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2010 Fishing Reports

Fishing Report: Why not spring into a fishing comp for a good cause? 09/09/2010




Large schools of bait fish migrating from Stradbroke and Moreton Islands to the shallow waters just off Teewah Beach has signaled the beginning of spring. The short lived winter snapper season is coming to and end and the first big bait schools on the 50 meter line off Mooloolaba have shown up. It just goes to show how quickly the water temps offshore have warmed up when the first black marlin start smashing live baits trolled by the local game fishing gurus.


Spring on the Sunshine Coast is when we can expect the better numbers of summer whiting to start sniffing around in the rivers, mangrove jacks will hit live bait and lure more ferociously, large female dusky flathead with their multiple gathering of eager small males to be activity feeding in excellent numbers throughout the coast and School Mackerel are feeding on the close in reefs between Noosa and Caloundra.

So with the change in season, it would be worth entering the Beerwah RSL Annaul fishing comp to test your skills.

The Annual Beerwah RSL fishing Competition is here again and seems to be growing stronger every year. The competition raises money to support the Children’s Ward at the Nambour General Hospital and is being held on the 10th, 11th and 12th September. The entry fee is only  $31 per person and is for a good cause.


The Major prize is a week’s accommodation at the Indian Head fishing units on Fraser Island, which would give you a really good chance to do some serious beach fishing with friends and family. All you need to do is enter and you will get a ticket that could win you this excellent prize. Individual river, beach and offshore species are rewarded with $300 cash prizes for the heaviest fish.  All of the competition rules and conditions can be found on the clubs web page at

So if you love your fishing and would like a chance to win some really awesome and help raise money for a good cause, this fishing competition's for you.




Noosa: Amberjack, yellowtail kingfish, cobia and snapper from North reef. Tailor,  jewfish and dart along Sunshine beach at night. Mangrove jack, trevally and chopper tailor on poppers and soft plastics during the early mornings at Woods Bay. Quality bream from the Sheraton bridge to the river mouth.

Maroochydore: Quality numbers of squid from Old Woman Island. Parrot, snapper and pearl perch from Murphy’s and the Barwon Banks. Quality bream around Cotton tree and the Bli Bli bridge on live herring. Whiting and bream have been caught around Goat and Channel island during the incoming tide. Flathead between the mouth of Petrie Creek and the Bli Bli bridge  

Kawana: Tailor and bream around point Cartwright at night. Luderick along the rock walls. Whiting have been taken throughout the river and on the beaches during the low tide. Golden trevally have been taken throughout the canal system. Quality numbers of bream around the boat moorings.

Caloundra: Snapper, sweetlip, cobia and school mackerel on Currimundi reef and Caloundra wide. Flathead from the power boat club and the mouth of Bells creek. School jew and bream from the Blue Hole at night on the run out tide. Bream throughout the river in large numbers





Snapper will continue to feed throughout spring in reasonable numbers off the Sunshine Coast as long as the water temperature don’t rise too quickly. These 3kg specimens were taken on a recent trip to Murphy’s Reef by yours truely.


Dusky flathead like this 57cm specimen become more active on lure and bait during the spring months.


Ray Pascoe was fishing on Flat Dog charters last Friday at the Barwon Banks when his squid/pilchard float bait attracted this 20.5kg red emperor, which put up a monster fight on his 30lb braid on a 8-12kg live fibre rod.


Matthew Meng was fishing with un weighted pilchards around the rocks at Old Women Island when this 1kg bring took the bait and fought hard in the white water.



Fishing Report: Calamari for All 02/09/2010



If you keep your eye on the tiger squid, you will be rewarded with fresh Calamari.


I don’t think that there are many anglers out there that wouldn’t love a feed of Calamari. Well wouldn’t it be even better if it was your very own fresh caught squid that you were eating. If this sounds like it would be up your alley, then read on.

On one of my recent trips to the close in reefs off Mooloolaba we had a very slow session on the reef fish, but were lucky enough to make up for this with six large squid. When I say large, I mean that when you are cleaning the hood section out, it covers your whole fist and arm down to your elbow and ends up making enough calamari rings to feed a small army. I have never really been interested in squid fishing until I saw how much line a large tiger squid can pull off your spool as they take the jig. My 5-9kg ATC hard stick was buckled over and the 20lb braid was peeling off my spool as the squid took a dive after taking my jig and feeling the sharp prongs sink into its tentacles. That large tiger squid was  cooked up fresh the next day at Calamari rings and boy did it taste sweet.


