Despite the dreary weather that South East Queensland has been experiencing this wet season, conditions for surf fishing on Teewah Beach have been an improvement from the last two years.
This time last year had the beach with a near permanent covering of thick oily foam whipped up by big seas and high rainfall from east coast lows that pretty well prevented any surf fishing at all.
But even with the state wide flooding in early March, we are yet to see a weather event this year that has produced any real quantity of foam.
Conditions on the whole have been fairly favourable with regular windows of opportunity for anglers.
While few anglers are actually fishing these windows, those that have are mostly finding tailor, good whiting, dart and the odd decent bream to take home for a feed.
The majority of fish have been taken on the lower tides, which provide calmer surf and better access for anglers to gutters with less sweep.
Worms remain the bait to use for the bread and butter species, as eugaries (pipis) are still in limited numbers. Bonito and metal lures have both been effective on the tailor.
We have missed out on the southern tailor migration these last two seasons due to weather, and prior to that algal blooms played havoc.
So it is terrific to again have the opportunity to target the big greenbacks that can arrive in large angry schools to feed on the spawning and juvenile anchovy shoals that generally inhabit Laguna Bay in summer and autumn.
The tailor haven't been disappointed by a lack of anchovy this year either, with large shoals occasionally visible from shore being herded into the gutters at times by tailor, giant trevally and mac tuna.
The tuna have been staying out of casting range, but tailor along with the GT have sometimes been well within range and boiling the gutter surface with large numbers of terns above.
Spinning lures anywhere other than around the boiling schools has been a waste of time, as the schools of baitfish is where all of the tailor have been.
But at night, pelagics find it harder to herd the baitfish and the anchovy are allowed to disperse which has the tailor searching the gutters for other prey. Anglers with bonito or mac tuna baits in these gutters are finding good fish up to 4kg.
Tailor to this size can be expected to remain in the area for much of April with improving weather conditions for anglers to work with.
I am often asked what time of year is best to fish Teewah Beach and in recent years I would have to say that April is the pick of the months.
This is due to various reasons, but not least because the netting of Teewah and Rainbow beaches between 1 May and 31 August makes it very difficult for anyone other than the pros to tap in during this period.
Algal blooms that have been very persistent here can also occur between September and March with no way of knowing if a bloom will be on when booking one's annual leave from work. So April becomes the only month that is net and algae free and which has most surf species for the region present and potentially available.
It is likely that this month we will find out the final decision by the state government regarding vehicle permits, camping structure and beach closures for Cooloola. I'm not going to speculate on which direction the decision will go, but it can be assured that not everyone will be happy irrespective of the content.
Another associated matter for the government to sort out, is the future use of the Ecocentre, which was built to provide education to tourists prior to driving on to Teewah Beach.
This facility was to house Qld Parks and Wildlife and would be the issuing office for permits and associated information.
However, at this stage it seems that QPWS have no intention of moving from their existing address at the southern side of the Noosa River vehicle ferries on Moorindil Street.
This leaves the Ecocentre as somewhat of a white elephant with no prospect in sight of it fulfilling the function for which it was intended.
To make matters worse, a major restructuring of roadways and parking with extensive landscaping work in front of the Ecocentre and neighbouring High Tide Hotel is being used by virtually nobody.
The hotel is closed to patrons between Monday and Friday outside school holidays due to school groups using the same facilities for dining, requires very little parking as a result.
And it would appear the road structure was designed specifically to dramatically slow tourist traffic at the doorstep of the hotel and to increase patronage.
By doing so, an incredibly dangerous traffic situation has been created for a business that isn't providing a service for nearly five days each week and an Ecocentre that may or may not provide any service at all.
I hope Ms Jones, State Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, will find a way of persuading QPWS the Ecocentre is a good and appropriate location for them to be.
This in turn will create viability for the owners of the Noosa North Shore Retreat and High Tide Hotel, which would be a benefit to the tourists and locals.
I also hope that some road safety measures would be adopted sooner rather than later at this location, as accidents involving pedestrians and vehicles are a real possibility with the current design.Reads: 3001