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2010 Fishing Reports

Fishing Report: Help Keep Snapper Fishing in Qld Viable 12/08/2010



The Queensland government has published a document on behalf of Fisheries Queensland relating to the over fishing of Queensland snapper stocks. The below paragraphs have been copied from the Fisheries Web site to inform anglers on what, where and why the snapper fishery is under threat and what you can do to help.

“Queensland’s snapper stock is considered overfished. As such, we need to make changes to fishing rules and practices to rebuild the snapper stock to a sustainable level. Later this year, Fisheries Queensland will release a consultation document seeking feedback on potential changes to the Rocky Reef Fin Fish Fishery (particularly snapper). Your feedback will help create a sustainable fishery for the future.”

# Why the fishery is undergoing a review:

“In 2006, Fisheries Queensland undertook the first quantitative assessment of Queensland’s snapper stock. This assessment indicated that the stock was likely overfished and identified that further data, such as annual data on the size and age of recreationally and commercially caught snapper, was needed to confirm the stock status.In late 2008, a second scientifically rigorous stock assessment was completed, which also showed that the snapper stock is overfished. This stock assessment was independently reviewed, and the outcomes of the stock assessment are supported by the reviewer.The results of these assessments indicate that the snapper stock is less than 35% of its unfished levels. It is internationally recognised that fish stocks at 40% (or less) of their ‘unfished levels’ are classed as ‘overfished’. This means snapper in Queensland is being harvested at unsustainable levels.We expect Queensland’s snapper stock will continue to decline if no action is taken to reduce current levels of fishing effort. It is unlikely that snapper will be fished to the point where the stock collapses, but significant ecological, economic and social impacts are likely if overfishing continues.”

# Precautions that the Queensland government has taken over the years to protect the snapper fishery:

“Concerns for the sustainability of snapper have been expressed by stakeholders, managers and scientists during the past 30 years. Over the years, the government has implemented a range of measures to try to protect the snapper stock.These include introducing and maintaining a minimum legal size—a size limit of 11 inches can be traced back as far as 1957,  limiting licensing of commercial fishing boats (1984), restricting recreational fishers from selling their surplus fish (1990), increasing the minimum legal size limit of snapper from 25 cm to 30 cm and introducing a bag limit of 30 (1993), increasing the minimum legal size limit for snapper from 30 cm to 35 cm and decreasing the bag limit from 30 to 5 fish per person (2003).Despite these management measures, fishing pressure has continued to increase.

# The Sunshine Coast fishery is definitely under increasing pressure:

“Over the past 10 years fishers targeting snapper have put more effort into the Sunshine Coast and Fraser Coast areas in attempts to maintain good catches. Overall the length and age of the snapper caught indicates that the fishing mortality is too high.”

If you would like to find out more about the declining snapper fishery or provide QLD Fisheries with some feedback on the matter at hand, jump on the web at or (and click the fisheries link) or call fisheries on 132523.






Noosa: Sweetlip, cobia, yellowtail kingfish and snapper to 5kg from North Reef. Bream and Whiting in Noosa sound. Gar fish in granite bay. Trevally and Tailor in the mouth on live bait. Bream from Munna Point. Flathead from Cooroibah. Tailor, school jew and trevally on soft plastics between the lakes.


Maroochydore:  Flathead and Estuary Cod in Petrie creek. Good sized Flathead around the Bli Bli islands. Bream to 1kg, tarwhine, dusky flathead and tailor between North Shore and Marcoola Beach. Trevally on soft plastics in the cod hole. Whiting throughout the lower reaches. A few mud crabs above Bli Bli Bridge.


Kawana: Bream and Tarwhine at access 35 and 36. Bream to 1.5kg around the bridge pylons and pontoons between McKenzie’s Bridge and the river mouth. Dart, Whiting and dusky flathead just south of Point Cartwright. Trevally from the twin bridges and canals. Plenty of luderick from both the rock walls.