The species that frequents our sunshine coast waters during the cooler months in good numbers is sepioteuthis lessoniana aka tiger squid or northern calamari. They live on the reefs, rocky bars offshore and around sea grass beds, rock walls and jetties in the rivers.


As for the best times, tides and moons for targeting tiger squid, this is up for much debate. My basic theory is, fish at dawn, dusk or overnight for best results. If you are in a boat with lights on board or on a well light jetty then the new moons is the best.  From the boat you should turn every light on to attract the squid to you and put a burley trail of chopped up pilchards to help them find you quicker.


As for squid jigs the cheap $5 predator and $8 Yo-Zuri in 2.5 or 3.0 jigs work very well. I also like the SureCatch stainless squid stem jigs, which are used for rigging whole pilchards. The key with squiding at night is to have a glow in the dart jig or a glow stick rigged about 30 cm above the jig to attract them.  Squid will come right up close to you within a rod length following up a bait or jig, but usually they will hang in the shadows, so this is always a proven place to work your jig. If you’re in a boat try jigging underneath it or out the back on the edge of the shadow.

Stem squid jig rigs should be rigged under a float when fishing from a jetty or bank, so that it moves up and down with the winds chop and tide, along with avoiding snags. Squid jig lures can be left in the rod holder while you are bait fishing in offshore waters as they will bob around with the boat or can actively worked over a shallow reef. It doesn’t pay to leave your drag too tight when chasing squid, otherwise the prongs will pull free from the squids skin.

Working a squid jig is no different to working a soft plastic, let it drop to the bottom and lift your rod tip up wards and let it sink again taking up the slack line. Repeat this jigging technique in a vertical and horizontal zig zag for good results.


When you hook a squid, before you bring it to close, try to use your rod to direct its mouth away from you so that all ink that is shot doesn’t end up on you. Have several empty buckets to place the squid after netting them. It doesn’t pay to let them release all of their ink in the water, because this may deter other squid in the area. Clean the squid in the buckets and put them on ice and discard the ink just before you leave that spot.


Best spots to target tigers:

The Mooloolaba rock walls and boat moorings.

The reefs around Old Women Island, the gneerings, currimundi, Murphy’s, Coolum, Sunshine and the 5 mile off Caloundra.

Tiger squid will be lurking on the local reefs and rocky walls for weeks to come, providing anglers with a challenge, well worth the effort.





Noosa: Snapper, Sweetlip and Spanish Mackerel up to 12kg from Sunshine  Tailor, Whiting and Dart along North Shore and Teewah. Bream and chopper Tailor at the river mouth on the top of the tide.  Trevally in Woods bay on lures. Mud crabs in Noosa Waters.

Maroochydore: Tailor to 4.4kg from Mudjimba Beach. Flathead up to 61cm from the mouth of Petrie creek to the Bli Bli bridge. Whiting from Twin Waters jetty to Goat Island. Trevally near Coolum Creek and in the Cod Hole. Mud crabs to 1.4kg in the creeks and along the wetlands stretch.

Kawana: Snapper tusk fish, sweetlip and large numbers of squid around Old Woman Island and the Gneerings. Golden Trevally up to 1.5kg around La Balsa Park. Tailor up to 2kg  from the beaches during the early morning and late afternoon. Luderick from the end of the Kawana rock wall.

Caloundra: School Mackerel,  Snapper and Sweetlip from the 5mile and Currimundi. Flathead and Bream from the mouth of Bells Creek on the run out tide. Trevally and Bream in the Pelican Waters Canals. Bream and Luderick from the boardwalk on the top of the tide.




This nice sized tiger squid was taken by Len Elson while drifting with a squid jig around Old Women Island.


Jeff Vries uses glow in the dark 3.0 size squid jigs at night to catch his tiger squid.


Chris caught this nice dusky flathead around the Bli Bli Islands on a recent trip.


Fishing Report: Catching Yourself a Big Tailor 26/08/2010


The last month has seen the annual migration of tailor working their way along the coast between the Tweed coast and Fraser Island. Although the chopper tailor have been feeding in good numbers

on and off proving anglers with plenty of good sport. The larger green backs are playing hard to get, meaning that only those keen anglers that put in the time have been producing the prize winning fish. If your wanting to join those anglers with a prize winning catch that will make your mates green with envy than follow my helpful tips below.

