Snapper are definitely the flavour of the month off Noosa as we start to head out of the short winter typical of the mild Southeast Queensland climate. Those cold winter southwesterlies seem to have kicked the snapper into gear big time!
Most of the charter operators were putting clients onto snapper through late July and into August and this great fishing should continue into September. North Reef has been a favoured destination and plenty of good specimens up to 8kg or so have come up from the depths. Chardons Reef has been another top location to secure a feed of snapper and mixed reefies, while the grounds up at Double Island Point are always worth a look for snapper and red emperor.
The owner of Davo’s Bait and Tackle, Greg Lacey, took some time out to wet a line off Noosa in late July with his son Chris and mate Fred Creek. The boys had a ball catching snapper, cobia, moses perch, parrots (tuskfish) and a selection of other quality reef fish as well.
The best snapper came in at around 7kg while the cobe pulled the scales down to a respectable 10kg. Squid and pilchards were the choice of baits on the day with squid pulling the better quality snapper.
As is becoming the norm these days, the guys had to deploy some soft plastics that were bounced around on the bottom structure and these also accounted for some quality fish. The very popular 7” Berkley Gulp in lime tiger was the best performer on the day.
Elsewhere the crew from Fishing Offshore Noosa have been catching snapper, squire, pearl perch and moses perch at their favourite marks on the vast North Reef. Up at Double Island Point trag jew, squire and pearlies have been the order of the day with a few serious snapper and the odd red emperor coming on board.
In the Noosa River the flathead season will be hotting up throughout September as the annual spawning congregation begins in earnest. Pockets of flatties will be found throughout the system this month. As the weather and water warm up a bit these little parties will consist of a couple of big henfish and dozens of hopeful males all hanging around ready to perform.
It is critical from September though to December that any big flathead are released as they are the big breeders of the system. While we are now legally allowed to keep duskies up to 75cm it is best to return any fish over 60cm to the water, to boost their numbers for the future.
Historical writings of the Noosa and Weyba areas recall flathead fishing that today seems like a lengthy stretch of the imagination. Since I knew and fished with an elderly gentleman that enjoyed some of this fishing as a youngster I can tell you that in days long gone flathead under 15lb were returned to the water as they were too small! Anyone with access to a small timber rowboat and half a bucket of fresh prawns could fill a boat to the gunwales with flathead in those days, according to my old mate, bless his soul.
With that in mind, assuming that we all want local fishing to improve or at the very least remain the way it is, let’s do the right thing and release those big roed-up girls so they can make millions more flathead each year for us and our kids to enjoy catching.
Areas to fire early in the season are the lower reaches of the river, Weyba Creek and Lake Weyba as well as Lake Doonella and the channel in between the two major lakes upstream. These days, bouncing big plastics around is a great way to catch flathead, as is drifting with fresh bait or trolling bibbed minnows.
Bream have been around in numbers throughout the system with a few tarwhine amongst them. Small baits of prawn or pilchard chunks will get the bream going, as will a berley trail delivered sparingly. While a few anglers get carried away attempting to fill the freezer and feed the neighbourhood, most people are responsible and keep only what they need for a feed.Reads: 1997