The BIG Wet
  |  First Published: October 2007

Unbelievably wet weather has put a severe dampener on all things fishing in the Noosa region and beyond. With nearly a metre of rain falling in a week, building an ark would have been more appropriate than fishing.

The Noosa catchment was the most productive during this unseasonably wet spell. The river had massive amounts of fresh running down its length and out into Laguna Bay. Lake Macdonald overtopped with a significant number of mature bass now happily making their way past Gympie. And Six Mile Creek had a desperately needed flush out.

The BASS Electric round held at Macdonald in early September was a fizzer to say the least – bad weather cannot be predicted in advance. Quite a few anglers had a sniff around Macdonald during the lead up to the comp, with mixed, or should I say, no success. I put in a few hours mid week on a lake that looked more like a large hot chocolate than a water supply impoundment. Nothing took a liking to our surface fly, sub surface fly, spinnerbait or beetlespins despite casting to all the likely looking areas in Bass Bay and Borer Creek. We did spy two cruising saratoga but they showed no interest whatsoever on our repeated casts. We even had a hunt around the bubble trail, just in case!

Andrew Grabham had an interesting session with his young son Luke in Macdonald just recently. The father and son team had enjoyed a reasonable days fishing together when they had a wander along the bubble trail. Andrew spotted a large school of bait, and many of the bony bream were visible just below the surface. Underneath the densely packed bait there was an arch or two, clearly visible on the sounder. Young Luke took his fathers advice and lobbed his spinnerbait out in the general direction of the mystery arch and let it sink all the way to the bottom. About mid way through a slow retrieve a large fish unceremoniously belted his spinnerbait offering. After quite a titanic struggle the interloper turned out to be a beautiful Mary River cod of about 8-10kg calibre. It was great looking fish that we quickly released after a couple of posing photo shots.

The Noosa River has been similarly difficult to fish with all manner of flotsam heading towards the Pacific Ocean. The coloured water doesn’t do much for the fishing, however once the bulk of the fresh has left our shores the river will quickly spring into life once again. Until the rains arrived plenty of enterprising anglers caught quality trevally and queenfish.

Bream have made bait fishing trips worthwhile, particularly in the lower reaches. Flathead and whiting have also been on the hunt, but only in the very lower reaches of the system where the fresh water mixes with the clean ocean water on the run-in tide. By October the river will be back to its best with flathead the main species on offer.

Offshore has been difficult with angling options not as many and varied as we would expect. Some serious cobia were landed before the flooding commenced, particularly around North Reef.

Now that there is plenty of dirty water in Laguna Bay the sweetlip should be firing. These fish typically go hard after a sustained fresh. It’s just a matter of locating them and you could be in for a bonanza session. Another bonus after a big wet is the arrival of heaps of quality tuna that patrol the edge of the dirty water. It may well take them a week or two to arrive but they will at least feast on the bait for several weeks.

The notorious bar should be approached with great care until the water clears and the channels are visible. Plenty of trees and bits have also washed into the bar which presents yet another hazard. The reports that the Coast Guard had closed the bar to all traffic is incorrect as they do not have the authority. However, treat the Noosa River bar with great respect and only attempt to cross if you are aware of the inherent dangers.

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