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2010 Fishing Reports

Fishing Report: Tune up tackle before Xmas 3/12/2010

TUNE UP TACKLE BEFORE XMAS

With the wet weather we've experienced this past week and the fact that Christmas madness is looming, now is the optimum time to update your tackle situation and give your tackle box a good once over with hot soapy! Take advantage of the rain and spend a day in your garage giving everything inside the tackle box a clean, cull the old rusted tackle and get organised for when the weather comes good again.

 

Hot soapy water will remove all the salt crystals which coat everything in and outside of the box, give it a few hours to dry off to make sure all little cracks and crevices are dry before putting back your tackle.  It's worth giving all the contents a good wipe down if you can as the salt will also corrode and wear away the chemically sharpened coating on hooks and swivels, plus your knife will become very obviously rusty if left unclean.

 

Using sharp hooks for fishing is probably one of the most important keys to catching fish. Using sharp hooks, non rusty hooks or chemically sharpened hooks is very important. This time of year it's worth sharpening your old hooks or buy good sharp new hooks. Fish within your budget and buy the best hooks you can afford. Rust will prevent a hook up by not allowing the hooks to slide through the mouth of the fish. A blunt hook tip will also minimise the chance of hook ups. If you get snagged check how sharp your tip is and run a sharpening stone over it if needed. It's well worthwhile investing in a small hook sharpening stone and keep it in your tackle box.  Remember lure trebles are also important to maintain and keep sharp.

 

The latch on the tackle box may need a spray from a lubricant or anti-corrosive product such as Inox or Protecta lubricant.  This will lengthen the life of your tackle box and save you from an expensive purchase in the near future. While you have the lubricant out, touch up your reel gears and yabbie pump as both will get more use in the coming months.

Pliers are a great tackle box accompaniment for removing the hook without touching the fish. Pointy nose pliers are particularly good for hooks that have been swallowed down the fish's throat.  If your pliers are stiff though - this is a great time to clean them up and lubricate with some Protecta.

 

A well organised angler should have plenty of long shank, bait holder and pre rigged gang hooks on hand over Summer and through to Winter.  Pre-holiday season is a good time to cull any bent, rusty or dull hooks - revamp them with a good sharpening or get some new ones! Flathead and whiting are best targeted with a long shank hook due to the shape of their mouths.  Bream need bait holders as they are the kings of deception and trickery.  The barbs along the shaft of the hook will hold on your prawn, squid or flesh bait well.  Purchase gangs in groups of three or more to save money or at least get a box of Mustad 4200D or 4202D saltwater series hooks to make up your own gangs. Tru Turn hooks in style 711, are also very useful when rigged with black crane swivels rigged in between each hook. The swivels allow the hooks to twist and set in the fish's mouth, avoid destroying the pilchards flesh when inserting the gang hooks and help to minimise line twist.

A variety of different sinkers to allow for varying currents and waves heights as well as a couple of different strengths in monofilament and wire leader material are needed for adapting to changing fishing conditions. For those who wish to fish at night it would pay to have spare batteries for your head lamps or torch and some clip on glow in the light for your rod tips so that you can see the bites and what you're doing. Be prepared for changing fishing conditions and the worst case scenario that you losing hooks to big tailor and you should be rewarded with good fish.

So rather than getting upset with the weather - make the most of your time and before you know it, the sun will be back out and you can put your lovely clean, sharp tackle to good use snagging a serious fish!  Like I said in last week's report, take on board the Cub Scout Motto and 'Always be prepared'.

 

LOCAL FISHING REPORT

 

Noosa: Flathead throughout the upper reaches on live bait and soft plastics. Mangrove jacks and trevally around Harbour town, Sheraton bridge and Woods Bay at night. Whiting from the Frying Pan and the mouth on the incoming tide. A few mud crabs in the upper reaches.

 

Maroochydore: Flathead, whiting and bream from the Bli Bli bridge to the mouth of Eudlo creek on live worms and nippers. Whiting and flathead between Picnic point and Chambers Island. Plenty of  mud crabs moving  throughout the upper reaches.

