Noosa’s Pelagics Get Playful
  |  First Published: November 2005

The Sunshine Coast really starts to fire in November. The rivers and creeks have plenty of willing and mean mangrove jacks on the prowl and offshore the news is good too!


November generally sees the pelagic action move up another gear. While there have been quite a few northern bluefin tuna off the coast for a month or more, they really begin to get going from November right through the summer months. Along with the blues will be occasional yellowfin and plenty of mack tuna. We have already had a good run of school mackerel and they will be followed by spotties and eventually, Spaniards!

The fabulous dolphin fish or mahi mahi are another regular November visitor along the Sunny Coast. These beautiful fish are very exciting to catch and go well on the dinner table. Reportedly growing to 2m and around 40kg, they are formidable opponents. Most dolphin fish caught in southeast Queensland are 5-15kg, and even at this size, they can give you a fair run for your money. ‘Dollies’ often leap into the air in an effort to shake hooks, and occasionally cartwheel like queenies.

On the reefs we should see a few snapper, red emperor out wide and up at Double Island point, and sweetlip and trout closer to home. The run of cobia will continue through November, along with pearl perch and a few Maori cod.


Flathead and mangrove jacks will receive lots of attention from local anglers during November. This month will be the last opportunity to have a good go at the fish before the chaotic holidays start in December.

The local jacks should be on the go in areas with mangrove roots, vegetation or just about any solid structure, artificial or natural. The jacks have been quite co-operative for those in the know throughout September and October, so November should be even better. Trolling larger lures in between the lakes has produced a few good jacks, as has drifting live offerings into leafy snags with the current. Fishing with livies at night in the Woods Bays has also produced some cruising jacks.

These fish are very valuable to this river system so please let the majority of your catch go to ensure longevity of mangrove jacks in the Noosa River.

Flathead will still be about in large numbers, and again, please only take a couple of medium-sized fish home for the cook. Fish over 70cm are protected anyway, and most caring anglers return fish of 60cm or better. Trolling the run-out tide is a good way to find flatties in the Noosa River. An ebbing tide turning just after dark is pretty well spot-on so make the most of them when they come along. Drifting livebaits works a treat when things are slow, and the Tewantin Reach is a good place to start.

Weyba Creek also produces flatties, as well as bream, estuary cod and the occasional jack. This interesting system has islands, structure such as bridges, deep channels and a large shallow lake. Wading the lake is a great way to secure a feed of fish! Casting soft plastics ahead of yourself and probing channels and drop-offs is very productive.

Trevally should be running hot by November as well. Poppers are a fun way to find a few trevs, and dawn and dusk are the best times to have a go. If it’s overcast, the fish may respond to poppers until late morning. Because they go deep, trolled minnows or cast and retrieved plastics or slugs might land some trevally too. The Woods Bay area is always worth a try, as is Munna Point and the Sound.

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