Caloundra: Snapper from Caloundra 12mile. Big tailor from the NE tip of Bribie. Flathead and bream opposite the power boat club and from Military Jetty. Luderick off the boardwalk on the last of the making tide. Flathead in Coochin Creek. Trevally in Pelican Waters Canal.





Andy Gunn hit a school of larger snapper on the back edge of Caloundra 12 mile reef using pillies and whole squid, with the biggest weighing in at 6.5kg.



Nathan Austern was fishing with a half pilly from Chambers Island over night when he caught this solid 900g bream.



Courtenay Hallett from Vietnam got out on Noosa Blue Water Charters last week taking a 3.5kg snapper from the Barwon Banks (supplied by



Vince was fishing aboard Anglers Advantage in the upper Maroochy when he hooked this 68cm dusky flathead.


Fishing Report: Jump on the jew bandwagon 30/07/2010



With the current run of school jew in the river systems of the Sunshine Coast, it is well worth grabbing your rod and heading out on the water to chase them. School jew are just juvenile jew ranging between 2 and 5kg. The school jew actually congregate in small schools as their common name suggest. This allows anglers to capture them in good numbers, but make sure that you only keep your bag limit of 2 fish per angler and that your fish are 75cm or longer before you keep them. When releasing fish make sure that you support them with two hands when holding them up for a photo and placing them back in the water. The tackle required to target school jew can be a lot lighter than that used for big jewies. Anglers can get away with using 6-15lb line on a lighter action rod, but will still require 15-40lb mono leader material to cope with the fish’s teeth and the snaggy terrain in which the they feed. These fish still feed in all the usual jew haunts, which tend to include deep holes and channels, rocky ledges and walls, bridge pylons as well as areas that hold good numbers of bait fish. Like all jew fishing, it is best to target school jew at night, because this is when they feed the most. Tides and moon phases will affect their feeding patterns as well. I have found that one hour either side of the high and low tides are best. Several days either side of the new and full moon is a rough guide of when to try.

Some of the hot spots in your area include:

Noosa River: Noosa Sound, around Munna Bridge, Woods Bay, Weyba Creek and the ski boat run at Tewantin. The Noosa river in particular Weyba creek holds a lot of prawns that provide food for school jew. Both entrances to the canals systems are the Woods bay and Munna Point area fish well as the prawns move out of the system with the tide. Live prawns, prawn star lures and most other soft plastics prawns or shrimps work well.

Maroochy River: The cod hole, out from Yinni Street, the channel running under Bli Bli bridge and around the mouth of Coolum Creek. Drifting soft plastics through the deeper channels when the tide works well. The 4” powerbaits have proven particularly popular. Large live herring, gar and poddy mullet are good live bait and these fish also love heaped live sands worms too.

Mooloolah River: The channel that runs under McKenzies Bridge, all the cannels and at the entrance to Parrearra Channel are the best. Deep water, rocky structures and the ability to hold a lot of bait that jew feed on are the key features in the Mooloolah.

Pummicestone Passage: The Caloundra bar, Pelican waters Canals, the channels between the mouth of Bells and Coochin creek have fished really well this year. The best bait by far has been locally caught squid about 4-6” in length.






Noosa: Dart, whiting and bream along Sunshine and Peregian Beaches. Tailor from Marcus Beach.  Bream and tailor from the river mouth through to Teewah. Tailor to 3kg on the beach near Double Island Point and jew off the rocks. Trevally in Woods Bay and the Sound. Flathead from Noosa Harbour. School jew above the ski run.  Luderick off the rock walls at the river mouth.


Maroochydore: Jewfish to 86cm at night on live Bait at the Cod Hole. Chopper tailor from the sand bags. Flathead and Bream around the Bli Bli flats through to Coolum Creek. Whiting around Goat and Channel Island.


Kawana: Spotty and School Mackerel have been taken on the troll around Point Cartwright. Bream, Tarwhine and Chopper Tailor along Kawana Beach. Flathead  and Trevally at McKenzie’s bridge. Gar from La Balsa Park to the Sand Basin.