 

Kawana: Trevally and bream along the rock walls and in the Canals on small hard body lures and soft plastics. A few bream and whiting from the La Balsa park sand basin. Mud crabs in the upper reaches around the bridges and in the canals.

 

Caloundra: Bream and a few Mangrove Jacks in the canals. Flathead from the mouth of Coochin creek on the outgoing tide. Whiting out from the Power Boat club and along Golden Beach on live nippers. Mud crabs from the creeks and in the canals.



Fishing Report: Jack fishing saga begins. 19/11/2010

JACK FISHING SAGA BEGINS 

 

Have I missed something -like when did the craze about vampires and werewolves start ? My wife indulged in this saga called ‘Twilight’ and now she has a new obsession called ‘True Blood’ which she claims is better shopping (maybe that’s stretching it).  My brother-in-law argued that ‘Buffy’ was the original and best for flesh-biting action, but I’m still not enticed.  


Honestly I think the ultimate experience for all those gore-lovers out there, is not a Hollywood series on flesh-biting humans, but the furious blood-bath expected after luring in a mangrove jack with a poor unsuspecting live herring or poddy mullet.  That experience you will remember for a lifetime, long after this immortal creature craze is over!


Mangrove jack season is synonymous with afternoon summer storms and hot, humid days that seem to be getting earlier and earlier each year.  These conditions will have the jacks on the prowl seeking out their next victim throughout the Sunshine Coast estuaries.


The past weeks we have also seen schools of herring boiling on the surface and moving up and down the local rivers with the tide. These herring are at the bottom of the food chain and will whet the appetite of most big predators and along with small mullet and river prawns which make up the majority of a Jack’s diet. Jacks are completely carnivorous and are also known for their cannibalistic ways - way better than watching the chomping down on some unsuspecting person’s neck.


FINDING JACKS:

These fish are as comfortable around snaggy environments as I am with a fishing rod in my hands. Their favourite habitats include rocky structures, bridge pylons, and fallen trees, under pontoons, deep holes and, as adults, inshore reefs. Mangrove jack are drawn to these habitats as they provide great shelters and they can easily ambush prey or your bait with a vicious swift attack as it passes by their territory and lair. They will then dart back in to the deep coverage with the unsuspecting fish or when they become hooked, and this is when angler's lines tend to snap as they rub against the usually abrasive surfaces.  Mangrove jacks are getting caught in their usual haunts. These include: 

  • Noosa: Noosa Sound, Woods Bay, Weyba Creek (where bait prawns love to hang), the Gympie Terrace stretch and in between Lake Cootharaba and Cooroibah.
  • Maroochy: Eudlo Creek, Petrie Creek, Coolum Creek and around the Cane Train Bridge near Dunethin rock.
  • Mooloolaba: Kawana Waters, the channel that runs under McKenzie's Bridge, Mountain Creek and the middle to upper reach of the Mooloolah River.
  • Caloundra: The top end of Currimundi Lake, Pelican Waters Canals, around the pylons of the Boardwalk and the upper reaches of Bells and Coochin Creek.

 

FEEDING JACKS:

Live bait is generally the best, due to the appeal of a moving prey. Poddy mullet, diver whiting, prawns, gar, herring and hardy heads are all good locally found Jack food.  Lures work well too - some of the best hard bodied lures include; the RMG Scorpion 68, gold Bombers and the silver Berkley Frenzy minnow. Soft plastics are very affective for jacks also because such a large surface area is covered with repetitive casting and retrieving.  Four inch Powerbait minnows, three inch Atomic prongs and Gulp five inch Jerk minnows have had local success.

 

TACKLING JACKS:

You need durable rigs to withstand the enormous fighting power. A strong reel with solid, yet smooth drag is needed to pull these fish in. The rod must have the ability to be fully loaded and then some. As a general rule I use 10kg mono or similar strength in braid, with a 40-60lb high abrasion resistant leader. Use a small ball sinker when there isn't much run in the tide and increase the size as the tide speed increases. Use a running rig with a strong chemically sharpened suicide/octopus style hooks to suit the bait size - generally 3/0 to 5/0 hooks are ample.

