Speed troll for success
  |  First Published: August 2008

Heavy winter rains upset the usual harmonic balance on the Sunshine Coast early, however weather patterns have stabilised since and given anglers plenty of opportunities.

Those that ventured offshore during June and into July noted that the schools of northern bluefin tuna, mac tuna and mackerel had all but disappeared. There were still a few fish about and most of those caught were picked up on the troll or on deep baits. The slug tossing fun seems to have finished as quickly as it started – for this season at least.

Those fishos trolling large chrome minnows picked up a few tuna and other pelagics, as well as the odd cobia or two. These fish will remain available during August although the chance of a good tuna or mackerel will be slim at best.

When the hits on your trolled lure are getting further apart it can pay to try something a bit different. A well constructed bibless minnow can be trolled at speeds far in excess of what your run of the mill bibbed minnow will cope with. Most minnows will blow out of the water at 8-knots or so, but high speed bibless jobs, such as Mack Baits and Big Eyes, will cope with much faster speeds and often entice a strike.

I recently towed a gold and green 4” Big Eye at 17-knots, which is a very fast troll. This was achieved by slowly increasing the revs until we hit 17-knots, I could barely hang onto the rod until the lure mercifully blew out of the water.

Bottom anglers have been having a ball on snapper with good numbers of pearl perch, Moses perch and sweetlip, particularly out wide and up at Double Island Point. Closer to home North Reef has been the place to go for a feed of snapper and squire with good shows of Maori cod and a few pearlies.

Sunshine reef has fished hot and cold throughout winter so far, although those fishing relatively light and late in the day and pre dawn have connected to a few quality snapper.

In the Noosa River there have been quality trevally hunting in the lower reaches, particularly at dawn. Several trevally species are available here with big eye, golden and giant trevally the most common. Occasionally we see the beautiful diamond trevally caught on a lure or live bait and thankfully they are released for the most part.

The Woods Bay area as well as Munna and Culgoa Points are great places to hunt for trevally. Small slugs, poppers and plastics will do the job for casters with bibbed minnows hardly getting a run these days. Peter Morris scored an excellent diamond trevally late one afternoon on an Ecogear Grass Minnow on a 1/8oz jighead. On 3kg gear these fish go hard and you know you’ve got a fight on your hands.

Elsewhere in the system there have been plenty of bream with cricket score catches already reported. All you need to find is a deep hole late in the day and some fresh worms or prawns. I have previously mentioned some of the bizarre baits you come across from time to time when meeting bream die-hards so I wont go there again, suffice to say that these fish will eat almost anything. A little bit of berley in the water can help no end, however only use small amounts otherwise the buggers feed up on your ground bait and then move on!

Once the sun sets bream will become more willing to roam and the shallows can be targeted with live nippers, worms or prawns. Other fish that you will encounter using this type of approach will be flathead, tarwhine, whiting, trevally, occasional estuary cod and the odd stray tripod fish and mangrove jack.

Tailor are another great fun fish that aren’t too bad on the barby either. They are very available in winter in the beach gutters, and open water expanses of the lower Noosa River are also good places to target them. Quickly retrieved slugs are a good way to attract the attention of hungry tailor and generally off the beaches pilchards on gangs are the accepted way to catch them.

Tailor can grow to well over a metre in length and at this size they take some stopping. They are mostly caught at 40-60cm and are quite manageable at this size! If you do keep a few for the table make sure you bleed them and drop them into an ice slurry soon after. They do not freeze well so keep a couple and let the others swim away.

The Noosa Festival of Water has been rescheduled for August 17 and this worthwhile event will be held at the Noosa Botanic gardens on the picturesque Lake Macdonald. Along with the large array of stalls and displays there will be a Fishcare/Stocking Group display down near the waters edge. As usual we will have a live fish display that always attracts plenty of interest and heaps of giveaways for the kids, courtesy of the fantastic Fishcare Program run by DPI. Come along and say hello!

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