Caloundra: Tailor around Happy Valley and the N.E tip of Bribe Island. Trevally on lures around Pelican Waters Canals. Bream and Flathead from the Blue Hole to the Power Boat club. Good numbers of Luderick off the boardwalk.





Jew of 17kg aren’t uncommon on Sunshine Coast Beach, but they require a lot of time and effort to catch. Pete Murray caught this whopper off North Shore on a recent overnight trip using mullet fillet.


Brett was drifting in the middle reaches of the Maroochy River using soft Plastics aboard an Anglers Advantage Charter when he caught and released this school jew.


Bryan was working plastics plastics in the upper reaches when he caught and released this 65m school jew using 4lb braid.


Fishing Report: Mass schools of gar in the lower Mooloolah River 22/07/2010



It’s that time of the year again when mass schools of ‘three-by-two gar’ and sea gar school up in the lower reaches of the Mooloolah River providing hours of fun for those keen angler chasing a feed of fish or bucket full of bait. These fish tend to school in the area during the winter months giving angler a chance to fine tune their float fishing skills. Three-by-two garfish are a high quality eating fish and are a targeted by many for this reason. They are also an excellent fresh and live bait that can be used in a number of applications.

Hook them up soon after captures as live bait for jew, tailor and flathead.

You can also rig them as whole fish on gang hooks similar to pilchards for a big tailor off the beaches. Fillet or chunk them for bream and flathead bait in the river or off the beach.

You don’t need any specialised fishing equipment to catch gar. Just use an extra light spin outfit with a float, small split shots and a size 10 or smaller hook at the bottom. The distance between the hook and the float should be adjusted to match the water depth, where fish are feeding and it’s good to use a berley trail to have them in a feeding frenzy. This length should be somewhere between 30 and 60cm, with an adequate number of split shots to allow for tidal flow.

Peeled river prawns cut into small portion and white bread compressed on the hook are probably the best two baits for gar. It pays to fish in your berley trail by using a very slow retrieve or just let the bait sit still.

Berley with chunks of bread or a few handfuls of bread crumbs with a splash of tuna oil to attract the fish.

Gar will feed well on most stages of the tide, but I find that the last few hours of the making tide produces best result for me.

There isn’t a size limit on gar, but there is a bag limit of 50 fish per person.

Equipment required to do the job:

Light spinning rod and reel combo with light line

#10 long shank hook

Size 0-1 split shot sinkers

Pencil or ball float

Float stoppers

Bag of bread/bread crumbs

Bag of green prawn

The schools of gar holding up in the lower Mooloolah river should continue to do so for at least another month, giving anglers a chance to get a piece of the action.




Noosa: Trevally in Woods Bay and the Sound at night on the outgoing tide. Flathead averaging 50cm to 60cm throughout the river. Bream and tailor from the river mouth through to Teewah. Luderick off the rock walls at the river mouth and around the Platform.

Maroochydore: Good numbers of whiting from Goat and Channel Island. Chopper Tailor and Bream from around the Mouth on the top of the tide. Trevally on soft plastics around the Bridge Pylons and in the Cod Hole. Bream around Chambers Island and Picnic Point. Flathead from the Bli Bli Islands through to the mouth of Eudlo Creek .

Kawana: Large schools of Bream around the rock walls. Bream, Sand Flathead, Tailor and Tarwhine off the beach at Kawana. Chopper Tailor off the rock walls and Point Cartwright at night. Good numbers of Gar from La Balsa Park to the Sand Basin and around the boat moorings. Luderick from the Kawana rock wall.

Caloundra: Snapper up to 3kg at Currimundi Reef. Tailor from the Bar through to Happy Valley. Bream From the Pelican Waters Canals and the Blue Hole. Luderick, bream and flathead off the boardwalk. Flathead throughout the lower reaches of the passage.