 

Dawn, dusk, the turn of the tide and overnight are all good times for jack fishing. Overnight is when jacks tend to wander away from their territory in search of food, so the odds of success are greater overnight.

 

So surely I have dangled enough fresh bait now to entice you away from the TV and into some real True Blood action – a twilight fishing session chasing mangrove jack!

LOCAL FISHING REPORT

 

Noosa: A few snapper, pearl perch, moses perch and a Wahoo was taken from North reef. Whiting and Flathead between the mouth and the first cutting. Tailor at the river mouth on the high tide. Large numbers of big flathead have been caught and released around the lower reaches . Mangrove jacks in both Lake Cooroibah and Cootharaba.

 

Maroochydore: Mangrove jacks between the Bli Bli bridge and Eudlo creek on live bait. Bream and the odd tailor from Cotton tree in the mornings. Good numbers of  trevally up in the Maroochy waters canals and the cod hole. Whiting in the lower reaches. Quality catches of bream from the Cod Hole at night.  Mud crabs up to 1.3kg in the creeks and above Bli Bli bridge.

 

Kawana: Pearl perch, rosy job fish and snapper from the banks. Parrot and sweetlip off the rocks at Point Cartwright. Dart, whiting and flathead along Kawana beach . Mangrove jacks in the canals and in the upper reaches. Bream, trevally and a few sand crabs from the La Balsa park stretch.  

 

Caloundra:  Sweetlip and School mackerel from Currimundi. Snapper and sweetlip off the coffee rocks early in the morning. Flathead and mangrove jack from military jetty overnight. Whiting from the power boat club and in front of the Gemini towers. Jewfish and trevally in Pelican waters canals at night. Queenfish and a few trevally from the Boardwalk on live bait.

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Peter Batey fishes with live poddy mullet or herring in the Maroochy River around good structure for jacks to 50cm.

 

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Tate Keys was working 4 inch soft plastics hard against structure in search of mangrove jacks when this 70cm jew took him by surprise. The fish was released after this photo was taken.

 

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Charter boats are a great way to get out amongst some quality reef fish with Barry Wilson catching this red emperor out at the 12 mile aboard Flat dog charters.

Fishing Report: Escape up the beach. 12/11/2010

ESCAPE UP THE BEACH

 

 

The weather is definitely all over the shop around the nation at present with persistent rain leading to freak flooding late last month in Brisbane, hot days sparking fire warnings in WA, fears of cyclones along the east coast in coming weeks and of course big swells over the weekend just gone. Fortunately we have been experiencing glorious weather of late apart from the odd shower or two. November is one of the best months of the year to pack up the 4wd, tent and beach fishing gear and hit the beach between Noosa North Shore and Freshwater camping grounds. The beaches are easily accessible before the onslaught of holiday makers hit the beaches to claim thier spot for the Christmas break - camping spots are a-plenty while the kiddies are still at school for another month and the fishing is great for summer species.

Where to go: The stretch of beach from Teewah to Cooloola is the gateway to the Great Sandy National Park and most people access this area by crossing the Noosa River at Tewantin on the ferry and follow the road to the beach - and it's less than 30mins from Hasting St! Two wheel drive vehicles can park at the end of the bitumen and walk less than 100m to the surf beach. Those lucky enough to have a 4WD can choose from 3 cuttings in the dunes to access the beach.  You need to turn left, heading northwards up the beach you will find Teewah township, the huge Cooloola sand mass and beach camping and the Freshwater Camp grounds. The 2km+ from the river mouth to the third cutting along the North Shore is now restricted from any vehicle in efforts to preserve the beach.

Council has taken a proactive approach towards the protection of our natural environment as the closure provides ecological sustainability and helps preserve our natural environment for the future and this happened last month and seems to working.

When to go: If wanting to drive up the beach a bit, aim to hit the sand on the low tide for greatest driving ease. At this time the sand is at its hardest, with wide stretches of beach allowing you to pass other cars safely. You can drive up until a couple of hours before high tide, but the closer to high, the higher up you will have to drive. Poor planning can see you driving in very soft dunes at incredibly slow speeds (possibly destroying all dune plant life). This can lead to you getting bogged and will double the travel time as well. Tide times from Teewah to Double Island vary from local Sunshine Coast tides, as a general rule you should take off an hour and a half from the Maroochy river mouth tide.

