Last week we looked at a variety of techniques used with soft plastics including cast and retrieve, jigging, twitching, jerking and bottom bashing. Your homework was to get out on the water or off the bank and have a go at some of these methods before putting on a soft bait to target a big fish. Keep in mind, using soft plastics can be very affordable, but if your technique is not up to scratch you may be prone to snags and will lose not only your soft plastic, but also the jig head and clip on swivel - and that is when soft plastic fishing becomes expensive.
Like with all good baits, more than one species can be caught on the one type of bait and soft plastics are no different. The successful anglers come back time after time with reports of quality catches using soft plastics which match as close as absolutely possible to the live or fresh bait type the fish normally goes for. For instance if you usually take live bloodworms for chasing whiting, then the Gulp bloodworm variety is the shot. Of course, that said, a hungry sand whiting has also been known to hit the oddest of shapes in soft plastics - once even I have caught a whiting on a 2 inch white speckled minnow which I was trying to mimic as a diver whiting to lure in a big mangrove jack. You could imagine my surprise to find a whiting not much bigger than the soft plastic had taken a bite at it. The following soft plastics are suggested for targeting the main transitional species in the Sunshine Coast waterways:
Whiting and Dart: We find that the 6inch Gulp Sand Worm in natural and blood worm colours, cut into 2-3inch segments or the Storm Wild Eyed Twitching Nippers in 2 or 3inch in natural patterns are the best. Both types can be rigged using a light weight jig head or on a standard long shank hook with either a small split shot close to the hook or a running sinker. Both of these plastics form an important food group in both beach and river fish feeding habits and this why they are very versatile and have accounted for the capture of a wide variety of species.
Bream: Berkley 3inch Powerbaits in Pumpkinseed Scales and Pearl Blue Shad Scales are both extremely successful in the capture of bream in local waterways. The transparency of the light brown Pumpkinseed Minnow has a similar resemblance to a small green river prawn in the water. Small prawns make up a large amount of a breams diet and when fished with a jigging action on a 1/8oz jig head around structures like a bridge pylon these small minnows can be deadly to bream! A slow sinking minnow worked closely to pontoons and jetties can also prove to be very fruitful.
Flathead and Trevally: Theses species of fish will hit almost any soft plastic placed in front of them. My favourite flathead plastics are the 4inch Berkley Powerbaits in Pumpkinseed and Clear Gold Fleck scales. For trevally I prefer to use a Pearl Watermelon Scale colour in a 4inch Powerbait or Banana Prawn style in the 3inch Gulp shrimp depending on what type of bait they are feeding on at the time.
Snapper and Sweetlip: When it comes to big soft plastics which large snapper are likely to munch on, we use Berkley 7inch Gulp Jerk Shads in Nuclear Chicken and Pearl White as well as the 6inch Atomic Jerk Minnows in a variety of colours. For smaller snapper and most other reef fish the Exude 5inch SW RT Slug in Opeing day and Smoking shad, Gulp 5inch Jerk Shad in all the chicken flavors and Terminator Snapback 5inch Minnows in Blue Glimmer and Watermelon Red Flake are all winners.
Rigged Hooks: A single hook point is easier to feed through a soft plastic than a treble, often attempting to use a treble overstretches your soft plastic beyond use. Also a wide gape hook gets a better bite than a small one. The hook size needed for a soft plastic is always bigger than an equivalent sized hard-bodied lure with trebles. This means that they are easier to set and that they will hold better. The better the hook holds in the silicon-rubber mould, generally decreases the chance of missed strikes and pulled hooks. An upward riding hook, meaning the shaft of the hook runs along the "backbone" of the lure and the barbed hook points towards the sky will always snag less which is essential if your fishing ground is scattered with timber snags and a rocky bottom. With well designed bottom bouncing plastics the upward riding hook offers better exposure when a fish picks a lure up off the bottom.
