Sunshine Reef Shows
  |  First Published: May 2009

Those hardy souls that took advantage of the brief windows of opportunity during the wild weather we experienced through most of April caught some spectacular fish. The star of the show was the beautiful coral trout, with most specimens coming from Sunshine Reef.

Other fish to land in the esky have been snapper, sweetlip, some quality red emperor, parrots and a few mackerel and tuna. June should see all of this continue with an increase in the numbers of snapper boated.

The poor run of pelagics may well peak this month with some extra large Spanish mackerel and northern bluefin tuna hopefully chasing bait around the close in reefs. North Reef, Sunshine Reef and Jew Shoal are all worth a troll if you feel the need for a serious confrontation with a large and speedy adversary.

Those live baiting or cubing should also land some quality mackerel and tuna through June, as well as the possibility of cobia and, of course, top quality table fish from the depths.

A great day’s fishing was significantly enhanced up at Double Island Point recently when a crew of keen anglers aboard Noosa Blue Water Charter were visited by a whale shark, which is pretty rare on the east coast. The shark made some close inspections of the boat, marlin board and motors before slowing disappearing. At 18ft long it was juvenile and a very welcome interruption. By the way, those on board caught snapper, red emperor and an assortment of reefies.

The unbelievable quantity of rain we have seen along the Sunshine Coast has made life somewhat difficult with widespread flooding, badly damaged houses and other property and even loss of life.

As reported last month, Lake Macdonald was once again overtopping and unfortunately we experienced another major loss of fish, mostly Australian bass, over the dam wall. This is not good news for the future of this fishery, however the stocking group will persevere and hopefully we will see a return of the great fishing that Lake Macdonald once offered.

Regular local anglers Paul and Sue Fleming have had some outstanding sessions in the lake recently catching large numbers of bass, however they were mostly small specimens. Their last foray resulted in 36 bass in the boat with 15 of those better than 30cm. The best fish were just under 40cm so all is not lost! Naturally all of these fish were released.

The up side of the fish loss is that Six Mile Creek is once again loaded to the hilt with bass and a few golden perch as well as saratoga. In recent weeks the stocking group has caught several hundred fish below the spillway and returned them to the lake proper.

This is possible as the stocking group has a permit to conduct fish collection and relocation from this area. Anyone fishing below the spillway without the cover of this permit is liable for prosecution as the first 100m of water from the dam wall is closed to all forms of fishing. So the message is join the stocking group or fish outside the exclusion zone! Anyone interested in joining the stocking group should contact me via e-mail.

The Noosa River was still quite turbid in early May and unless we see some prolonged dry weather it will take quite some time to clear. The good news is that the big fresh kicked the mud crabs into gear with some lucky fishos catching good quantities of big bucks for the pot.

Flathead and bream have also been on the chew, with a few trevally in the lower reaches particularly at dawn. Further upstream bait anglers are catching catfish in plague proportions so it may be better to fish the bottom end until the water clears.

In early May, Davo’s Bait and Tackle hosted a very interesting and most informative seminar on winter barramundi fishing. Berkley’s Matt Fraser was joined by champion barra angler Trevor Burgess and between them they educated a very keen group of local anglers thirsty for knowledge.

Everyone present walked out with goodies of some sort as well as being prepared for some serious but stealthy barra fishing in lakes Monduran and Awoonga this winter. Many of us, me in particular, struggle to catch barra in summer so it will be of great interest to see if the forthcoming winter sessions produce the goods.

The guys delivered plenty of handy hints regarding tackle and tactics and I am expecting a flood of reports throughout the cooler months of highly successful barramundi fishing sessions. Don’t forget to send me some evidence!

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