What to take: There is a pub with general conveniences just as you get off the ferry from Tewantin and before you go onto the beach, but once on the beach there is no petrol station or shopping centre (just make this clear with the wife!) There is, however, kilometres and kilometres of pristine beach for fishing, swimming, sunbaking and of course, relaxing. Take an esky of cold beers, plenty of picnic food, an umbrella for shade, fishing gear, swimmers and sun protection. If you managed to get a whole weekend free from commitments, take the tent and make it a nice valentine's weekend surprise for the other half.

Tackle: On the fishing front, bring out your 11-14ft beach rod. If targeting beach species, a nice whippy rod constructed of hollow fibreglass or carbon composite, preferably one piece is recommended. A beach rod must have the feature of a tip light enough to cast lightly weighted baits while letting you "feel" the bite. The flexibility of the tip must enable you to hook and play a fish without placing too much pressure on the line or inevitably having it give way and snap.  Rig up an Alvey or reasonably sized spin reel with 4 - 8kg line to compliment the rod. The minimum of moving parts in an Alvey, and their simple design compared to other reel types, make them almost maintenance and trouble free, especially with the corrosive wear from sand and salt.

The golden rule is to fish as lightly as possible. The lightest line, sinker and hook combination as the weather conditions allow.In windier conditions, increase the size of your sinker to allow for the line to be cast sufficiently. Light rigs allow the bait to be moving with the surge of the wave and this action helps find a lot more fish. An excellent line for beach fishing is the durable Schneider line in breaking strains from 4 - 8 kg. Use lighter line for dart, bream and whiting, heavier lines for tailor and jew.

If fishing for dart, whiting, flathead or bream, use a similar bait as you would in the rivers - worms, pippies and squid. A #1 bait holder or #4 long shank hook, surf sinker and at least a 50cm leader of slightly heavier line will set you up to target these species. These fish usually feed in the shallower gutters and can often be seen in the breaking waves if the water is clear.Additionally, bream and flathead can't resist a white bait or frogmouth pilchard rigged on a small gang of hooks.

The bigger fish - tailor and jew, have sharp teeth that will cut through line, so some trace is needed. Wire traces tend to scare fish, so upgrade to some heavier nylon around a meter long in 15 to 20 kg breaking strain. Pilchards of the WA variety, gar, small mullet strips, froggies and white bait on a gang of linked hooks will do the trick. The number and size of the hooks used depends on the type and size of your bait. Small pilchards or baitfish need gangs made from #3 to #1/0 hooks. For WA pilchards the gangs will be made of larger hooks. Gauge this by measuring the length of the bait against the gang. The correct way to bait your rig is to place it alongside the bait and align the point of the first hook with eye of the bait. Note the spot on the side of the bait where the last hook rests. Insert this hook first and continue with the others in sequence. The first hook should now go through the bait's eye socket.


Ah just writing this makes me feel like shutting the shop early today and making a move before the old man can say "Where has my hard working son disappeared to?". So hopefully me beach fishing tips will help you get away from it all, even if it is just for an afternoon and hopefully when you get back, there will be some good news on the weather front.

 

 

LOCAL FISHING REPORT

 

 

Noosa: Flathead from the southern end of the camp zone and whiting from the third cutting to Teewah. Whiting up to 500g from the river mouth on live prawns. Trevally in Woods Bay and from the second ski run. Grunter Mangrove jacks from around Sheraton Bridge. A few flathead to 70 cm near Lake Cooroibah.

Maroochydore: A 2.8kg big eyed trevally was caught in Petrie Creek. Mangrove Jack, flathead and bream from Godfrey’s road. Mangrove jack in the cod hole over night. Whiting throughout the lower reaches and the Bli Bli flats. Flathead to 65cm and trevally in the cod hole. Mud crabs between Cookies and Coolum Creek.

