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2010 Fishing Reports

Fishing Report: Best bait for big bream! 01/07/2010




With the cooler days and nights becoming more of a common theme over the past week, bream numbers have remained stable with an expected bumper weekend with the full moon last Saturday night. The larger high tides overnight will be very popular among bream anglers wanting to catch a feed.


Although bream are opportunistic feeders that will pretty much scavenge on anything, there are definitely a few stand out baits. When it comes to high turnover baits, fresh prawn and mullet are at the top. Fresh and live baits are always the best, the list below all produce good feeds:

Live Bait: Sand worm, blood worm, whole prawn, herring and small poddy mullet.

Fresh Bait: Pike, herring, mullet, yakka, slimy mackerel, gar, flesh baits and squid used as cut baits.

Frozen Bait: Whitebait, frogmouth pilchard, baby blue W.A pilchards, mullet gut, chicken gut, hardy heads, mullet fillets, bonito fillets, prawns and squid.

Strips of flesh bait, pilchards and prawns can be soaked in tuna oil to increase the chances of a hook up. The oil slick caused after marinating baits is enough to attract bream from far away.


Bream are very finicky feeders and will often pick at the bait for some time before grabbing it in their mouth and swimming away. This is why anglers need to have small enough hooks for the bream to fit in their mouth and sinkers must be light enough that the fish won’t feel too much weight, that it will drop the bait.

Swan Boat Hire’s resident bream fanatic, Tommy Harvey was more than happy to impart some knowledge on what tackle best suits bream.   “Matching your tackle up to the bait used is very important.  Mustad make beautiful sharp hooks, as do Surecatch, both are perfect for bream fishing.  Look at picking up some bait holder or long shank bait holder hooks in size 4, 6, or 8”. 

Tommy swears by the bait holder range of hooks when using fresh baits as they are ideal for species with a smaller mouth gape, i.e. bream.  “The tiny barbs along the shank of the hook assist soft fresh baits such as worm, prawn and bread to hold onto the hook.  Because bream are timid and pick at their bait, the bait holder enables the bait to last just long enough to snag that picky bream”.

If you are a live bait type of angler, Tommy suggests the Mustad Big Mouth, Penetrator or Big Red hooks in size 1, 1/0, 2/0 or 4/0 depending on your live bait size.  The Big mouth series of hooks have a large shank between the eye and end barb, which is the most efficient for live baiting.  The Penetrator and Big Red options have a similar shape, this extended gap allows the live bait to swim freely, giving a natural fish movement and tricking the prey.  These hooks should be placed just under the dorsal fin for best results.

Strip baits and while pillies need another type of rig all together.  Tommy says gangs are best to allow the bait to be presented naturally and increase the rate of hook up. 

“Mustad and Citer make the best gangs on the market and range from size 6 – 4/0.  With bream, the smaller gangs around size 6 and 4 are best suited to strips of mullet flesh, gar, slimy mackerel or white bait”.

“Small barrel swivel and ball sinkers are necessary to match the strength of the tide. It is also worth considering a high abrasion resistant fluorocarbon leader for bream fishing as they are invisible to fish in the water and have abrasion resistance around structure”. Be sure to hit Tommy up for some more tried and tested tackle tips next time you are in Swan Boat Hire.

Next week we shall look into techniques needed to target bream.




Noosa: Tailor to 2kg along Teewah stretch. Bream, good whiting and chopper tailor from Sunshine, Marcus and Peregian Beaches. Trevally, school jew to 90cm and tailor to 2kg in Noosa Sound. Flathead from lake Cooroibah to the ski run. Mangrove jacks, trevally and tailor near the ski run.

Maroochydore: School jew to 85cm around the river mouth over night. Chopper tailor, trevally and 2.8kg mangrove jack around the Motorway Bridge pylons.  Flathead and bream from Chambers Island, the cod hole and the river mouth. Mangrove jack, school jew and flathead from Bli Bli.

Kawana: A 1.12m long barramundi and a 2kg estuary cod were taken on lure in the middle reaches of the river. Trevally and flathead around McKenzie’s Bridge.  Chopper tailor and bream off the rock walls.  Garfish in The Basin and along the La Balsa Park.