Jigheads: Jig Heads have been designed for the avid soft plastic fishermen in mind. Most brands include chemically sharpened points, keeper devices just below the head of the jig to help hold the soft plastic on the shaft of the jig and a solid hook which won't straighten easily. Tackle stores stock a variety of brands, though everyone has their favourite and plenty of companies now sell jigheads loose or in small quantities for the discerning angler. There's a myriad of jig head shapes to suit the type of soft plastics used and jigheads range from 1/32 oz to a full ounce. Reflective eyes are also a common feature to look out for in many jigheads produced these days.
If you need some inspiration, I have detailed a few of my favourite spots where a soft plastic has rewarded me once or twice:
Noosa: Around the big yabby banks in the Frying Pan and river mouth, Munna Point Bridge area and the entrances to all the lakes.
Maroochy: The Bli Bli channel marker stretch, along any of the drop-offs between Chambers Island and the river mouth and just off the sand bags at Cotton Tree.
Mooloolah: McKenzies Bridge, especially around the pylons, Kawana Waters canals down to Minyama Island and in upper Mountain Creek.
Caloundra: Basically from the bar to the Boardwalk, around Military Jetty, along the banks between Bells and Coochin creeks, and Pelican Waters Canal.
So now, all you need to do is take your soft plastic rig to any fishing spot you would normally take bait. If you have accurately matched up your soft plastic to the correct bait for a species, then get ready to stalk their favourite feeding grounds. Drop into Swan Boat Hire with your catches as I'd love to swap stories!
Noosa: Plenty of quality coral trout to 5.8kg, a few big longtail tuna and yellofin tuna to 20kg on Sunshine Reef. Bream and dart around Double Island Point. Flathead near the bar and off Muna Point. Kawana: Snapper to 6kg and big parrot at the northern end of the Hards. Tarwhine, bream, whiting and a few big dart along the Kawana stretch. Good bream and trevally along the rock walls and in the canals. Sand crabs throughout the lower reaches. Mud crabs are on the move from the La Balsa Park area to McKenzies Bridge.
Maroochydore: Longtail tuna to 8kg and snapper to 3kg around Old Women. Average bream throughout. Whiting on the morning making tide on the banks between the bar and Bli Bli. Mud crabs in the creeks and above Bli Bli.
Caloundra: Flathead to 68cm in Currimundi Lake. Quality bream between the bar and boardwalk. Flathead off the Militarty Jetty.
Noosa: Plenty of quality coral trout to 5.8kg, a few big longtail tuna and yellofin tuna to 20kg on Sunshine Reef. Bream and dart around Double Island Point. Flathead near the bar and off Muna Point.
Kawana: Snapper to 6kg and big parrot at the northern end of the Hards. Tarwhine, bream, whiting and a few big dart along the Kawana stretch. Good bream and trevally along the rock walls and in the canals. Sand crabs throughout the lower reaches. Mud crabs are on the move from the La Balsa Park area to McKenzies Bridge.
It was not too many years ago that we were limited to straight, hard bodied lures with some likeness to real baits. Then almost overnight soft plastics came into the market and took anglers by surprise. Not only were these products extremely close in appearance to live bait, but they also feel and move like a live bait and some even smell like a live bait! This week I will look into techniques required for casting soft plastics and next week I hope to suggest specific colours and shapes for local species such as trevally, tailor, flathead, jew, mangrove jack and mackerel.
Soft plastics may seem like they recently burst into the limelight, however the development of this fishing tool constructed out of plastic has been a labour of love for many teams of scientists and entrepreneurs. In the early 1960's small worms and grubs were moulded from hard stiff rubber but had very little flexibility until Mister Twister, makers of the modern single and doubletail curly twister generated a silicon-based rubber lure with a more lifelike action and vastly improved fish-catching effectiveness. Since then many companies have come onboard, including fishing giant Berkley who manufacture well-known top sellers Gulp, Powerbaits and many other popular hard-body lures.
