Pick a Spot
  |  First Published: February 2010

It has been a fantastic time for fishing on the Sunshine Coast. Fishing around the headland off Mooloolaba right down to Bray’s Rock outside Caloundra this summer has provided us with a good run of pelagics especially spotties and Spanish mackerel.

For those that missed the run you should have a last minute shot at large Spaniards during the first part of March but after that things may go a little quiet.

The deeper reef systems like Wide Caloundra and the Barwon Banks have produced good numbers of pearl perch and cod this season something that can take well into March to start unfolding.

Further out the mahi mahi and wahoo have been taking trolled baits, particularly gar. Smaller marlin around the 50kg mark have been seen as close in as Murphy’s feeding on the large bait schools of pilchards and tuna. Sharks are still around in big numbers but once the bait schools leave the waters they move out with them.

Mixed reefies including parrot are best sort around the Mids out at the Barwon Banks and up into the rocky country around the 40m mark. Wider in the 85s there have been some good snapper, cod, parrot, emperor and sweetlip still taken and that should continue this month.

If you like to fish the deeper marks up to 90m then work the areas around the bottom of the Hards and further north for best results. The spoil grounds just outside the Caloundra Bar are also worth a look for spotty mackerel along with cobia, amberjack and a mixture of reef species.

Currimundi Reef and Rapers Shoal are always worth a shot with either lures or floating baits. Watch the current and use just enough lead to get your bait down to around 4-5m in the water and hold steady.

Downriggers are particularly useful in these situations and allow you to drop your bait right on the fish to maximise your hook-up rate. The same can be said if you enjoy trolling for mackerel or other pelagics, use the downriggers to sit the bait at the depth the fish are running.

The Inner Gneerings has certainly seen its fair share of anglers over the summer months with up to 30 boats at any one time on a fairly normal day. This is one of the better spots to take the kids as there always seems to be fish around and a lot of smaller grassy sweetlip to keep the little ones amused.

This month I would like to look at the many different types of areas and fishing haunts available on the Sunshine Coast. Stretching from Noosa to Caloundra there are literally thousands of places to wet a line and plenty you probably have never heard of but for now we will stick to the easy ones to find.

Locations for catching all types of estuary fish and a large number of predators include rock walls, around pylons and pontoons, around jetties and bridges and within the mangrove systems.

Mooloolaba offers a big mixed bag of areas to fish particularly on the estuary side of things. There are two major rock walls that create the bar that leads the way out to many popular reef systems. The walls are long and have plenty of positions that you can comfortably fish from and stash you gear.

At the end of the walls I have seen tuna, mackerel, tailor, mulloway and even garfish taken, so you have a great chance of catching fish.

The rock walls hold plenty of bream, whiting and even flathead while mulloway and larger species work the deep channel that runs the full length of the waterway. Fishing inside the wall you can work around the hundreds of moored boats or work the back waters or eddies that are formed by the construction. Soft plastics, hardbodied lures and bait all work around the area but I have always found live bait to be the best.

If you love your lure fishing then this is the place to nail some monster bream. If the fish aren’t biting then move in and around the pylons on the jetties and work right up into the shallow water. Now while the water is public property you will need to remember that boats come and go so keep an eye out and get out of the way when you need to.

Casting in under the jetties could land you a monster trevally because they live all around where the trawlers and long liners moor. Excess bait and fish bits from the ships normally feeds the local fish population and over the years they have gotten pretty big so if you get bricked you know why.

Further around the canals there are plenty of pontoons and places to also try but again remember these are private so stay off them. The backwaters provide a healthy mangrove system for breeding and plenty of man made features that you can fish from either a boat or from shore with sometimes equal success.

The area around the boats and jetties is also a terrific spot for catching squid and prawns when the tide and moons are in line.

There are many similar fishing haunts around Noosa and Caloundra but if you want to try something a little different then pop up to Mooloolaba and try the estuaries this month.

You could literally spend years fishing right around the area and still not cover half of it. Spend the time and look around the Sunshine Coast, you may be surprised at what you find.

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