Caloundra: Chopper tailor and flathead round the bar Flathead and whiting in Bells Creek. Flathead off the Military Jetty. Trevally and estuary cod in Pelican Waters. Mud crabs south of Coochin Creek.



Riley fished with fresh prawn bait near Godfreys Road aboard Anglers Advantage Charters to hook this nice bream.



School Holiday Action: Micheal and Elouise fished off Chambers Island Bridge with live bait to get these two pan-size bream,



Dave targeted jew at the Cod Hole with a 3inch minnow plastic and was rewarded with this nice school jew which he later released.



Steve Muller put in the hard yards overnight along the North Shore to bring home this feed of bream around 800-900grams.



Fishing Report: Brisk weather brings big bream! 24/06/2010



With another cold snap expected to hit us this weekend, it should have the bream and tailor on the bite both in the rivers and off the beaches. The cool change and uncovering of coffee rock patches along our beaches and river mouths will provide much needed feeding and spawning grounds for our key winter bread and butter fish species, the yellow fin bream.

Yellow -fin bream have picked up in numbers and are weighing in at reasonable sizes at the moment - they will be on the menu for anglers young and old over the next few months. Winter is the time when these big fish migrate to feed and spawn in coastal gutters and river mouths. In particular any rocky rubble or out crops areas will be the best places to target these fish. We have already seen good hauls over the past few weeks with a few fish up over the kilogram mark. The Mooloolah River has been firing well with really good numbers of bream around the boat moorings, La Balsa Park and the rock wall. The lower reaches of the Maroochy River, in particular the mouth is fishing well with bait during low light periods with an increase in the number of bream around 40cm last weekend. The stretch between the Pincushion and Marcoola beach has a few nice gutters scattered along its length and the tailor fisherman have been hooking big pilot bream on pilchards, half their luck! Things can only get better over the coming weeks for big bream.

Make sure that you are well prepared for the craftiness of bream. Dawn, dusk, top of the tide, overnight in the same spot and fishing structures like jetties, boat moorings, rocky areas and near the bar are all important facts to consider. Don't get caught when your out at the Pincushion and you lose your last set of gang hooks snagged on the rocks and the blokes fishing next to you are dragging in kilo size fish. A well organised fisherman should have plenty of pre rigged gang hooks or at least a box of Mustad 4200D or 4202D saltwater series hooks to make up 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. Always carry a small spool of bait mate elastic cotton in your tackle box to help lash your pilchard to the hook and avoid loosing it to tidlers. Gangs are also ideal when fishing small baitfish like whitebait, herring, frogmouth pilchards and small strips of mullet fillet.

Get yourself a decent hook file or stone to sharpen the hooks in between fish. Most hooks are sharp new out of the box, but some even require a touch up before use. A small sure catch hook sharpening stone only cost $4.50 and is a very smart investment for any angler. 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 loosing hooks to big tailor and you should be rewarded with good fish.

Over the coming weeks we will follow on from this article with tips on baits, rigs, specific locations, tides, moons, tackle, lures and techniques for catching the big pilot bream.



Noosa: Tailor to 2kg along Teewah stretch. Bream, good whiting and chopper tailor from Sunshine, Marcus and Peregian Beaches. Trevally, school jew to 90cm and tailor to 2kg in Noosa Sound. Flathead from lake Cooroibah to the ski run. Mangrove jacks, trevally and tailor near the ski run.

Maroochydore: School jew to 85cm around the river mouth over night. Chopper tailor, trevally and 2.8kg mangrove jack around the Motorway Bridge pylons.  Flathead and bream from Chambers Island, the cod hole and the river mouth. Mangrove jack, school jew and flathead from Bli Bli.

Kawana: A 1.12m long barramundi and a 2kg estuary cod were taken on lure in the middle reaches of the river. Trevally and flathead around McKenzie's Bridge.  Chopper tailor and bream off the rock walls.  Garfish in The Basin and along the La Balsa Park.