Berkley soft plastics seem to outsell many other brands in Swan Boat Hire as they offer the greatest variety in colour, shape and texture. Plus they match local baits such as bloodworm, sandworm, green prawn and baitfish with the greatest resemblance. Powerbaits are made with an oil-based resin to increase flexibility and softness. The oil creates a barrier to lock in the scent; however the Gulp soft plastic is made with a water-based resin which allows for the scent to be released as soon as it hits the water.
Berkley says anglers know that when fish bite Power Bait, they hang on much longer than they do with other soft plastics. By biting the bait, the fish is releasing that scent which makes them think it is actually food. This results in more positive hook sets. "I always tell people to throw a Power Bait or Gulp worm until it falls off the hook," Berkley scientists say. "Once that bait gets chewed and mangled, that's when the scent is going to be escaping the most."
Straight Cast and Retrieve is as simple as it sounds and what any angler who is worth their salt will do in order to increase casting accuracy. I began casting in open water when I first got into soft plastics as I wasn't sure of their weight and wind resistance when cast. Now after many years if I needed to cast to a spot surrounded by snags and rocks, I could do that with a great degree of accuracy. Young anglers need to take their gear to a nice open area and get used to the amount of lead required to get your soft plastic into the water level desirable for the target species.
Jigging is when your bait moves in one directing but in an up down wave motion. Begin by casting the bait out and letting it fall to the bottom of the water body. This will let you detect any hits as it sinks. Once the bait stops, it's worked along the bottom. This is done by raising the rod approximately 45degrees which lifts the jig off the bottom and brings it forward. Next, the rod is lowered to its original position and the jig falls back to the bottom, and line is retrieved with the reel until taut. At this point, some anglers may pause before beginning the retrieve again.
Twitching is an erratic retrieve. The majority of the lure's movement is the result of short, fast rod movements. It is easiest to twitch from the wrist rather than the elbow. The lighter the rod you are using, the easier this will be. The harder you flick you wrist and twitch the rod the more erratic the lure's response. If the lure is retrieved quickly while twitching, the soft plastic should ‘dance' and flutter near to the surface. If wanting the lure to do this but deeper in the water, allow the lure to sink and your twitching to be less frequent and the lure will glide from side to side like a submarine.
Jerking is much similar to twitching but requires the elbow and whole arm to move. This retrieve style is best with a shorter, stiffer boat rod or baitcaster. Jerking consists of longer, sweeping rod movements and the rod that is pulled downward instead of upwards and the slack line is retrieved as you do this. The action is repeated until you need to cast out again. The sweeping of the rod causes these baits to dive slightly, or swim to the side. This is often used in deeper water and resembles a darting baitfish such as herring, pilchards or yakka.
Bottom Bashing is when the soft plastic has contact with the bottom all the way back to the boat or shore. The heavier jig head is required for this technique and it is great for targeting species such as flathead and mangrove jack which is often lurking in the deeper bottom depths. The lure bounces along the bottom then taking off again which can often trigger an aggressive strike response from predatorial fish. This technique has the soft plastic likened to natural wounded baitfish which is stirring up the mud or sand to create debris to be scattered everywhere.
As you can see, the five main methods require attentiveness and practice. Once you have your technique down pat you can virtually fish anywhere in the world with a soft plastic bait. Next week we shall look into the angler's lolly-store at the many wonderful colours and varieties of soft plastic and I will recommend some specific models for use in the Sunshine Coast Waterways.
Noosa: Good sized spanish mackerel on floated pilchards from North Reef. Good bream and the odd flathead throughout the lower reaches. Better quality flathead in Weyba Creek and off Munna Point. Reports of mangrove jack in the Munna Bridge area. Mud crabs around Goat Island and in Lake Cooroibah.
Maroochydore: Good tailor, flathead and plenty of average bream in the Cod Hole. A few good grunter upstream of the Motorway and along Godfreys Road yesterday morning. Plenty of good whiting between 30 and 38cm from Picnic Point to the river mouths on the making tide. Mud crabs between Chambers Island and Bli Bli.