Keys to success include:

Find a good deep gutter with an entry and exit point and plenty of white water where possible.

Have the fresh bait possible eg. Fresh mullet or tailor flesh, freshly frozen pilchards, gar and bonito fillets.

Have sharp hooks, buy good sharp hooks and resharpen used hooks for your tailor rigs.

Heavy mono leader is better than wire as the bait can move more freely, just make sure you use at least 75lb or more.

Once hooked keep plenty of pressure on the fish, any slack line will allow them to throw the hooks. This doesn't mean to skull drag the fish, just take your time, let the fish run when needed, but keep pressure on the line at all times.

Fishing over night is the best, tailor love dawn and dusk, but they also feed readily on the last of the making tide as the gutters fill out.

Fishing outfit to the job:

12-13'6” beach rod with a medium action that is required for throwing big baits. 700 size alvey or similar sized spinning reel with 20-30lb mono or braided line.

For hooks we use two 7/0 mustad 4200 hooks ganged together for the strip bait or 3 ganged together for whole baits.

With the westerly's blowing over the weekend it will ideal conditions for getting on the beach and throwing a bait in for the chance at a solid green back tailor. Just remember the colder the weather conditions the better for tailor. If you persevere with proven techniques you could be the angler bragging on the channel 7 fishing report with a big tailor.





Noosa: Snapper, Sweetlip and Spanish Mackerel up to 12kg from Sunshine  Tailor, Whiting and Dart along North Shore and Teewah. Bream and chopper Tailor at the river mouth on the top of the tide.  Trevally in Woods bay on lures. Mud crabs in Noosa Waters.

Maroochydore: Tailor to 4.4kg from Mudjimba Beach. Flathead up to 61cm from the mouth of Petrie creek to the Bli Bli bridge. Whiting from Twin Waters jetty to Goat Island. Trevally near Coolum Creek and in the Cod Hole. Mud crabs to 1.4kg in the creeks and along the wetlands stretch.

Kawana: Snapper tusk fish, sweetlip and large numbers of squid around Old Woman Island and the Gneerings. Golden Trevally up to 1.5kg around La Balsa Park. Tailor up to 2kg  from the beaches during the early morning and late afternoon. Luderick from the end of the Kawana rock wall.

Caloundra: School Mackerel,  Snapper and Sweetlip from the 5mile and Currimundi. Flathead and Bream from the mouth of Bells Creek on the run out tide. Trevally and Bream in the Pelican Waters Canals. Bream and Luderick from the boardwalk on the top of the tide.




Gary Gardiner puts in the hard yards using big strips of bonito during the early hours of the morning along Mudjimba Beach for prize winning tailor like this 4.4kg specimen.


Brenna was fishing aboard anglers advantage boat in the upper Maroochy last week when she caught her first dusky flathead on lure.


Giant trevally have been schooling in the upper Maroochy River over the past few weeks with fish around the 1kg putting up a good fight on light spin gear like Louie was using.


Teewah and Double Island Point gutters are the prime location at the moment for big green back tailor like those 3.5kg specimens held up by Gary Gardiner.



Fishing Report: Snapper on the chew at local reefs 19/08/2010


Warmer than usually sea temperatures on the inshore reefs have meant that winter snapper season has been very slow this year. Out wide on the Barwon banks and Hard’s fish numbers have been average, but over the past two weeks the inshore reefs that the snapper move onto to spawn have started to fire up. This week has seen snapper to 7.5kg from north Reef, to 3-5.5kg on the gneering, up to 6.5kg from Murphy’s and to 5kg off Bray’s Rock. This is a very good sign that we should have at least a months or so of hot snapper action.

Snapper generally move inshore onto local reefs at this time of the year to feed and spawn. This is when anglers with small boats can fish close in reefs off Caloundra and Mooloolaba with good results. The migration of these fish to the close inshore reefs during the winter months to breed generally occurs when the water temperature drops below 18-20 degrees.

Although these fish are prolific in the winter they can also be caught year round on the deeper reefs like the Barwon Banks and Caloundra wide.

Apart from being hard fighting fish snapper are one of the best eating fish in the sea. If bled and put in an ice slurry soon after capture snapper fillets are delectable.