Kawana: A couple of kingfish at the Gneerings. Dart, bream, flathead and whiting along Kawana beach. Elbow slapper whiting around the 40cm mark above McKenzie’s Bridge. Big bream from the rock walls and moorings. Golden trevally from the pontoon at La Balsa. Squid around the boat mooring over night. Sand crabs in the lower reaches.

Caloundra: Jack along the western side of Bribie Island. Large numbers of queenfish with a few trevally taken from the boardwalk. Whiting on poppers from the power boat club. A few flathead from the mouth and Bells creek on live bait and soft plastics. Jewfish up to 8kg from the Blue Hole.

 

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Greg and Larney Germaine were fishing with live worm and yabbies from the Bli Bli flats when they caught a full tray of whiting between 23 and 30cm.

 

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Ian Gray was fishing in Petrie Creek with lures early in the morning this week when this 2.8kg big eyed trevally gave him a quality fight on light line.

 

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Reg and Danny Brooks were working the water between Godfrey’s Road and Bli Bli bridge with soft plastic when they caught several legal flathead and a 1.5kg mangrove jack.

 

Fishing Report: Give burley a go! 5/11/2010

GIVE BURLEY A GO

 

We regularly get queries regarding burley in the shop and any staff member can help out with their tried and tested formula.  For those of us who turn to the inter-web for everything, yes there is plenty of information on burley...as long as you know how to find it.  Many people are unaware that the term burley is used only in Australia, the term is chumming in other parts of the world. Chumming came about in the 19th century in California when fish guts and pig's heads were tossed off the end of a pier to bring the sharks in for tourists to see. For those anglers looking for burley recipes online, be sure to type the word chum into the search - results will be plentiful including great recipes from America and local recipes with Chum dog food in the ingredient list!

 

The use of burley is by far the best way to attract fish from all over the place to your bait via a trail of food particles. It is commonly used by boat and bank anglers in the river and in offshore waters to increase your catch rate. Not many anglers use burley off the beach but if the correct technique is used in the surf gutters there can be great advantages.

 

HOW TO USE BURLEY:

Current, tide and wave action are two strong factors that influence where your burley will end up. Make sure you take these factors into consideration when positioning a burley dispenser. A small cylinder style burley pot with plenty of small holes or slits that allow a slow and steady flow of burley is the only instrument that you need. Homemade pots are cheap and easy to make - head to your local hardware store and get some PVC pipe from the plumbing section if you are handy and creative, or pick up a readymade pot from your local tackle store for around $10. Attach the pot with a length of rope to your boat, a tree or a sand spike in the sand so that the burley can disperse gradually within close proximity to where you are fishing.

 

If beach fishing, you want the burley bucket to sit just in front of you and be washed around in the shore break so small amounts are released with each surge. Depending on the current and the waves, place the pot up current so that the burley ends up in the general area where your bait is sitting. When you re-cast your bait out, make sure it lands on the upside of the burley pot and with the current, it sinks into the trail.

 

BURLEY TO USE:

Any fishing scraps and off cuts from cleaned fish can be used as burley. Chook pellets, bread crumbs, old bread, pilchards and prawns are also good. When using pellets or bread, it is well worth adding a small amount of 100% tuna oil to give the fish plenty of sent to follow. The main aim is to crush or cut up all of the solid material into small pieces that will slowly break up and flow out of the burley buckets holes.

If you want to keep costs down buy yourself a second hand food processor or a meat grinder. Blitzing up old bread into crumbs and then adding minced up meat and seafood scraps so that you get a fine composition. Then you can freeze good handfuls of the mix into old stockings (tied off and bagged) - check first before you raid your other half's hosiery draw though!

 

Waste not - want not: this old saying is what my granddad lives by - he is the king of burley. Grandad added old leftover bait to his mixture. Rather than throwing old bait into the river after a day's fishing, he would process it into a fine paste and add to breadcrumb mixture. Prawn heads, squid, whitebait or any pilchard as well as the frames and guts of any fish he caught went into the freezer for the next burley making session!

