Pelagic schools in the Laguna Bay
  |  First Published: May 2017

This is that great time of the year when the cooler weather comes in and we see some changes in how we fish and the fish we catch. It seems like only yesterday you had to get up at 4am to be on the water for dawn.

As winter approaches and the days get shorter we seem to be able to sleep in and still make it out for a fish on sunrise. In the Noosa River whiting have been in good numbers and have been the perfect target for the kids, with the dog beach, Gympie Terrace and the Frying Pan fishing well on the incoming tide. Live worms, yabbies and peeled prawns have been the baits of choice.

The winter bream have been in good numbers in Woods Bay on prawns, pillies and strips of bonito. Small soft plastics and blades have been the lures of choice when it comes to chasing bream. Another great profile is crabs. The Crusty Crab from River2Sea and the Cranka Crab have both been working extremely well.

Lots of trevally have started making their way into the river. As the water temperature drops this will only get better. Prawn profile soft plastics have been accounting for good numbers of golden and bigeye trevally. Tailor are also being hooked on plastics.

There are still some good mangrove jack on the chew right throughout the system. Trolling diving lures around the various rock bars and jetties located around Noosa, you should see one of these hard-fighting red fish!

The flathead population seems to be improving every year with more larger females being caught and released. Soft plastics are the go when it comes to chasing flatties. Prawn profiles with the slow roll technique work best for me. Some of the hotspots have been the stretch between Tewantin and the first lake, Weyba Creek and the edges of the sand bars down towards the mouth.

On the Maroochy River the Cod Hole is still giving up nice mulloway. Trevally and queenfish are plentiful in Twin Waters and Maroochy Waters with topwater lures like the Bassday Sugapen claiming some great fish. The Black Banks area has been popular with families and has quality elbow-slapper whiting. Up river, school mulloway and mangrove jacks have still been taken.

Huge numbers of longtail tuna are prevalent in both Laguna Bay and Sunshine Reef. The best methods for targeting these hard fighting fish are small, long casting stickbaits such as the Shimano Ocean Pencils. Weighing in at 42g and 60g, these beautifully finished lures cast a mile and tuna love them! The Inshore Reefs are again the place to be with large schools of bait congregating on them.

Halls, Sunshine Reef and Jew Shoals have all been producing with good catches of sweetlip, snapper, coral trout, tuskfish, tuna and mackerel. Trolling diving lures around the reef edges and drop-offs has seen great results. Micro-jigs have been accounting for a great mixed bag of reefies and pelagics. Sunshine Reef is perfect for this style of fishing.

Soft plastics have again been getting their fair share of reefies with the ZMan scented plastics working a treat. Mackerel have been quite thick with good catches of spotted and Spanish mackerel coming from North Reef and Chardons Reef. North Reef has also seen a fantastic bag of reefies with pearl perch, snapper, tuskfish, Maori cod and sweetlip, just to name a few.

When those really good days come along, anglers in bigger craft have been making the trip up to the reefs off Double Island in the hope for red emperor and nannygai. There are plenty of other species on offer like large snapper, pearl perch, cod, mulloway and trout. Another fish we see plenty of at this time of the year is cobia. It seems as soon as we see the whales start to make their annual migration cobia are nearby.

On the southern reefs schools of tuna are still fairly close. At Coolum Reef, the Gneerings, and Old Woman Island there are good schools with birds working and bust-ups on the surface. For anglers looking for a feed of reefies, the closer reefs have also been producing decent snapper, sweetlip and trout. A trip to the Barwon Banks should see larger snapper, pearl perch, cobia and cod.

On the beaches we are starting to see good catches of winter bream coming through. Fishing those deeper gutters on the incoming tide has been the key and if you can time this with a morning tide, all the better. Dart are still hitting baits as soon as they hit the water with larger fish on the high tide.

The odd school of chopper tailor is starting to show up. These are mainly on the Noosa North Shore between Teewah and Double Island. On the southern end of the North Shore we are seeing good whiting are in good numbers on the incoming tide with the deeper gutter holding bigger fish.

The Noosa National Park rocks and the rocks around Yaroomba have been fishing well with some nice squire and sweetlip landed. Land-based game anglers have also been trying to tame a couple of tuna with some success. Casting large slugs and GT Ice Creams has also smashed some bigger trevally.

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. Remember, tight lines and bent spines!

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