Fishing Report: Tuned Techniques to tame timid bream 08/07/2010



Bream are very finicky feeders and will often pick at the bait or soft plastic for a while before they swim away with it in their mouths. A lot of fish aren’t hooked because when the bream swims with the bait in its mouth it feels some resistance caused by a stiff rod, heavy sinker or impatient angler and they drop the bait like a bag of hot potatoes. This is why you need to fine tune your techniques to catch a feed of quality bream. A couple ways to improve your hook up rate include: fishing with a long whippy rod similar to that used by whiting anglers but rated at 2-4kg or straight 4kg depending on the terrain. The long rod acts as shock absorber when the bream picks up the bait and by the time the rod is loaded the fish will be hooked. Use light sinkers so that the bream can’t feel any resistance or when using a heavier sinker open the bail arm on your reel and feed the bream some line until it swallows the bait and then strike to set the hook or treble.


As we looked into all bait varieties to use with bream last week, this week lures are the focus.  Tommy Harvey, Swan Boat Hire staffer recommended three main lure categories for bream: top-water poppers, soft plastics or diving lures.


In the top water variety, reputable lures like the Smiths Towadi, Jazz Lures Zappa 55 and the NW 52 Pencil in all colours have had good success rates.  With all top water lures use a very long cast from the bank or boat followed by a lengthy pause once your lure hits the surface to allow the curious bream to suss out the lure.  Then using either a blooping, popping or walk-the-dog action, bring the lure back towards the boat or bank.  Give plenty of pauses with your retrieve and constantly vary the retrieve rate from a very slow to fast jerky pace to imitate the likes of a baitfish.  Try to work a lot of ground that has structures such as weed beds, coffee rock or shallow sand banks beneath.


If soft plastics are preferred, consider Berkley Gulps in the 2inch/5cm sandworm, baby shrimp or minnow grub (pumpkin seed colour).  Soft plastics are ideal for working all types of structures from shallow to deep depths.  For bream use a jighead as light as possible dependant on the conditions, (Resion Heads are highly recommended).  Cast your lure as close as possible to the structures, allowing plenty of time to sink.  Once the lure has moved into the bottom third of water, give your rod a twitch to ensure it is off the bottom and then pause to generate some interest from a bream.  Vary your retrieve to establish what the fish in this area are going for.  If the bream are finicky, try using a lighter leader to give the lure a more natural looking retrieve.


Diving lures are ideal for bream as they can easily reach a deep or dense structure which a bream may be hiding within.  TT Switchblades ¼ oz in the brown mongrel colour and Citer hard body clear lures work a treat in local estuaries.  Floating hard body lures are even better for performing a twitching retrieve.  Begin your retrieve with a sharp jerk to allow the lure to dive a bit, and then pause to allow for lure suspension in the water, give another twitch and then repeat this process until the lure is back to the bank or boat. If you hit a snag, don’t keep pulling at your lure. Instead pause, let your line go slack and let your lure float free above the snag.


Switchblades or metal vibration lures are great for very deep water; cast and allow the lure to sink and once on the bottom give the lure a quick rip to bounce it off the bottom, finishing with a pause to gain interest from an unsuspecting bream.  Allow the lure to sink a little and the repeat.  Always vary your retieve with Switchblades as sometimes a constant slow wind will work while other times a stop-start retrieve may work better.  If your blade becomes snagged just twitch the rod tip to jiggle the lure free, again avoid the temptation to pull hard as this will imbed your lure further into the structure.


Like any winter species fishing around either side of the full and new moon phases pays off. The bigger tides that rising during the night will have bream working their way up most river systems in search of food.



There are a few general locations worth trying in any river system as they are likely to hold bream. Bridge pylons, jetties, pontoons, oyster leases, sea grass bed, deeper holes, channels, around fallen trees, around and rocky bottom and river mouths are all good territory for bream to hang around.


Some of the Keys Hot Spots in your area include:

Noosa: Harbour Town, Munna Bridge and the rock wall in the river mouth.