Kawana: Snapper and big mangrove jack from the Hards. Plenty of good snapper and sweetlip on the dirty water mark off Mooloolaba. Bream and sand crabs throughout the lower reaches. Mud crabs are on the move from the La Balsa Park area to McKenzies Bridge.
Caloundra: Tailor and bream along Currimundi Beach. Bream up to 1.8kg between the bar and Military Jetty. Whiting on the banks between Golden Beach and Coochin Creek.
Robert James did really well on the mud crabs in the Noosa River, returning plenty of big 'Jennies' but also keeping a good haul of legal size 'Bucks'. (courtesy of www.fishingnoosa.com.au)
A huge variety of colours, shapes and textures - a soft plastic for every (fish's) taste.
Snapper chase anything that passes infront of them - but especially a nice smelt coloured soft plastic!
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.
For 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:
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.
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.
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.
Hank King caught this 800gm bream while fishing the waters around the Noosa Marina overnight this week – supplied by www.fishingnoosa.com
I'm not breaking out my trendy striped thermal underwear, slippers and beanie just yet... but in the last week or so, has the cold weather snuck on to the coast somewhere between Maleny and Montville and set up residence here for the next few months? April is usually a nice mild Autumn month, with the odd cool night, but I feel like winter is-a-coming much earlier this year!
April is a great month to target a variety of transitional species. By transitional we mean fish species that are dominant in Summer and mid Autumn like whiting, mangrove jack and trevally. These fish will slowly decrease in numbers by late April and from now until late September the winter species like bream, tailor and jew should be on the bite. We need a really big cold snap for the best part of the bream season to evolve.
Flathead will remain strong until the water temperatures in the river become to cold to swim in - if the water doesn't appeal to us any more, the same goes for the flathead. So if you still want to target flathead in the coming weeks, fish in the shallower water which will warm up in the Autumn sun faster than the deeper channels will.
Flathead, trevally and tailor readily take soft plastics at this time of the season, bream are a fair bit harder to fool, but are well worth the challenge during winter. For anglers who are experimenting with soft plastics, we can give you a few tips that will hopefully point you in the right direction. Assuming that most anglers will be fishing in the rivers and/or close inshore waters 3" or 4" plastic will be sufficient. It pays to use light jig heads, that can still be cast the intended distance and sink the intended depth required. We generally use 1/8oz or 1/4oz chemically sharpened jig heads and they are amply for depth in the river and with a graphite rod and light braid will cast for miles in ideal low wind conditions. In the upper reaches or any areas where the water is brackish or brown from fresh water run off it is generally better to use brighter or more metallic colours. We use 3" Berkley power baits in pink lemonade and Ginger beer colours, which both included silver glitter scales inside the plastic. For cleaner water it is good to use 3" power baits that resemble baitfish like watermelon, pearl blue shad and emerald shimmer. Pumpkin seed is really good all rounder for bream and flathead as well. Also hard bodied lures like Lively Lures Micro Mullet, Predatek Min Min and a Bubble Pop 35 would be worth a try when targeting bream
Trevally and tailor are beginning to enter the rivers from the surf beaches and are chasing bait as far up as Bli Bli in the Maroochy, McKenzies Bridge in the Mooloolah and the Tewantin Ferry in the Noosa River. If you are not into soft plastics - invest in some decent gangs and work the pilchards and strips of mullet flesh in amongst the bait fish schools.
Bream are fairly average in size at present with the odd 1kg fish getting caught at night. As I mentioned earlier - cooler weather is ideal for bigger bream. Good places try for bream are the bridge and jetty structures as they provide spots to evade predators in the form of pylons while allowing feeding in deeper water. At night street and bridge lights attract baitfish that bigger predators will feed on. A few good locations on the coast that constantly produce good fish from bridge or jetty style fishing include the Military jetty and Boardwalk in Caloundra, the pontoons at both Mooloolaba and Kawana boat ramps, the two new jetties at Cotton tree and Chambers Island and Motorway bridge's or from the shore along side the bridges at Munna Point and opposite Noosa Sound.
