Winter is relatively short along the Sunshine Coast, which is a blessing for many. We can’t complain I suppose with plenty of fantastic days up around 23º and lots of clear blue skies. We even had some respite from the nagging rain.
The best fishing opportunities during winter are generally offshore. Those calm mid winter days often deliver an easy bar crossing and the close in reefs such as Halls, Little Halls and Jew Shoal all see plenty of small craft.
Up to early July the lengthy stretch along the North Shore, all the way up to Double Island Point, has fished very well for bream and tailor along the beaches. Spotted mackerel and various tuna species have also been fishing well in this area just offshore. Tailor anglers have been having a ball, particularly around dusk in the deeper holes. By-catch has been mostly bream and between the two species there is a feed to be had; fresh tailor aren’t bad to eat, but only if they aren’t frozen first.
Not too far offshore there has been spotties, more tailor, northern blues and mac tuna all harassing the bait schools. This is very enjoyable fishing, although a stealthy approach must be made to prevent the school from sounding if they are spooked.
Try and cut the motor well upwind and drift in ready to fire a cast as soon as you are close enough. Small slugs work a treat but they need sharp strong hooks particularly if you come across a school of actively feeding northern bluefin tuna. These fish are often caught at 15kg plus and at this size they will test any angler and their gear.
Spotties are also great to catch, but are not quite so trying on the gear. Smoked mackerel fillets are a special treat, particularly if served with butter and ground black pepper. Don’t forget a cool chardonnay to help it on its way down. Tailor aren’t bad smoked either, if you happen to land a few.
Jew Shoal has seen sweetlip and squire on the bite while the vast North Reef system has seen quality cobia, snapper, pearl perch, tuna and a few stray estuary cod. The bigger cod seem to hunt at night so be prepared if you are out there after dark. While smaller cod can be very good to eat, the larger fish often have quite rubbery flesh so they are better released to keep the species strong.
There have been plenty of whale sighting already, which will hopefully continue.
The Noosa River is still rather turbid with plenty of floating debris still coming downstream on the run-out tide. Another month or two of dry weather should see it clear just in time for the summer species to kick into gear.
During August flathead will be on the chew in the lower reaches of the river and also in Weyba Creek. Despite the new six knot speed limit in Weyba it is worth the effort. Small soft plastics have accounted for large numbers of flathead in recent weeks. Most of the fish are 40–50cm that are good pan size, with the odd large specimen amongst them.
Lake Doonella is also worth a shot as the weather starts to warm up a little. Once again small plastics bounced along the bottom will do the trick.
Trevally and a few tailor will be hunting at dawn and dusk near the river mouth and in the Woods Bay/Munna Point area. Poppers, skipped Rios Prawns, slugs and live baits will bring trevs undone and the faster the retrieve the better.
Noosa Sound is a great place to check out the holiday shacks and their incumbent boats so you can chase a few tailor, trevally and some good queenfish up to 80cm.
Bass continue to show in Lake Macdonald although most specimens are modest at around 35cm. The committee of the local stocking group welcome Paul Fleming into the Secretary’s Chair. Paul and his other half Sue fish the lake often and know it well. Between them and with the help of a few other club members they have returned over 600 bass to the lake from Six Mile Creek below the spillway – a magnificent job. Please e-mail me if you would like info on the stocking group or if you would like to attend meeting which are held on the third Tuesday of every month.Reads: 2216