Caloundra: Chopper tailor and flathead round the bar Flathead and whiting in Bells Creek. Flathead off the Military Jetty. Trevally and estuary cod in Pelican Waters. Mud crabs south of Coochin Creek.



Despite the cool weather there are still a few mangrove jack on the chew. Neville Telford was fishing with mullet strips in the cod hole for this solid 12.85kg specimen.



Best mates Jordan and Jordan also used mullet strips from the bank around the cod for dusky flathead and bream.



Leighton Hicks has been catching some better sized yellow fin bream, along with flathead and blue swimmer crabs off Picnic Point.



Fishing Report: Winter Rock Fishing 17/06/2010



Winter is the time of year to bring out the big guns on the beaches, offshore and even in the estuaries.  But many local anglers rarely mention that they are planning an early morning or late evening trip to the rocks.  Rock fishing can produce some of the best catches and it’s an excellent sport for anglers of all types.

The main issue with rock fishing is that you must obey the hard and fast rules of rock fishing:

1. Never fish alone, always go with a mate, preferably someone who has had rock fishing experience.

2. Always keep your eye on the sea, and if possible retreat at the first sign of a dangerous swell.

3. If you are caught by a wave surging over your spot, stand with one foot in front of the other, with your weight on the front foot facing the surge. Go in prepared, know the impending weather forecast and also spend time observing the sea conditions on the spot you want to fish before committing yourself.


The allure of rock formations to the big species is the cover available from white water caused by waves breaking on submerged reef and rocks.  Channels and gutters between the rocks also offer excellent cover to fish. You can bait spin these areas with the same bait and tackle you would use on the beach or the river.


Fishing on the bottom will naturally result in lost tackle due to the wave action sweeping your gear around rocks. If you can put up with this, good fish such as bream, small snapper, cod etc. can be caught again using the same bait and methods you would use on the beach. Fishing with a float will minimize lost tackle and allow your bait to move with the surge.


When you hookup a fish from the rocks strike with the same lift and wind method, but play the fish out in open water before bringing it close in. Smaller fish can be lifted out of the water, but large fish may need gaffing. A rock gaff should be about 3 to 4 meters long. Gaffing the fish is the most dangerous part of rock-fishing. The gaffer is often in closer to the swell and lower to the ground then the angler to reach the fish.


Spinning off the rocks with lures is just as successful as on the beach. Use the same lure types and methods, but be prepared to lose a few of them to snagging on rocks. If you have to bring your lure or tackle over shallow rocks, lift the rod and wind it fast to skip it over.


Gear-wise, once you’ve got an idea of which fish you hope to catch and the types of areas you’ll be fishing, it’s then a matter of assembling the appropriate tackle. If the majority of fish you’ll be catching from the rocks average a kilo – 2kg, there’s no point in using really thick line or giant rods. For the majority of my Winter rock fishing I take one rod which is designed primarily as a tailor rod but is capable of handling jew, snapper and even small tuna, and if the rocks aren’t producing the goods this rod also works well at the beach.


A sensitive tip is great for feeling the bites and tossing light baits and the stiffer butt is there to help land stubborn fish like tailor and jew. Although sidecast reels are popular and durable, I prefer the versatility of a threadline reel spooled up with 6lb, 8lb or 10 lb Berkley Fireline. If you want to chase big fish, a heavier outfit will be required. In this case a strong sidecast or overhead reel spooled up with 8kg to 15kg mono such as Schneider is appropriate.


So take a night off and bring a friend for a great night of rock fishing and you too can reap the rewards.





Noosa: Snapper and a few coral trout over night and mackerel during the day on Sunshine Reef. An 80cm jew and a 65cm flathead from the beach near Double Island Point. Tailor and whiting along the north shore. Trevally, tailor and flathead from the river mouth. Flathead in lake Cooroibah.

Maroochydore: A few bream around the 28-30cm mark, chopper tailor and jew around the motorway bridge pylons and the river mouth. Flathead from Chambers Island, Bli Bli and the cod hole. Mud crabs from the wetland stretch.  

