The air around Teewah is filled with hope for the months ahead and the potential for a bumper pelagic season.
Spanish mackerel have been present for a couple of months already and the spotties and schoolies have recently arrived along with some good longtail tuna.
The close in reefs along Teewah Beach have been producing Spaniards, with trolling, jigging and live baiting all effective methods.
Pilchards trolled behind a ball sinker proved particularly successful for one crew and fishing with baits of pike and small mac tuna worked well for another. Metal lures cast and allowed to sink to the bottom then retrieved at high speed are attracting strikes, but boating these speedsters with this gear can be another matter.
Tailor reappeared on their southern migration with some good quality fish beached and even better ones lost.
The next two months should have tailor well and truly on the chew, providing an occasional southeasterly keeps the algae at bay.
Early indications are the dreaded northerlies will not be so persistent through autumn. This might mean we will also have low pressure systems and cyclones to deal with, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
In the past a good rain depressions that flood the streams have triggered a feeding frenzy in Laguna Bay with pelagics and reef species available from the beach after the flood.
This year snapper have been taken from the beach south of Teewah in the midst of a particularly dry spell. This could be due because the rocky gutter they were pulled from is in close proximity to a coffee rock reef just offshore, but it’s unusual nonetheless.
Whiting continue to be caught in reasonable size and numbers by anglers using worm baits in the shallower gutters on the incoming tides. In February big female whiting and bonefish can be taken on pipis in the slightly deeper gutters that would conventionally be targeted for bream and dart.
Oyster crackers are also at their peak in February and March along Teewah Beach and at Fraser and are found in similar water as pipis.
For anglers wanting to fish Teewah Beach in the coming month there are a couple of weather indicators to keep an eye out for the best time to wet a line.
Avoid fishing during the algae blooms which occur in hot northerly winds. The longer the northerly blows, the dirtier the surf zone becomes. Cooler southeasterly winds kill off the algae and the longer they blow, the cleaner it becomes.
Of course, southeasterly winds can generate swell and trying to fish heavy conditions, even if the surf is algae free, is often pointless if the swell is large.
Hit the beach as the southeaster blows itself out and is just swinging around to the northeast. This will see the surf calm off quite quickly. If the southeaster is a mild one of no more than 20 knots, then fishing in these conditions should deliver near algae free surf and the swells should not hinder fishing efforts.
The stretch of beach from the mouth of the Noosa River to the first vehicle access cutting and the northern side of Double Island Point offers shelter from southeasterly winds and swell. Head here if conditions are heavier than desired.
These areas usually produce catches of mackerel and tuna from the beach. Following a low pressure system or cyclone events they can really fire with anything possible and fish particularly well on metal lures.
Every year I hope for an early storm event to flood the rivers and generate big seas, as the period after these events can be outstanding. Big tailor come on the bite at the river mouths, spotted, school, Spanish and longtail mackerel, mac tuna, trevally, queenfish and tarpon can be amongst the predators feeding on the shoals of anchovy that gather in these circumstances.
Bream are another species that can come on the bite during and after these storm events, even when the water is filthy brown with fresh.
A general rule of thumb for chasing bream in dirty water is to use mullet gut or mullet flesh as bait and change to worms and pipis as the water clears. Let's hope for a better bream season this year, as previous seasons have been very poor.
Some changes to the vehicle access points at the southern end of Teewah Beach occurred just before Christmas with more changes still to come.
The second cut has been closed and the third cut has been moved slightly north and surfaced with interlocking plastic pallets. This certainly made life easier over the Christmas period to get on and off the beach, especially for those towing trailers and vans.
Early this year, the beach between the first and third cuttings will be closed to vehicle traffic. The first cutting will remain open, but provides access to the beach south to the river mouth only. The third cutting will be the only access to the beach north of there other than through Rainbow Beach or Freshwater Road.
At the same time as the beach closure commences, vehicle permits will be required for all vehicles travelling north of Teewah.
At this stage we are yet to be informed what length of permits will be available. It’s anticipated monthly and yearly permits will be on offer, as is the practice at Fraser. There is talk of a weekly or three-day pass, but I'm not holding my breath for these.Reads: 851