Maroochydore: Pin Cushion, the Cod Hole and in the deeper channels surround Goat and Channel Islands.

Mooloolaba: The rocks walls at the river mouth, La Balsa Park stretch, McKenzie’s Bridge and the boat moorings.

Caloundra: The Boardwalk, the Military Jetty, the Blue hole, Coochin Creek and the bar.

I hope that a few of the key principals discussed during the bream fishing series have been useful to you and will help you to snag a few quality bream this winter.




Noosa: Plenty of flathead right through the Tewantin and Noosaville stretch. Plenty of Luderick off the rock walls at the river mouth. A few Whiting in Weyba Creek. Trevally and chopper tailor in Woods Bay.


Maroochydore: Flathead in Petrie Creek and on the flats at Bli Bli. Bream to 1k from the deeper holes around the mouth. Chopper tailor between the cod hole and Eudlo Creek.


Kawana: Dart, Tarwhine and Tailor along the beach with good sized whiting in the low tide gutters. Trevally to 1kg from the mouth, boat moorings and in Kawana Waters. Good numbers of Gar around La Balsa. Flathead and Whiting in the canals.


Caloundra: Good catches of bream throughout the passage on both baits and lures. Whiting on the banks from just inside the mouth through to Golden Beach. Flathead along the mangroves near the Power Boat Club.



Bream in the middle reaches of the river take on a bronze coloration, much like this 31cm specimen caught by Paul  on a gulp soft plastics in the Maroochy River.



Fish of around the 35cm mark aren’t uncommon during July and can be found throughout the coasts rivers and passages. This specimen was caught by Neil at the Caloundra end of the passage.



Quality yellow fin bream are the top bread and butter species that keep anglers (like Rick) entertained during the winter months on the Sunshine Coast.



Fishing Report: Get the advantage with lures 15/07/2010



I am sure that there are plenty of keen anglers out there that are trying their hand at soft plastic fishing, but are struggling to hook any decent fish or those anglers that would like to fine tune their soft plastic skills. If the answers yes, then maybe it's time you invest in some help from a person who know fishing best: Brian from Angler's Advantage Charters. He has over 3 decades of angling experience across 4 continents! Brian Readman is your man - he has targeted everything from big game like marlin and sailfish to the likes of barra and bream. Brian's specialty is soft plastics, and his passion is sharing his skills and teaching others. If you have ever wanted to master the art of fishing with soft lures, then you need to take the opportunity to learn from one of the best in the business.

Brian started the business Angler's Advantage to let him spend time doing the thing he loves most and to be able to bring pleasure to others while fishing on our beautiful local rivers. His custom built Polycraft 4.8m Brumby which is excellent for reaching a number of local hotspots during a trip. Brian has a Navman colour depth sounder to locate contours and bottom structure where the fish love to congregate, electric bow mounted motor to allow the boats to stay on top of the good fishing grounds and a quiet yet powerful 80hp Yamaha 4 stroke outboard to get you from the boat ramp to the fishing grounds quickly without spooking the fish. The Polycraft is ideal for Brain's line of work because it is a heavy boat that provides a smooth ride for his clients, the poly hull is very quiet and isn't prone to a noisy slap like that that an alloy hull makes when wash hits the side of the hull. The 4.8m Brumby is a good all-rounder as its small enough for poking around in the creeks, yet in close in offshore waters its solid hulls handling the swell and chop fairly well, keeping the boat still enough to battle it out with a few stray tuna on light gear.

If you haven't got the latest and greatest tackle, you need not worry as Brian has a variety of top quality combos on board all ideally suited to the artistic finesse of lure fishing. But bring your own combo along if you wish.Coupling Brian's experience with a keen angler's eagerness should be a recipe for success in targeting flathead, trevally, mangrove jack, estuary cod and even jew in the rivers. Brian always starts a trip by looking at the features needed in a rod and reel suitable for river use, then goes through the skills required for each species targeted plus how to best use soft plastics and hard bodied lures in the hunt.