Kawana: Gar and sand crabs in the lower reaches. Whiting, bream and flathead  along Kawana beach. Tailor off Point Cartwright and the rock walls. Big bream and golden trevally from the Mooloolaba boat mooring and along La Balsa Park.

Caloundra: A 1.5kg bream was taken just south of Coochin Creek. Bream from the boardwalk and the bar. Flathead and bream off the Military Jetty. Whiting in good numbers around Bells creek.





Jordan Arndrr and his mate pulled a day off school to go fishing and ended up catching and releasing several bream, keeping this 28cm specimen for the table.




Despite the cool weather there are still a few full buck mud crabs on the move in the upper reaches. Tommy Harvey potted these coppery bucks from the wetland stretch.





Shadow fished from the rocks at Double Island point using mullet strips for this 80cm jew and 65cm dusky flathead.




Gary Gardiner prefers to use bonito strips for bait around the rocks at Yaroomba to lure jew like this 11.5kg specimen.


Fishing Report: Tailor target the Coast 27/05/2010



The fish which terrorizes our beautiful surf gutters, dominates the deep channels of the estuaries on high tide and is also synonymous with speed and accuracy.  That fish is the elite athlete of the sea – Pomatomus saltatrix or Tailor.  Tailor are a sleek, slick and slippery specimen, with pale silvery green colourings along the back, silver on the belly and a distinctive forked tail. They grow to just over a meter in length and the biggest to top the scales that we know of was 14kg.  They are well known for their large powerful jaws with sharp canine teeth.

Tailor dominate the surface water along Coastal Waters between Agnes Waters North Qld and Onslow in WA.  Tailor come and go as conditions or food sources change, they travel in schools with the larger variety (green-backs) hanging along ocean beaches and the juveniles (choppers) entering estuaries in smaller schools. In Queensland the current minimum size for tailor is 30cm long and bag limits are set at 20 fish per angler.  Next year the minimum size is increasing to 35cm on March 1, 2010.

Tailor are very sought after by both sporting angler and those of us who love to eat fish as they are one of the better tasting fish and also come with plenty of omega 3 oils! Be sure to bleed your fish on capture by breaking its neck.  Boat anglers can catch tailor in the open ocean, but rocky headlands and ocean gutters, with plenty of white water on the outer edge are better spots. Dusk or early morning on a rising tide are excellent conditions but tailor can be caught through the day as well.  So you are thinking that tailor sound like fun?  Well choose where you would like to fish firstly and then gear up accordingly.

Beach fishing is a great way to target both greenbacks and chopper tailor.  Before venturing onto the beach with rod and bucket in hand, it’s wise to check out the surf conditions from a high vantage point. Observe how the waves are breaking, where the whitewash is forming and where the darker blue channels are. Gutters are where the fish will be moving. A gutter is recognised as a channel of deeper water, characterised by dark blue or green colours, and usually running parallel to the beach. Outer sand banks create gutters in front of them and as waves to break and make white wash the fish move freely as the white wash provides cover for them while also stirring up the sand and exposing food. Gutters are variable in length and can have an outlet back to the sea at one or both ends.

The ideal gutters to look for are narrow and well within casting distance to reach the outer bank. An angler can simply cast over the gutter landing on the shallower waters of the sand bank, and then slowly retrieve the bait back through the deeper waters of the gutter. This technique is known as bait spinning and is best done with a whole fish bait coupled with as little lead as possible.  Fish can often be found where a gutter empties to the sea. The surge of water in and out, stirs up the sand and smaller bait fish are in a frenzied feeding race, unaware that a tailor is about to hit it faster than an overloaded and faulty braked steam train coming down a mountain.  It’s also worth keeping in mind that hard dumping waves are a sign that there is a sharp drop off which fish treat like a gutter by feeding along the edge of the drop off.  It can be a bit harder to feel hits in these waves however.

