November is a great month in Noosa. The warmer weather is back, the river is firing and offshore pursuits are on the make also.
In November the Noosa River usually fires up after a relatively slow few months. There are still plenty of bream and whiting about, particularly in the lower reaches of the system. The deeper, darker holes work better during the day whilst the shallower banks should do the job at night. The Munna Point bridge, downstream run-off from Goat Island and the Frying Pan are all worth a look.
At this time of year the flathead’s annual spawning run kicks up another notch. Big females will be surrounded by plenty of willing males so it makes sense to keep a few smaller fish rather than a big one. The more big henfish remain in the system, the better the fishery will be in the years to come.
Trolling on the run-out tide, particularly with the current, is a great way to locate flathead. They tend to co-habit in pockets and once they are located you can probe the area with soft plastics and prawn lures. Good areas to try are the Tewantin Reach, Lake Cooroibah, the area opposite the main ramp and the run to the river mouth. These fish can turn up anywhere though so be prepared to have a good look around. Weyba Creek and Lake Weyba are also worth a prospect.
The mighty mangrove jack will be up and running with a vengeance in November. Plenty were caught in the Woods Bay area (along with trevally and tailor) in September and they were starting to belt lures in the snags in between the lakes as well. Bibbed minnows do the job for me, cast into the snags and worked back out erratically, just like an injured baitfish. Gold and red seems to be a very good colour combination for these aggressive fish.
Offshore the run of cobia and northern bluefin tuna should continue, whilst the snapper will have slowed down by this time. There will still be a few available but the numbers will have dropped off, particularly on the close inshore reefs.
North Reef is always worth a look and the chances of a feed there are pretty good all the time. Sweetlip, pearl perch, parrots and cod will make up the numbers there whilst Sunshine is worth a look for a tasty coral trout.
I recently purchased some lures that I dug out of a bargain bin, and I am now wishing I hadn’t.
The first lure was a surface job, no bib and no cupped face. Get the picture? Walk the dog, lots of pauses, almost no splash. The paint job was pretty good and the body had an in-built scale pattern. The eyes were glued-in jobs, one a tad lower than the other but still acceptable. The lure had several steel (or perhaps lead) balls inside its hollow plastic body which I hoped would prove to be a plus rather than a drawback.
On the downside, it had very light hooks attached – so light I could easily bend them with my fingers. They did flex back to their original position at least. I believe they were VMC trebles, which are very good hooks, but at that size they are not up to the standard required for jacks or barra.
The backing card advises that this lure is tank tested, fitted with heavy-duty VMC hooks and extra strong rings (the rings are bass standard at best). It also claims the lure is ‘ideal’ for catching flathead, salmon, bream, trevally, barramundi and mangrove jack. Interesting!
The other side of the packet was even better. It told me this slender-bodied lure was designed tough to work deep amongst stone and snags in search of target species. Good advice for a surface lure! It went even further, suggesting that a depth of 10ft should be obtained under normal fishing conditions. You’d have to work this lure pretty hard to get it down to 10ft. Adding a large sinker might do the job.
The backing card continued to rave on about bib strength and other garbage which reduced the credibility of the product to zero. I will retrofit some decent hooks and rings and put it to the test. Then, perhaps, I could re-write the backing card with a few facts rather than the biggest heap of rubbish you have ever read. I will report my findings.
My other ‘bargain’ was a packet of four 100mm soft plastic ‘somethings’ pre-rigged on 4/0 jigheads. I compared the four and found that the factory workers in China had chosen to rig each one differently. The eyes fell off as I removed them from the pack, but hey, that’s OK, they’ve got microscales! I’m sure these things will catch a few fish, and for a buck each who really cares what the craftsmanship is like?
Having said that, I will now always look for quality Aussie made stuff first, and I recommend you do the same. At least we’ll get what we pay for, the story on the packet will make sense and the dollars will stay in Australia.
And if you are tempted to purchase tackle imported from China, please check the quality of the product first. The staff in some of the large chain stores may not be much help but the staff in smaller tackle stores know their stuff and they’ll be able to tell you what you’ll get for your money.
A while back I purchased a bibless minnow style lure, unmarked but certainly an import. I dropped it into my test tank for a swim and found that it lay on its side on the surface during the retrieve. What would a beginner in the lure fishing game think? “Back to the frozen prawns” I would say!Reads: 1793