back of Goat Island. Live yabbies and worms have ben the gun baits on the run-in tide.
On the beaches it’s looking like the start of an early tailor run. Good fish have been taken down on the Gold Coast already, so it won’t be too long before we see those schools make their way up the coast.
Good-sized dart and whiting have been taken in the close gutters, with the odd larger rough tailor also taken. Mulloway are still about with the middle of the moon phase seeming to be the better time.
For those fishing the rocks there has been a real mixed bag, with bream, squire and sweetlip all showing up last month. This is sure to improve as the water cools.
• For all the latest information log onto www.fishingnoosa.com.au for up to date bar and fishing reports. 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!Reads: 207