It is well worth fishing on the lead up to the full moon on the 10th of April with a high tides around 10am and 10pm. Fishing 3 days either side of the full moon in the deeper holes of the Maroochy River is common practice in the ‘transitional months'. Bigger bream and tailor should be moving in the deeper areas of the river mouth on the night time high tides. Next week, we'll look at a few new lines of tackle being introduced for the upcoming winter fishing season.
NOOSA: Quality tarwhine 10km north of Teewah, but the going is tough. A 6kg barramundi took a slow trolled mullet in Woods Bay. Mangrove jacks and quality bream in Noosa Sound. Quality bream to 800g along the Tewantin Stretch and on the dirty water mark between the two lakes. Whiting in the frying pan and woods bay. Mud crabs in Noosa Waters canals and in the middle reaches.
MAROOCHYDORE: Bream throughout the river with a few good sea bream up to 35cm in the deeper holes. A few quality whiting between Chambers Island and the river mouth. Mud crabs from the creek mouths and the odd good one in the canals.
KAWANA: Spotty mackerel and tuna between old women island and the Caloundra bar. Parrot from the 5 mile and nice snapper from Murphy's Reef. Quality flathead in the sand basin and mud crabs throughout Kawana Waters. Trevally and bream from along La Balsa stretch. Sand crabs are plentiful in the basin.
CALOUNDRA: Big flathead around the 65cm mark between the bar and the boardwalk. Bream off the Boardwalk. Flathead to 55cm of the Military Jetty. Queenfish and trevally in Pelican Waters.
Neil Sheppard from the Maroochy R.S.L fishing club was happy to catch his first chopper tailor for the season. April is when the first scattered runs of chopper tailor grace us with their presence on the Sunshine Coast.
April is pretty well our last chance to hook into the decreasingly active mangrove jack which are less likely to take bait as the water temps drop. Bob Jeynes and Mick Doran hit the jackpot in Lake Cootharaba with good pan sized jacks.
Spotty mackerel like the 3.7kg specimens being presented by Gisle and myself should remain in our waters for the next few months providing plenty of good sport on light line.
Yet again we've had a rather wet week and the weekend forecast looks no different. And as I've said in previous fishing reports, the wet weather does no harm to fishing; in fact it is a good thing. It might put you out for a short while but members if the crabbing fraternity are rubbing their hands together with glee as this upcoming weekend will great for crabbing - without a doubt!
The bulk of the rain has given the rivers and estuaries a great flush out, often bringing jews, jacks, cod, crabs and even some of the bigger flathead out of hiding from up river. Similarly to the king tides we had shortly after Christmas and Australia Day, a big wet period means many anglers will be avoiding the upper parts of the river, choosing to fish the dirty water mark instead. For the crabbing fans - this weekend marks a great period for scattering those pots as wide as the eye can see in all the creek entrances, main channels and canal inlets.
Remember, crabs caught during months with the letter ‘r' tend to be much fuller than those caught during the winter months. Considering we are at the tail end of March, with April almost upon us...now is the time to take advantage of this wet weather. Crabs usually practice hibernation-like activities and burrow deep into holes during winter and malt their shell. They tend to remain empty during these months until they get a chance to grow into their new larger shell. Partially full crabs tend to have a greenish tinge to their shells and full crabs have a darker more browny-blue colour. The best way to tell how full a buck is, apart from observing its colour, is to press down on the under side of the crabs carapace, beneath the point. If the shell indents then the crab is only partly full, and if it does not, then it should be full of meat. Bucks around 1.2kg have been common catches in the channels surrounding Chambers and Channel Islands. Muddies have also been potted in the creeks, the Cod Hole and along the Maroochy Wetlands reach.
