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Wet provides fishing options
  |  First Published: April 2007



A big fresh has finally arrived and it will improve anglers’ chances of a feed on the inshore reefs. Halls and Little Halls reefs will be well worth a try for the sweetlip that congregate in the shallow reefs when the water is discoloured. Let’s hope that this colour will bring some mackerel and tuna in as well.

The Noosa River has been quite productive with some very good flathead taken in the lower reaches. Quality mangrove jack have been taking livebaits at night and large soft plastics bounced along the bottom structure early in the morning. Tailor and trevally are both good bets, particularly pre-dawn in the Woods Bay area. Munna Point is also worth fishing as the next camper to land a 3kg trevally from under the bridge on a popper won’t be the last.

The Frying Pan area has been producing whiting and bream. Live prawns are great baits in this area, especially when there is some flow. Troll the mangroves using small minnow lures that run to 2m or so and you should pull a few small flathead. The odd 60cm+ specimen will be amongst them.

Offshore

The offshore fishing scene has been mysteriously slow for a few months. Mackerel and tuna haven’t arrived en masse and bottom bashers have been doing it tough.

Of course, anglers who persevere usually end up with a feed, but it can take plenty of moving around and regular changes in tactics. Trollers hoping for mackerel or tuna can expect to rack up a few hours towing lures unless things change very soon.

Experience and local knowledge are the keys to success when fish aren’t cooperating and tough times will separate the men from the boys!

My last serious offshore foray was trip all the way to Double Island Point (DI) with the guys from Fishing Offshore Noosa. Since Noosa’s options were a bit on the skinny side we decided to travel 60km to the north and fish the reefs off Fraser Island and DI.

Mike Fisher skippered our craft, Trekka II, and we were all hoping for a great session. After bashing through sloppy seas for two hours we finally hit our first mark. Skipper Mike sounded around for a while and gave the order for deckie Lee Parker to drop the anchor. The day’s fishing was busy at time but rather difficult overall. The current was quite strong in some areas and very fishable in others. There was no surface activity other than scattered dolphins and the odd turtle.

Despite all of those factors we still managed to have a blinder! The day’s catch included snapper and plenty of squire, top quality 4kg pearl perch, Maori cod, Moses perch, trag jew, plenty of red emperor, parrotfish, sweetlip, blackall and other species. A 20kg amberjack or thumping red would have made for an exceptional day but it never eventuated.

Over the course of 13 hours Mike took us to nine different locations and we visited three entirely separate reef systems. We mainly fished at anchor, but did try a few drifts and areas that Mike had found productive in the past. Lee was very busy all day long sorting out messy tangles, re-rigging, removing fish from hooks and keeping everyone happy.

Fishing the bottom with a squid bait and a ganged pilchard on a paternoster rig was the best tactic. Drifting unweighted baits out the back didn’t deliver the goods thanks to the fierce current and lack of surface action. Thanks to Mike and Lee who tried every trick in the book and proved that experience and local knowledge will outfish skill and cunning every time!

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