Wet won’t dampen fishing
  |  First Published: June 2009

Sunshine Coast is once again recovering from a severe battering delivered by Mother Nature. Beaches have disappeared, fish have gone over spillways and rivers are filthy and carrying tonnes of debris. But there is still some good fishing to be had, with trevally, snapper, winter jacks and flathead all making appearances.

While nature recovers, it’s a good time to prepare for future trips by putting in a bit of boat, motor and trailer maintenance and poring over maps looking for those untouched honey holes!

Map reading can be a very rewarding exercise, uncovering many a new spot. The fantastic Google Earth is another very useful resource when searching for new and exciting fishing destinations. It can be very surprising what is available not so far from home if you take the time to have a good look. Access to these locations can sometimes prove difficult though, as many potentially fishy spots are on private property or only accessible by foot or helicopter.

If all else fails you could simply give the boat a bit of a cleanup, grease those wheel bearings and prepare for the next burst of good weather.

The Noosa River has continued to deliver quality trevally, particularly at dawn in the Woods Bay area so that is a good place to start, and it’s only a short run from the ramp.

The trevally aren’t big fish around here with most specimens around a kilo or so. The will take live baits, quickly retrieved slugs, poppers and soft plastics. Surface luring is the most rewarding tactic with great visual hits.

By-catch can include tailor and the occasional mangrove jack. A few big tailor have been lurking along the Teewah beaches and it may well be worth a try in a deep gutter around dusk.

Last winter jacks made regular appearances for those trolling small minnow lures in the Sound. Live offerings drifted into structure won’t last too long if there are hungry jacks nearby.

Flathead will still be available throughout winter and some say a cool change will kick them into gear. Drifting live baits in the lower reaches on the run-out tide and perhaps first of the flood tide should bring a few flatties undone. Trolling small minnows and casting soft plastics around yabby banks and weed beds are also great tactics to employ when chasing a feed of tasty flathead fillets.

The river systems should be filling up with bream by July, which can be good fun for the kids. Berley will generally bring bream on the bite as long as it is administered judiciously rather than in big offerings that might fill up the fish instead of enticing them. I have seen slowly delivered crushed pilchards in the Frying Pan turn the place into a frenzy with a bream a cast for as long as you wanted to fish. If you do manage to get the formula right keep a few for a feed and let the rest go on with the serious business of spawning.

Bream have a size limit of 23cm and a big limit of 30 fish. On 1 March 2010 the minimum size limit will increase to a more sensible 25cm. Tarwhine are included in the same regulations as bream.

The beaches are always worth a shot, and particularly so after the dirty weather we have been had! Gun beach fisho, Tinny Treloar, surprised even himself by pulling in a quality snapper from Sunshine Beach recently. Another group of beach anglers also caught a bag of sweetlip down at Coolum Beach.

If you are unsure of any fishing regulations please ensure you visit the DPI Boating and Fisheries Patrol office at Munna Point adjacent to the campground or a tackle store. A measuring device should also be a mandatory part of your kit.

Offshore there will be plenty of options with the snapper scene on the make. More snapper and bigger specimens will be available on the closer grounds during July and August. A few coral trout should appear from time to time for those anglers that persevere, particularly around Sunshine Reef.

Jacks turn up on the reefs also as they venture offshore once they hit maturity. For the most part jacks encountered offshore will be better specimens than those encountered in the estuaries and creeks. They are not common in any reef system, but they are a welcome by-catch.

Any Spanish mackerel landed during July are just about guaranteed to be serious specimens. In past years the late season Spaniards caught off Noosa are the biggest, with fish pushing 30kg capping off the season in style. Trollers and cubers prepared to berley and wait may well pick up a monster mackerel in July.

In the fresh Lake Macdonald and Borumba Dam will deliver a few winter bass. Don’t forget that bass in flowing water are protected for June, July and August.

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