The trick with crabbing is to be observant and pedantic about checking them - this way you can get every crab which sneaks in and out of your pot. Of course there is always the chance that a crab may still be in your pot if you leave it without checking on it for hours on end. But the greater the frequency of checking and rebaiting, usually means the greater number of crabs for you to take home. Reports at present is that the ratio of males:females is close to 50:50. If you have a pot with a dominant female trapped inside, most male crabs will stay clear from fear of losing an arm or leg. Wise move that perhaps we humans should consider occasionally.... So removing the female and throwing her back in the water means a hungry male will then enter the pot to feed on the delicacy of mullet frames or rotting chicken carcass that you have on offer.
Being able to distinguish between male and female crabs is a very important way for anglers to play a role in sustainable fisheries. The mud and sand crabs though very different in appearance, both have the same protective cover on their under body. On male crabs this cover is in the shape of a long narrow, pointed flap. The females have a broad, more rounded flap that covers more than half of their underside. All female crabs must be returned to the water after capture. Male mud crabs must measure 15cm from spine to spine on the spines closest to the back swimmer legs. Male sand crabs have to measure 11.5cm from notch to notch on the notch closest to the spines. Each angler can keep 10 male mud crabs and unlimited male sand crabs, but it is important to stress the need to only take enough for your own immediate use and leave some there for the future.
As of March 1, 2009 many recreational fishing regulations changed and crabbing was no different. From that date onwards all crab pots and dillies must have an I.D. tag attached to it with the owners surname and address printed. All traps that aren't attached to some sort of structure must have a light coloured float, no less than 15cm in dimension on the end of the rope.
According to the DPI Fishweb, "In tidal waters, when fishing for blue swimmer crabs, mud crabs and spanner crabs, no more than four crab pots or dillies (or a combination of pots and dillies) may be used per person. Also a person must not possess more than four crab apparatus per person, on a boat on the water. The use of inverted dilly apparatus (witches hats) is to be phased out. The use of this apparatus will be prohibited from 2 April 2010."
So get your pots out and stocked with whole mullet and get amongst the dirty water to bring home a nice muddy for a pre-Easter treat!
LOCAL FISHING REPORT
NOOSA: Plenty of spanish mackerel at Sunshine and North Reefs. Bream on the making tide inside the river mouth and Woods Bay areas. Mangrove jacks taking lures and livies in Noosa Waters and between the lakes. A few flathead on soft plastics in Weyba Creek.
MAROOCHYDORE: Bream to 34cm and whiting around 43cm in the lower reaches on the morning making tide. Trevally on the morning tide along Twin Waters. Mangrove jack on prawn star lures in twin waters canal. Tailor on the top of the tide in the river mouth. Mud crabs in Maroochy Waters canal, Eudlo Creek and Bli Bli.
KAWANA: Whiting, bream and quality flathead in the sand basin. Mud crabs in Kawana Waters. Trevally along La Balsa stretch. Bream around the pontoons and jetties of the lower river. Sand crabs in the bay and out in front of Point Cartwright.
CALOUNDRA: Bream and flathead off the boardwalk. A 90cm flathead was caught and released near the bar. Queenfish and trevally in Pelican Waters.
After several days of heavy rain in the upper river quality crabs migrate with the out going tide into lower system feeding throughout. Luke Smith potted this solid buck in the channel surround Goat Island.
Mitch Bow and his dad work the mangrove lined banks in Eudlo Creek and the Bli Bli stretch over night with fresh mullet and other fish frames in their pots for best results.
Matthew Lindley was fishing with his family from Chambers Island bridge using live worms over the weekend for this 32cm whiting.
John the 'River Rat' was slow trolling a live poddy mullet in the Noosa Woods Bays around 4.45am, when he hooked and landed this very unusual catch, a beautiful 7.5kg barramundi - supplied by www.fishingnoosa.com.au