November is a special month along the Sunshine Coast. The warm water species are up and running with a few mackerel starting to appear offshore and mangrove jacks active in the river. Lake Macdonald traditionally fires in November, however the recent big fresh and loss of fish over the spillway may well deflate the aspirations of bass hopefuls.
Offshore anglers have had a difficult time of late. Bad weather followed by heaps of dirty water pouring into Laguna Bay resulted in a lean couple of months. However, the water has cleared significantly and bluewater catches are improving dramatically.
Most trips out from Noosa are delivering sweetlip, squire, pearl perch and a few Moses perch as well. Those prepared to have a good look around North and Sunshine Reefs can expect to boat snapper, hussar and perhaps a fat trout or two.
Occasional catches of spotted mackerel should be reported from November and a few northern bluefin and yellowfin tuna will turn up as well. Out wide there should be red emperor, dolphin fish, cobia, teraglin and yellowtail kings. All in all there should be an option there for everyone to explore before the crowds start arriving early in December.
The Noosa River will continue to clear up, assuming the worst of the spring rains have already been seen. Widespread flooding and the best part of a metre of water in a week or so doesn’t do much for the recreational fishing scene!
The result of all this rain, aside from brimming water tanks, has been excellent fishing in the lower reaches of the system. Up to early October flathead were being caught in good numbers around the Frying Pan and river mouth. The Woods Bay was also delivering plenty of flathead as well as trevally to 2kgs and a few jacks of similar size.
Plenty of bream and sizable whiting have kept the kids happy whilst some of the more senior anglers have found willing jewfish in some of the deeper holes in the Noosa River. Good places to wet a line with the family are from the limited public jetty resources along Gympie Terrace, off the rock wall and beaches adjacent to the Fishing and Boating Patrol office at Munna Point, and over in the vicinity of the Frying Pan if you can get there!
Tailor have been hunting along the beaches and lower reaches of the river and some pretty serious greenbacks can be expected in November. Slabs of tuna are a great bait for big tailor and of course the humble pilchard is always worth ganging and lobbing into the surf. Tailor aren’t bad tucker, just quietly, however they must be bled on capture, iced down and consumed without delay. If you want to freeze tailor for consumption at a later date you would be well advised to try a bit of catch and release instead!
My favourite combatant in this locale is the mangrove jack. I consider these fish far too valuable to kill and therefore release those that I am lucky enough to catch. Big jacks are available year round but far more prevalent during the warmer months.
Trolling minnow lures over rock bars is a worthwhile pursuit, as is fishing with live baits in the same areas. Drifting live or fresh baits into heavy cover could be considered to be rather kamikaze like, however it can really deliver the goods once you get the hang of it. I first tried this technique some years back on a trip to the Macdonald River on the western coast of Cape York. Of course these purple bruisers are far more common up that way but the fact remains that allowing a live herring, mullet or whiting to drift into a likely looking snag with little or no weight, results in a savage bite just about every time.
I have caught jacks in the Noosa River residing in relatively newish snags covered in green leaves, and also in scrawny snags that would have been submerged for many a year. Some anglers seem to think snags with green leaves still present are not worth fishing as the surrounding water is too acidic. This may be the case for some species however jacks don’t seem to mind, particularly on a hot and humid day. If the sun is still high look for shady snags. If the sun is low or gone altogether try rock bars.
The rain and increasing water temperatures have brought another favourite of mine back into the equation. Mud crabs are my favourite food and if they are size they never go back! Mullet frames are a good bait for muddies, however pretty well any fish frame will do the job.
was caught there on a charter with Trekka 2.Reads: 1265