Depending on where and how the fish are biting Brian will direct you to the Pumicestone Passage, Noosa, Mooloolah or Maroochy River. Brain also does fresh water trips to Lake McDonald chasing bass and yellowbelly on request.

Brian has compiled an extensive document called "Top 7 Soft Plastic strategies" which is a great starting point for those interesting in getting into the sport. The following is a brief outline of those soft plastic strategies:

1. Get the right gear for softplastics - this includes picking the best rod/reel combo with a light, whippy feel but superior in sensitivity, matching specific line to species targeted and choosing the correct jigheads.

2. Proper lure selection is essential to your success out on the water. What works one day might not get any results the next. The key is to not fall into the trap of having a ‘favourite lure'. The golden rule is to give your chosen lure 10 minutes of solid fishing time. If after 10 minutes it's not getting hit, change lures. You might like to try a different style of lure, but most likely will only need to change colours.

3. Make your lure work and come back towards yourself in a twitchy or alternating action. Don't just wind it in! A key rule with Soft Plastics is that you can never retrieve it too slowly. If you think you are going too slow but are still not getting hits, you are probably not going slowly enough.

4. Use fluorocarbon leader and learn your knots. Fluorocarbon has the same light refractive index as water so it makes it practically invisible under the water. The lighter the leader the more chances you have of hooking up but too light and the greater the risk of bust off! The key is to start off as light as you think you can go, and then switch to slightly heavier leader if you find that you're consistently getting busted off.

5. Reading the water or knowing where to look for the fish. Fish love structure or somewhere they can lie and wait to ambush their prey. Mud flats are fantastic spots for species like flathead and bream. The outgoing tide flows along the sides of the mud flats, washing the smaller bait fish, and other inhabitants like yabbies and crabs into the deeper channels.

6. Time of day and the state of tide are important. Remember the age old adage the early bird catches the worm. Fish will fire sometimes of day better than others. Early morning, just on dawn or as the sun is dropping in the sky is probably the best time of day for increasing your chances of a hot spell.

7. Be quiet. Nothing spooks fish more than noise, particularly in shallow water. Approach likely spots as quietly as possible, the use of an electric motor is highly recommended for your final approach and hang off as far as is possible. Don't bang stuff around the floor and keep your conversation as quiet as possible.

If you want more info on the type of service Brian has to offer, give him a call on 0424 788 379 or you can check out his website:



Noosa: Plenty of flathead right through the Tewantin and Noosaville stretch. Plenty of Luderick off the rock walls at the river mouth. A few Whiting in Weyba Creek. Trevally and chopper tailor in Woods Bay.


Maroochydore: Flathead in Petrie Creek and on the flats at Bli Bli. Bream to 1k from the deeper holes around the mouth. Chopper tailor between the cod hole and Eudlo Creek.


Kawana: Dart, Tarwhine and Tailor along the beach with good sized whiting in the low tide gutters. Trevally to 1kg from the mouth, boat moorings and in Kawana Waters. Good numbers of Gar around La Balsa. Flathead and Whiting in the canals.


Caloundra: Good catches of bream throughout the passage on both baits and lures. Whiting on the banks from just inside the mouth through to Golden Beach. Flathead along the mangroves near the Power Boat Club.



Brian takes the 4.8m Poly craft on the close in reefs off Mooloolaba chasing reef species on plastics. Kurt hooked this 50cm+ snapper on light gear and had a thrilling fight.


Brian gets out on the water with his mates every so often and enjoys chasing long tail tuna on light spin gear.

gregflathead 1

Recent trips on the Maroochy River have proven successful for flathead in the middle reaches with plenty of happy clients. Greg hooked this 52cm fish flathead on a trip up the river last week.


Anglers Advantage also fishes in the Pumicestone Passage on request and on recent trip Paul and Tom hooked into some nice dusky flathead to 50cm.



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