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TACKLING THE FISH IN APRIL

Last week we talked about April being a good month to target a wide variety of transitional species. By transitional we mean fish species that are dominant in both Summer and Autumn; like whiting, mangrove jack and trevally.  These species will slowly decrease in numbers by late April and during the same months winter species like bream, tailor and jew should increase in numbers.

photoFor forward planning, many anglers use the moon phases and tide times as a guide to when is the best time to drop a line in. Good Friday is our next full moon and there is a high tide at 10:00am - great news for anglers who have been asked to bring home their catch for Good Friday dinner.  There is also an evening high tide at 10:42pm which is the higher of the two tides, bringing in cleaner water hopefully. 

If you read last week's article, it discussed the importance of what bait to use and where to go to target the transitional species that live in local Sunshine Coast waters.  Tackle is equally important and the following is some tried and tested set-ups to use in this part of the year.

If you cannot afford to have a multitude of rods in your repertoire, you can get a general purpose outfit. Recently the Swan Boat Hire team designed a rod/reel combo for specific use as an all round light to medium estuary combo. The "Silstar Estuary Special" combo is ideal for bream, whiting and flathead with increased strength in the butt to also target tailor and trevally. The transparent blue solid tip is very sensitive and will improve chances of feeling bites and hooking the fish. The two piece (3-5kg weight range) rod can be purchased on its own for $29.95 or coupled with a Jarvis Walker Mirage 350 spooled with 10lb suffix mono to form a well balance combo at only  $49.95. This is a great combo for intermediate anglers - priced to fit all budgets and comes with 12 months warranty.  This combo is ideally used with local fresh and live baits.

If you prefer a lighter set up to target bream, whiting, flathead and grunter bream on soft plastics or small hard lures, we suggest the Berkley Drop Shot or better quality 7foot (2-4kg weight range) graphite rod with an Abu Garcia 802 Cardinal spinning reel (2000 sized), spooled with 4lb braid. We recommend using 6lb-10lb fluorocarbon leader.  

A heavier setup for Chopper Tailor using soft plastics or other small hard lures would be the ATC Hardstick 7 foot high modulus graphite rod (3-6kg) matched up with a Surecatch Ovation 35 spooled with 8lb braid and 30lb mono leader. If you are a bait-only tailor-fan, then set up your pilchards on a Surecatch Sensor Tip rod (5-8kg) matched with a Surecatch Ghost 5000 sized reel matched with 15lb mono line and 40lb leader. 

Surface lure madness has struck the fishing community with a recent whiting and bream on poppers craze. Bream, flathead, whiting, trevally and jacks all take surface lures. The main idea when targeting fish with surface lures is to try and match the lure size with bait size your target species is feeding on at the time. This will ensure a much better chance of a hook up. Give some of the following lures a go:

  • Lucky Craft Sammy 65 lures - excellent for targeting jacks, trevally and flathead as they are about the same size as a small poddy mullet.
  • Smith Towadi - the same profile as a small Maroochy River prawn and can be popped along the surface in a similar action as one. These will bring pretty well any fish in for a look.
  • River2sea Baby Rover 50 - a long narrow profile which works wonders on elbow slapper whiting in local estuaries

So over the Easter break, if the weather is reasonable, the waterways will certainly be busy.  It is vital that all users of Sunshine Coast water ways observe boating and fishing etiquette.   As always, with greater numbers of people on the waterways, complacency is not tolerated by the Fisheries and Maritime Safety officers.

Remember the basics in safety when boating:

·         Observe all speed limits and be aware that the 6 knots speed is the same as a fast walking pace - this includes canals and areas where boats are moored.

·         Give way to all non-motorised craft such as kayaks and sailing boats.

·         Steer clear of all swimmers (keep 30m away when the motor is running).

·         Be courteous to other boaties (drenching a boat load of people with your wake by passing too close and fast will not impress anyone!)

For anglers, fishing regulations were updated in March with changes for estuary and reef fish minimum lengths, bag limits and even maximum lengths in some species.  Crabbing regulations have also changed. To keep on top of the recent changes check out the DPI fishweb: www.dpi.qld.gov.au/fishweb/ and print out a copy of the new regulations to keep.  For the younger anglers, a fun size kid-friendly copy of the regulations can be picked up for free at local tackle stores.

Swan Boat Hire staff would like to wish everyone who uses our beautiful waterways a very safe and happy Easter.

LOCAL FISHING REPORT

Noosa: Plenty of quality coral trout, parrot and sweetlip just out from the dirty water mark on Sunshine Reef. Flathead, bream and whiting around the bar. Mud crabs and bream along the Tewantin Stretch. Trevally in Woods bay.  

Maroochydore: School jew, whiting to 35cm, golden trevally and bream in the cod hole. Plenty of bream and whiting 35-40cm on the flats at bli bli on the making tide.  Mud crabs to 1.2kg between Chambers and Bli Bli.  

Kawana: Golden trevally from along La Balsa stretch. Bream to 1.2kg around the boat moorings. Sand crabs in the lower river on the morning making tide. Quality mud crabs above McKenzie's Bridge.  

Caloundra: Quality flathead from the power boat club. Bream and whiting off the boardwalk. Quality mud crabs throughout the passage. Bream, whiting and flathead off the NE tip of Bribie.

 

darrinmudcrab

 

The constant rainfall has filled our dams and excess water has been flowing into our rivers. This has had the mud crabs on the move and after putting the pots in over night opposite Chambers Island, several keeper buck to 1kg and many jennies were potted (held by Darrin). The under side of the crabs shows the distinct difference between the male with the thin pointed flap and the female with the semi circular flap on her under side. Remember all females must be thrown back and males have to be 15cm across the shell.

 

hankking800gmbreamnoosamarina

 

Hank King caught this 800gm bream while fishing the waters around the Noosa Marina overnight this week – supplied by www.fishingnoosa.com

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