Pilchards and metal slug lures are ‘bait’ of choice when on the beach.  Length of rod is important to gain the most ground in a cast.  I can strongly recommend using the Wilson 13’6” Seacoaster or Wilson 12’ Heritage rod after many expeditions bringing happy tailor returns!  These can be matched up with either an Alvey 700 model or a Surecatch Advance 570 Reel spooled up with 20lb mono and a meter of heavy mono or wire leader material.

Once kitted up and standing in front of a nice deep gutter, you will need a long cast to the white water breaking at the back of the gutter. As the bait lands and you turn your reel around to the retrieve position, give the bait a short, sharp flick to pull the bait to the surface as though it is gasping for air. This often attracts feeding fish and initiates a strike. Keep the line tight and use a slow and steady retrieve, occasionally flicking the rod backwards to invoke a darting sensation in your bait. When a fish hits, you will feel distinct bite and a movement either towards you with your line suddenly going slack or it will head away from you and your line will sing to you as it zips out. Slackening line requires you to pull the rod upright to make sure the hook is set. Keep the rod high to take the weight of the fish.

River fishing is quite different to beach fishing.  Not only are the tailor smaller in size but they are only going to be in the rivers and creeks if they have chased in a school of baitfish.  The best way to identify a school of moving baitfish is to watch for sea birds circling as they too follow baitfish as a food source.  The baitfish, especially herring, make a slight ripple on the water’s surface as they move with the current and this often resembles ‘boiling’ water.  Casting lures or unweighted baits into these schools of bait is a classic tactic for having your bait hit by an unsuspecting tailor.

Unlike normal estuary fishing, where you wait in hope that a fish will smell your bait and have a nibble, lure or bait casting is the proactive way to attract the attention of a tailor.  If planning to approach these schools by boat, it is also worth trolling feather jigs with sizable jigheads, metal slugs and even pilchard-like soft plastics.  Poppers cast and retrieved as you walk along the bank of the river or slowly trolled behind the boat are also a big success.

Kit yourself out with a Berkley Drop Shot 3-5kg weighted 6’6” rod with an Abu 802 Cardinal reel spooled up with 8lb Fireline joined to a 50cm plus of 30Lb leader. When the fish are in good numbers it pays to use a small length of wire above your hooks and lures.  If you are in the market for a new rod for beach or estuary tailor fishing then before the end of this financial year is the best time to buy with many tackle stores readying for stocktaking.




Noosa: Tailor to 3kg on the high tide near the river mouth. Whiting in the gutters along Teewah. Flathead throughout the river. Tailor, school jew and trevally near Tewantin ferry on lures in the mornings. Spanish mackerel to 13kg from Sunshine Reef.


Maroochydore: Tailor, trevally and jew in the cod hole. Flathead in excellent numbers from the Bli Bli flats. Whiting in the lower river and along Mudjimba Beach. Jew and tailor along the northern beaches. A few tailor from the mouth. Big flathead from Chambers Island and Cotton Tree.


Kawana: Tailor to 3kg around Access number 30 along Kawana Beach.  Small snapper, grass sweetlip and parrot just off Point Cartwright.  Chopper tailor, trevally and queenfish off the rock walls, plenty of bream and the odd flathead in the Canal systems.


Caloundra: Tailor and bream to 45cm from the Boardwalk. Flathead and bream from the Military Jetty. Squire from Brays Rock. Spotty and Spanish mackerel from the Blinker.



Danny took the day off from channel seven to do spot of fishing and caught this Flathead at the Cod Hole Boat Ramp before launching his boat.



Larnie Bermain fished the Bli Bli flats for a quality feed of whiting up to 37cm.



Shona Homer went fishing around chambers island using garfish as bait to produce this 1.8kg Flathead.



Hayden Oconnor fished Teewah with his father to snag this haul of whiting which weight in up to 450g.




Fishing Report: Gear up for Winter Beach Fishing with Tackle 21/05/2010


Despite the cold, the sea water is still quite warm and fishing has been really productive off the rocks and in the surf gutters between Bribie and Noosa’s North Shore.  The cold snaps have worked to the advantage of beach anglers, bringing in cooler westerly winds and slowly dropping sea water temperature.  These conditions are just what winter species like tailor, big bream, tarwhine and jew thrive on.

