Sunshine fishing looks bright
  |  First Published: October 2008

October is an excellent month along the Sunshine Coast. There are options galore; bass in the creeks and impoundments, excellent estuary fishing, and there are even plenty of snapper still lurking on most reefs.

Now that the bass open season is well and truly underway a quiet wander along a local creek bank flicking small lures about can be most enjoyable. Early morning or evening strolls are more productive than lunchtime forays, however, bass in shady and heavily timbered creeks will quite often respond all day long.

Small poppers are great fun and will catch all manner of creek fish. Bass would be number one of course, however I have seen golden perch, saratoga and even eels caught on a deliberately worked popper blooping its way past submerged timber. Once the sun is high it is a good bet to switch to a small positively buoyant bibbed minnow. I like green, but any colour will work on their day.

Careful casting around weed, lilies or timber will produce the goods, and retrieves that see the lure dive into cover and slowly float out again will draw the most hits. Surprisingly, big fish come out of small creeks so don’t fish too light or you will be repeatedly blown away. This time last year I enjoyed a creek session that resulted in several bass between 25-40cm and one fat thumping golden around 50cm caught and released, all in skinny water less than a metre deep. The advantage of this is that if your lure gets hung up on a snag you can simply wade out and de-snag it! But forget about fishing that pool for a while though!

Snakes are a common sight along these creeks. Most are totally harmless so don’t beat every reptile to death that you come across. The venomous ones will always move on if given some room to do so, and the snake you are most likely to encounter along creeks is the red-bellied black. Whilst venomous, they are quite shy and retiring and really need significant encouragement to inflict a bite. Eastern browns are to be treated with great respect and if you are unsure of a snakes species or characteristics give it a wide berth. It is wise to carry a wide elastic bandage in these areas just in case!

In the main Noosa system the chances of seeing a dangerous reptile are very remote! There will be plenty of boats however during October and most will still be chasing flathead, bream, whiting and mangrove jacks.

The flathead spawning congregation is well underway this month and as such there will be plenty of flatties on offer. If you find a few fish by all means keep a couple for dinner but leave the rest in peace to keep the species in good numbers. Trolling is a good option, particularly with bibbed minnow lures that run close to the bottom. Flathead are glutinous but lazy and as such you need to deliver your lure to them. The explosive hit from a big lizard will just about tear the rod from your hands and the big headshakes can really get the nerves twitching. Once a fish is hooked, prospect around the area with soft plastics or Rio’s prawn lures, worked deep and slow.

October is a great month to chase jacks as the water will be warm enough for these purple toothy bruisers to be back in business. Casting around snags can be quite productive, particularly in the lower reaches near bridges and jetties. Further upstream the run in between Lakes Cooroibah and Cootharaba is hard to beat. This is fisho heaven if you are a dedicated snag basher.

Live baits drifted into structure around dusk will catch jacks and all manner of fish such as stud bream, catfish and occasional threadfin salmon. Depending on the size of your live offering, Moses perch, tarwhine, flathead, trevally and tailor are all a distinct possibility.

Dawn in the lower reaches, particularly Woods Bay and from time to time Munna Point and Culgoa, should see plenty of trevally action up on the surface.

For those capable of safely heading offshore a veritable piscine buffet awaits you. The close in reefs such as North and Sunshine will still be delivering squire and some big snapper along with Moses perch, parrots and pearl perch.

Sunshine in particular should see some fat coral trout boated this month, whilst North will be the place to be if you are intending to tangle with cobia. These fast, hard pulling fish are a common catch in October. They are often called sharks when they first appear under the boat due to their appearance. They grow to 2m and at least 50kg and cobes of that size really take some stopping. Thankfully they are mostly caught at 15kg or so, and even at that size they can put up quite a battle. They aren’t too bad on the plate either, but generally one will do the job! If you catch more do the right thing and quickly release them.

If you don’t mind wetting a line on the beach, hook ups of tailor, dart and bream are readily caught with good fresh bait. The north shore beaches are almost endless, but they can get rather busy particularly during holiday times or weekends. If you are unsure of what to do or where give local expert Sean Chisholm from Noosa Surf Fishing Tours a bell on 0411368239. A trip with ‘Chizo’ will be an excellent investment for your future beach fishing success.

In other charter news, the guys from Fishing Offshore Noosa have at last taken delivery of their new monster cat, Trekka III. Next month I will run a pic or two of this fantastic fishing platform along with some technical detail for those interested.

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