One recipe that I did happen to come across on the internet which sounded pretty scrumptious is as follows:

5 kg of Pillies.
3 kg bag of Flour.
2L Tuna oil.
Optional to add a bag of cat or dog biscuits. If you do add them, give the mix about 5 or 6 hours to marinate.
Plus all your old bait, fish frames, meat & table scraps.
Blend it all together in a 20lt bucket, ensuring everything is a thick paste. Adding some water to help it mix and pour better. Use a paint mixing attachment on a drill to assist. Pour the burley mix into old cordial/milk bottles and freeze. This should be enough to make up 10 or 12 bottles.

I am keen to try this mix and report on the results in the coming weeks. But I have learnt my lesson after my last burley ‘cook-up' which resulted in a less-than-impressed wife who did not take kindly to burley ending up there beside lamb chops in the freezer - this time I will only make enough for the next day's fishing trip.

 

On a last note, make sure that you don't go over board when you do use burley as the fish will gorge on it and will be less likely to eat the bait you are offering. Fish will travel long distances along a burley trail to reach the source. The stronger the scent in your trail means the fish will travel from farther distances. If you do a lot of fishing and have never tried using burley to attract fish then maybe it's time to fill your burley pot and give it a try.



 

LOCAL FISHING REPORT

 

Noosa: Whiting out from the third cutting. Big dart, tarwhine and flathead along Double Island. Mangrove jacks and trevally in lake Cooroibah. Whiting and dart on the southern beaches. Trevally in Noosa Waters. Whiting from the mouth. Flathead from the Frying pan.


Maroochydore: Bream and the odd mangrove Jack in the canals at night. Whiting throughout the lower river and the mouth of Eudlo Creek. Trevally to 2.5kg in the cod hole on live bait. A few nice flathead throughout the river. Mud crabs in Petrie creek and near the Bli Bli islands.


Kawana: Whiting, flathead and dart down at Currimundi. Bream from the moorings. Whiting in Mountain Creek and the sand basin at La Balsa Park. Mangrove jack from McKenzie’s bridge at night. Sand crabs towards the mouth. Mud crabs in the canals.


Caloundra: Whiting and bream from the blue hole on live bloodworms. Elbow slapper whiting along the Golden Beach stretch and at the mouth of Coochin creek. Queenfish, bream, golden trevally and large flathead from the board walk.

 

 

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Robert Whiting uses a bread and tuna oil mix to coax small bait fish, bream and whiting to the back of his boat, which provides him with food for his Giant Trevally to eat. Rob got this 2.5kg specimen on a herring.

 

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Andy Gunn and his mate Allen normally burley up with a mixed of minced up fish, tuna oil and pellets to attract his reef species. These snapper to 2.6kg were caught at the Barwon Banks.

 

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Kaden and Glen Whitaker were fishing with fresh bait under the Maroochy Waters Bridge when they hooked this 62cm dusky flathead.

 

Fishing Report: Swain Reefs Trip 2010 29/10/2010

SWAIN REEFS TRIP OCTOBER 2010

 

The first summer-ish storm usually marks that it is that time of year again - the time I look forward to all year: our annual pilgrimage north to Gladstone to board the MV Booby Bird to embark on an epic week long adventure to Swain Reefs.  Swain Reefs are 260 km North East from the main land and offers great reef fishing for anglers of all skill levels.

 

Everyone boards the big boat: MV Booby Bird early Saturday afternoon for the long trip out to sea.  This year we fished the NW edge of the Reefs, (165km due East of Yeppoon)  spending the majority of the trip at ‘Herald's Prong Number 2' Reef which ended up being great fishing as the reef is very exposed.  The first two days saw us experiencing SW'lies up to 30 knots but this settled down to beautiful light winds.

 

The Booby Bird is a 24 meter long vessel with 100 square meters of rear deck space where 15-20 anglers can fish to their heart's content.  Fishing from the big boat is great, but dory fishing is so much more flexible. There are six Sea Jay 4.2m tinnies (aka dory) that are available day and night for the duration of the trip for morning and afternoon fishing sessions. They are equipped now with essential mod-cons like depth sounders and UHF radios. You can anchor off the edge of the reef or drift fish depending on the conditions and fish feeding activity.

