September is a fantastic fishing month in the Noosa region, particularly offshore. Even though the chilly mornings may well continue, most days should be sunny.
Snapper have been the major catch for bluewater fishos to date. They have been caught in excellent numbers on most reefs with the majority of fish in the 4kg class with a few close to 10kg. The growing trend of bouncing soft plastics around rubble and other structure when chasing snapper is gaining momentum.
Whilst there are now thousands of plastics on the market, there are some standouts as far as snapper fishing goes. The Berkley Gulp range are great, although they actually contain no plastic these days and are 100% biodegradable, which is good news for the environmentally astute angler. Try the Sardine 15cm grub coupled with a TT Head Hunter jighead in 6/0H size and you will be in business.
Another success story has been the locally designed Bozo range. These soft lures are stealing the show and designer Phil Alder attributes their success to the fact that they are soaked in pure squid oil, not to mention lots of research and development. They are a great range and well worth having in your tackle box.
Reefs worth a look this month are Chardons, North and Sunshine, and for those capable, a trip to the Hards is worth the effort. A local crew ventured out there recently for an all-nighter and bagged out on quality snapper so quickly they moved back in to Sunshine Reef for sleep! Despite this being a good plan, it all feel apart when the action recommenced at the new location with more snapper and cobia coming aboard in no time.
The full moon is the time to have a go, if you can get away, and days when the wind is a westerly combined with a current running to the south. However, the unusual weather patterns have made picking these conditions very difficult.
Snapper will grow to well over a metre in length, with most caught at 40-60cm. The bottom 10m is the place to have your lure, although the next descending plastic to be belted by a big knobby definitely won’t be the last. Some berley will help keep the fish in your vicinity and this will also bring the fish up from the bottom. A lightly weighted plastic slowly wafting its way down to the depths is always worth employing and will often secure the better fish.
Bait anglers also do very well during September and again snapper is the mainstay. Ganged pilchards and squid are commonly used and effective baits. A whole medium sized fresh squid will rarely go untouched and anything that swims will have a go at quality baits of this nature.
Pearl perch, big fat glutinous cod, jew, amberjack, Samson, red emperor, coral trout and a host of other species should end up in the fish bin. Most are worth keeping for a feed, however fish is best eaten fresh and a good policy is to keep enough for your immediate needs and release the rest.
The Noosa River has been fishing a little slowly, up to early August anyway. The last trip I had on the river was disappointing but a most enjoyable way to burn off a Sunday afternoon. The ramps were choked with hopefuls coming and going and needless to say the river was a very busy place indeed. All manner of watercraft were present in the lower reaches, particularly in the Munna Point area.
Bream are still present in large numbers and are best targetted at quiet times such as dawn and dusk. Fresh prawns (or better still alive and kicking prawns) are a great bait for the bread-and-butter species such as bream, flathead and whiting, all of which are around in good numbers in this system.
A few quality flathead have been located near the river mouth, possibly due to the large fresh still running downstream. They have been responding well to trolled minnow lures and drifted pilchards. A few good trevally have been taken also, once again in the lower reaches with Munna Point and the Woods Bay areas well worth a prospect. Dawn and dusk are the best times to target trevally as they soon disappear once the sun comes up.
Gladiator gold fleck prawns have been a very good choice for those chasing trevally, as keen young local Tom Cels has demonstrated lately. Most prawn type lures will do the job and they can be worked slowly in the depths or skipped across the surface –this is a great fun way to catch trevally. Small poppers work well too when the fish are present and tailor will smash them also.
This month we should see an increase in the numbers and quality of flathead caught in the system. Mangrove jack will also be making a welcome return, although there have been a few jacks caught throughout winter. The snaggy run between the lakes is a good place to cast or troll for jacks and the warmer the weather the busier this great jack fishery will become.Reads: 2010