November is a fantastic fishing month along the Sunshine Coast with options galore. For some these options dry up when the hordes of tourists start arriving in early December, for others it is the annual holidays and the best chance to wet a line all year!
As the build up to the busiest time of year on the coast continues the fishing is getting better and better. Offshore there should be plenty of willing cobia cruising in boisterous packs and terrorising unwary anglers.
Cobia are strong fish and can be a real handful if you haven’t had the pleasure in the past. Along with the cobes there should be plenty of small snapper with a few bigger snapper here and there also. The ever-present pearl perch are great tucker and good fun to catch as well. If there are a few around it can be a relatively simple matter to bring home a feed of succulent white pearl perch.
Other species that will be encountered not too far from the Noosa bar are Moses perch, jew, parrot and of course sweetlip, particularly after a good drop of rain. The sweetlip will often linger on the very close reefs after a fresh and they are also top shelf tucker.
For those looking for a little more excitement, the occasional mahi mahi will turn up in the berley train and sailfish are a possibility in November also for those trolling or livebaiting out wide.
In the river the flathead season will be well under way by November. The Noosa system is famous for its flathead and with the slot limits now well and truly in place and understood the incidence of really big flatties will steadily increase. My best is only 83cm, but I know of quite a few fish caught and of course released that were well into the nineties. Who knows when a few metre-plus fish will start to show, but my guess is that it will be this summer?
When you do encounter a monster flathead release it boatside if you can. A photo of the fish on the surface is a bit different and generally more interesting than ‘man with fish’ efforts. If you must bring it into the boat hold the fish horizontally and support it well. Lay the fish on a wet towel and if possible put another on top. Remove the hook, grab a quick photo and enjoy the moment when the big lizard glides back into the depths.
This isn’t just observing the rules and regulations – it is ensuring that the great flathead fishing in Queensland stays that way and even improves. With the big breeding henfish protected the numbers of flathead can only be increasing.
Trevally are a good option at dawn and dusk in the lower reaches. Once the sun comes up it can pay to fish deep as trevs and tailor are unlikely to respond to surface offerings in full-on sunlight. Woods Bay, and the Munna/Culgoa area are both worth a try. Schools of trevally can turn up anywhere in the system and they are great fun on surface lures. Generally speaking they aren’t monster fish, however a 3kg job has got plenty of pull in it, particularly on light spin gear.
November is a great month to be targeting mangrove jacks. These fantastic fish are the real hoodlums of the river and they will attack virtually anything that swims too close. Trolling lures around structure including rock bars is a relatively simple way to catch a few jacks. Most anglers I know release these fish after a photo as they really are too valuable to kill.
Lures that run close to the bottom structure are good starting points. Slightly deeper running bibbed minnows are better tools for casting the snaggy shoreline as they will dive quickly to the depth at which these fish sit and patiently lie in ambush. Sinking lures such as prawn imitations and of course soft plastics are also worth a try.
Live baits such as unregulated whiting, mullet, herring and almost anything else will attract the attention of jacks. Ensure your offering is close to structure and hang on tight. Other fish that will respond to live baits are estuary cod, flathead, tailor, jew and for lucky anglers threadfin salmon and the odd barra.
The crew at Fishing Offshore Noosa has launched their new big cat – Trekka III. This monster is a 13.5m custom built aluminium catamaran powered by twin 500 horsepower Cummins diesel engines. These big powerplants push the boat along at and impressive cruise speed of 24 knots and she can cater comfortably for groups of up to 18 anglers. This is the biggest and fastest charter boat in Noosa, fitted out with the latest in Furuno electronics. Give the guys a ring on 07 5442 4919 for bookings and more info.Reads: 643