The best times for snapper fishing are dawn, dusk and over night and around the bottom or top of the tide. Drifting is a particularly good way to find snapper. Once you get onto a hot bite, anchor and berley up. Otherwise look for a rise in depth and try to anchor so that your bait ends up on the edge of or on top of the rise.

Snapper on soft plastics: 4 inch Berkley Power baits and Gulp 5 inch Jerk shads have produced good results for me. The whole range of colours work, but I have found the best to be glow, smelt, nuclear chicken and chartreuse pepper neon. Jig heads with heavy gauge 3/0-5/0 hooks are needed to avoid losing the fish through straightening or crushing of the hook. Jig head weight can vary depending on depth, but in most cases a 3/8 to 1/2 oz will do. Start a berley trail and cast the plastics out as far as you can. Let the plastic work it’s was to the bottom then jerk the rod upwards a couple of times, letting the plastic sink back down. If you don’t receive a strike then wind it back up and repeat these steps over again. Also try drifting over a rise in the bottom working your plastic up over the bottom in an upward jerking motion.

Snapper on hard bodied lures, are not uncommon. Trolling along rocky coastline at dawn and dusk can produce good snapper. Close in deep water off the rocks at Coolum, Noosa National Park, Point Cartwright and Caloundra are very productive areas. A range of deep divers made by Halco and RMG in a variety of colours work. Snapper will feed in mid water, so once you know the depth try to work the lure around half way down and you should be within their strike zone. The Scorpion Crazy Deep by RMG dives to 8 metres and would be perfect for working areas like Currimundi Reef and the Inner Gneerings. Also, try to look for baitfish, structures and spots that show on the sounder and drag your lure past in the hope of hooking up.

Snapper on live or frozen bait: live bait work best, but snapper also love large pilchards, squid, yakka, slimy mackerel and mullet fillets.

Berley is the key: when anchored try to berley with finely chopped bait. The finer it is the better as this will avoid the fish filling up on berley and not being hungry for your bait. If you can, berley with bait similar to that, which you are using on your hook. It pays to keep the old bait from previous trips to use as berley rather than the good quality bait recently purchased.

With the ideal weather patterns over this coming weekend it will give anglers a good chance to get out to the local reefs to do some serious fishing and hopefully land a few big knobbies in the process.


Noosa: Snapper and Sweetlip from Sunshine reef. Snapper, parrot and moses perch from North reef. Tailor between the third cutting and Teewah.  Tailor and Trevally from Woods Bay on the top of the tide. Whiting from the banks near Munna point. Bream from the deeper holes at the mouth. Luderick from the rock wall near the mouth.

Maroochydore: Grass Sweetlip and Tusk fish from the Inner Gneerings. School jew at Bli Bli. Quality bream from the mouth at Dawn. Whiting from the black banks. Trevally and Tailor in the cod hole at dusk. Trevally and flathead above Bli Bli bridge. Mud crabs to 1.4kg in Petrie and Eudlo creek.

Kawana: Snapper and Sweetlip from Murphy’s. Spotty Mackerel from Currimundi. Tailor from Point Cartwright. Flathead and whiting on the banks in the lower reaches. Plenty of luderick from the end of the Kawana rock near La Balsa Park. Mud crabs and Whiting in the canals.

Caloundra: Pearl Perch and Pigfish at wide Caloundra. Snapper, Sweetlip and Pearl Perch from Caloundra 12mile. Sand Whiting opposite the power boat club. Bream and Trevally from the blue hole. Tailor along happy Valley. Flathead from the creek mouths. Trevally and Queenfish in the canals.



Rob Duncan and his mate Clint Rustler did an overnight trip on board one of fishing Noosa boats to the Hard’s and caught snapper to 6kg in the deep water(supplied by




Craig Lamb and his boys Riley and Taylum fished North Reef off Noosa for monster snapper to 7.5kg last weekend (supplied by




Andy Gunn always fishes with plenty of berley at a favourite patch on the Caloundra 12 mile for snapper like this 6.5kg specimen.













Fishing Report: Winter and Spring Species Transitions 05/08/2010


Sunshine Coast Rivers and Passages are firing with a wide variety of winter and spring estuary species at the moment. This is one of the most diverse winters I have ever experienced over my 13 yrs at Swan Boat Hire. Maybe it’s global warming, maybe the seasons later or earlier, who knows? There is definitely a mixed bag of fish to be caught in Sunshine Coast waters at the moment.