 

The group of anglers who meet annually for this trip love this week because of the diverse fishing environments that the Swains Reef area has to offer.  Each little reef may fish differently to the next and work at different ends or entrances at certain stages of the tide. That is why it is important to pick your skipper and deckhands brains prior to setting off each morning in your tinny. Beginner anglers need to follow the experienced angler in their group who has been fishing the same area before.

 

Although there were a few quality fish caught at anchor, Dad and I preferred to drift around with a large sea anchor out to slow us down.  While drifting we were able to cover much more ground and never knew what we could stumble across.  We generally concentrated on the zones where the water was flowing off the reef as this same principle is used in estuary and local reef fishing to predict the best feeing areas.

I trolled lures between each drift period which resulted in very good hook-ups.  The lure producing the best results ended up being the Citer metal bibbed wooden minnow! Over 70% of catches this year were coral trout with the other 30% being red throat emperor, spangled emperor, cobia, parrot, venus tuskfisk and blue spot trout.  The divers also managed a tidy haul of big crayfish, coral trout and prolific parrot.

 

Some of the best catches to note include; spangled emperor to 65cm, bug fat trout around 60cm, red throat to 60cm and cobia weighing in at 12kg.  Some coral trout caught in deeper water were coming up in crimson red colour and the ones caught in the shallower water were a beautiful light bluey-purple colour.  This was something I hadn't seen before at my local stomping grounds and was pretty amazing to consider.

Tacklewise; every year some passengers take half a tackle shop onboard with them and it surely took them as long to unpack as it took to drive home from Gladstone.  So detailed below is my essential tacklebox and rod/reel combo recommendation for the trip!

 

1. 60LB and 80LB Surecatch leader - 100m of each

2. No. 2, 3, 4 and 5 barrel sinkers - 25 of each

3. 5/0 and 6/0 4200D Mustad hooks - 50 of each

4. Citer Wooden Minnows (metal bibbed)

5. Berkley Firestick Mungo Bait lures

6. Slambait 5 inch soft plastics in a varity of colours

7. Berkley ½oz x 5/0 Heavy duty jig heads

 

Other things to consider taking include:

· Boga grips to handle toothy fish.

· A multipurpose set of large pliers that can open and close hook eyes.

· Sharp braid scissors

· A sharp knife

· A pair of gloves to hand fish.

 

Hopefully this gives anybody who is going to the Swain Reefs in the future a rough idea of what kind of gear you should need before considering a trip. I've only been back home since Saturday afternoon and my wife is going to cringe when she finds out that I'm already looking forward to next year's trip!

 

LOCAL FISHING REPORT

 

Noosa: Whiting along the north shore. Good numbers of whiting and flathead from the mouth to the Frying pan. Jewfish and a few trevally from Woods bay. Mangrove jack from Weyba creek on live bait at night.

 

Maroochydore: Flathead to 60cm around the cod hole boat ramp. Flathead and bream at dusk in the southern channel. Trevally up to 2kg and big dusky flathead from the Cod hole. Mud crabs from the mouth of Petrie Creek.

 

Kawana: Whiting, flathead and bream along Kawana Beach. Flathead to 70cm and a few bream off the Mooloolaba Rock Wall. Sand crabs throughout the lower reaches.

 

Caloundra: Good numbers of quality whiting from Golden beach on live worms and nippers. Queenfish, bream and large flathead from the board walk on live bait. Mud crabs throughout the upper reaches.

 

 

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Prized catch - Mark with a beautiful iridescent red coral trout caught in the deeper water at ‘Herald's Prong Number 2'.


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A lighter coloured coral trout caught in shallower water - note the light purple/blue colours.


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Red throat emperor pack a punch when hooked up, this one took a good 10 mins to coax in.


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Coral trout like this one were targeted with fluorescent 5 inch Slam Baits.


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Mark with a heavy spangled emperor caught on the drift on the first day the winds eased.


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Matt with his best spangled emperor which fought long and hard after hitting a Citer wooden minnow.

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