So it is definitely time to dust off the beach fishing rod and reel combo ready for the onslaught. This change in weather signals the increase in winter fish species in both quantity and quality. While tarwhine and bream tend to hang in the deeper gutters, jew and tailor can be found in the gutters feeding and also off rocky out crops; this is the ultimate test for even the best angler’s skills. River mouths, rocky outcrops and coastal gutters are also frequented by the winter fish species and this is often the best place to wet a line as winter rolls in.

Beach fishing in particular is very productive during winter due to the abundance of species and ideal weather conditions. The general feel is locals and visitors alike are all keen to wet a line at one of the local gutters with a nice flesh bait for a bream, tailor or jew.

Most beach anglers use long purpose built beach rods with either a spinning or Alvey reel depending on their preference. Both have their own unique advantages when surf casting which will be outlined below.


Alvey (Side cast reel):

· They hold an enormous amount of line so if you do cast a monster fish that strips a lot of line out you won’t be spooled in a hurry.

· These reels are indestructible. Soak them in salt water, drop them in the sand and they keep on going. Simple construction, with minimal parts that are all made from anti corrosion materials helps to maintain function. Basic maintenance includes washing it under fresh water after each trip and applying oil onto the main shaft.

· Once you have casting down pat with an Alvey you can achieve good distance. These are good for bait fishing and medium speed retrieval of bait and lures.

· Alvey reels require specially designed Alvey style rod. The 1st runner must be extra large and place approximately half way up the rod to allow the line to flow freely off the spool and give longer casting distance. The reel seat is normally mounted low in the rod to allow anglers to retrieve the reel with ease.


Spinning Reels (thread line reel):

· These can come with high speed gear ratios, which are ideal for spinning high speed lures in the surf and also to pull your bait in quick to avoid snagging.

· Although they don’t tend to hold more than about 300m of the required line class and the drag pressure can be enormous. With high quality carbon matrix drag washer larger spinning reels like the Saltiga have up to 12kg of drag pressure, which is enough to slow down even the biggest of fish. Tough drags tire fish, not fisherman and therefore make fishing more enjoyable.

· With long cast spools anglers have the ability to throw greater distances and most newer reels are braid friendly,  allowing the angler to throw even further with thin diameter braided lines.

· Spinning reel can be matched up with any fiberglass or graphite beach rod of choice depending on the species being targeted.


Beach fishing outfits vary depending on location, application and personal taste of the angler. If you need any further information on beach fish, bait, rigs or combo’s to target set bait species drop in and talk to one of the knowledgeable staff at Swan Boat Hire.





Noosa: Spotty mackerel in the bay. Dart, bream, whiting along the Teewah Stretch. Parrot, sweetlip and snapper from Sunshine reef. A few tailor to 60cm over night from the shire boundary.Trevally and Tailor in Woods bay on poppers and slugs. Flathead around the river mouth.


Maroochy: A  few grass Sweetlip, small Snapper and Moses Perch from the Gneerings . Mac tuna and the odd Yellow fin tuna around Old Woman Island. Tailor from the river mouth and Marcoola beach. Whiting to 32cm and flathead to 60cm between Petrie Creek and the Bli Bli bridge.


Kawana: Dart and Whiting along Kawana beach. Bream from the moorings. Whiting near McKenzie’s Bridge. Tailor and Flathead from the rock wall. Grass Sweetlip at Point Cartwright. Long tail and Mac tuna out behind the shark nets.


Caloundra: Maori cod, Snapper and Sweetlip from the 5 mile. Sweetlip and Snapper from Brays rock. Tailor off the beach between Currimundi and Wurtulla. Flathead from the mouth of Bells and Coochin creeks. Bream and Flathead from the Boardwalk.



Lee was trolling a small metal slugs behind a pontoon boat through the cod hole over the weekend when he caught this 1kg giant trevally.



Jessica and John Noble were trolling in the lower Noosa River and weighed in 4 nice flathead for the competition.



Jaydy Dunn went crabbing with her family in the Bli Bli reach and potted this solid buck mud crab.




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