Although we are in the middle of winter at the moment there is some very unseasonal fish catching activity occurring. Mangrove jack and large numbers of dusky flathead have been feeding strongly throughout winter on bait and lure and this is very uncommon. You should expect the odd jack and few flathead on the chew, but not as many as what we are seeing at the moment. When the water temperatures drop mangrove jack seldom hit lure, preferring to chew on bait.  This winter I have seen at least 20 mangrove jack caught on soft plastics, hard bodies lures and fresh bait, making a really good season.


The Luderick have been firing at Noosa for 3 months, Caloundra for a month or so and just recently in smaller numbers from the Kawana rock wall and Maroochy River. These numbers are typical of a usual season for Noosa and Caloundra, but down in numbers for Mooloolaba and Maroochy.

A wide variety of trevally species have been feeding up a storm on small bait schools in the lower Mooloolah river (mainly in the canal system) and in the middle reaches of the Maroochy River. The species list includes golden, giant, big eye, diamond and cale cale trevally. If you can match the food that the trevally are feeding on with a lure or bait, your chances of a hook up are increased greatly.


In close inshore/coastal beach waters tailor, school mackerel, spotty mackerel, mac tuna and long tail tuna have been hammering through the annual migration of frogmouth pilchards that are moving along the coast at the moment. The larger predators were that hungry on Tuesday that they were forcing the bait balls of froggies within 50m of the beach allowing anglers catch them spinning metal slugs on their surf casting outfits. Mac tuna and chopper tailor made up the majority of the catch for the 2hrs hot bite.


With the variety of fish species on the bite at present, I have outlined a few different lures and baits that have been working well over the past two months:


Best lures:

Bream – 2”and 3” gulp shrimp rigged on a 1/8oz #2 jig head.

Flathead, jew, jack, trevally and tailor – Gulp 5” jerk shad, Exude 5” Saltwater RT Slug, Slam 5” minnow and snap back 5” Jerk Baits rigged on a ¼oz 3/0 Nitro jig head.

Tuna – Metal slugs ranging from 10-65g depending on the size of the baitfish of which they are feeding.


Best Baits:

Bream - fresh prawn, white bait, chook gut, gar fillet and mullet gut.

Flathead, tailor, trevally, mangrove jack and jew – live bait, pilchard, mullet or bonito fillet.

So when you head out for a fish somewhere on the coast this weekend, remember to keep your options open regarding bait and tackle, because you never know what you are going to catch. This variety of fish that we are experiencing won’t last forever, probably another month if we are luck, so enjoy them while you can.





Noosa: Bream and golden trevally off the national park. Tailor along Teewah Beach and around Double Island Point to 2kg. Plenty of tailor from Rainbow Beach. Luderick off the rock walls at the river mouth.


Maroochydore: Mangrove Jacks in the creeks and upper reaches. Mackerel  on trolled pillies  and few queenfish and mac tuna on slugs around Old Women Island. Bream and sand flathead along Marcoola Beach. Bream to 35cm, whiting and flathead throughout the lower river.

Kawana: Squid along the eastern rock wall. Bream and Trevally along the La Balsa stretch.  Grass sweetlip to 1.2kg from Point Cartwright.  Bream to 40cm, flathead to 60cm, good dart and chopper tailor along Kawana Beach. Gar in the sand basin.


Caloundra: Tailor on the Happy Valley side of the bar. Snapper and Sweetlip from Bray’s. Flathead from deep drops off inside the bar. Luderick and bream off the boardwalk.




Flathead numbers this winter have been the strongest that I have ever seen with everything from plagues of under sized fish to good keepers as well as those monster females up to 90cm being released to swim another day. Luke caught this 43cm specimen in one of the creeks  up the Maroochy River.


Giant trevally have been schooling in the middle reaches of the Maroochy River and readily taking jigged soft plastics, Shane’s fish took a 3” gulp.


Chopper tailor around the 40cm mark have been feeding along the beaches and up the rivers with this fish being held by Eve taking a plastic around the Bli Bli Islands.


Cale Cale have been feeding around the bait schools in the Mooloolah River. Brian’s fish was caught recently near the Kawana Canals on a pearl soft plastic.


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