winter has arrived early
A 10kg Spanish mackerel for Bruce while bottom fishing a dead pike bait at Halls. Photo:

Winter has arrived early on Sunshine Coast

It certainly feels like winter has arrived early! With morning temperatures less than 10C, those who got up early certainly felt the chill. The winds are showing more west in their direction which is keeping things calmer on the ocean despite the building ground swell.

Offshore, the attention has been focused on the near shore reefs of Chardons, Sunshine and Halls reef. The pelagic run continues and as we push toward the full moon next week we should see an increase in activity with the greater tidal push. For the majority of anglers looking for a feed mackerel and tuna have been high on the catch list.

To catch the BIG ones live baits of yakka and slimy have been favoured so drop a bait jig and load up before heading to your reef of choice. If using live bait is not your thing then whole slow trolled slimy, gar on bonito is the go. These baits can be rigged on gang hook rigs up to 8/0. Be sure to break the backbone of any fish intended as a troll bait so it swims well.

To complete the rig be sure to grab some single strand wire and super small black swivels. If trolling isn’t your thing then a pilchard floater topped off with a tinsel head flasher is a great way to entice a bite especially as the sun comes up and the water is clear. Be sure to lightly weight a floater if there is current as you want it to drift down slowly. Come in and ask us about rigging for mackerel if you need help. Lastly, don’t forget to grab some Arama slugs for casting into bait balls. These come in enticing colours and profiles that allow for distance casting on heavier gear.

Other species starting to show up now winter has arrived early are snapper and they are certainly getting bigger. These big fish will come off the bottom to feed so don’t think you need heavy paternoster rigs and big snapper leads. If you want to try something different then the Chasebaits ultimate squid on a 5/0 1/4oz jighead will drift downward slowly that a lot of big fish love. Keep leaders around 20-25lb max and have drags pre-set as once it gets picked up you will need to set hooks hard. Big jewies are showing up and they love to crunch these during lower tide run times.

Off the beaches, jewfish are showing up and with the cold front you can expect to see a few tailor after dark too. We have had a lot of fresh mullet and this is a very popular bait. Now is the time to start breaking out the big 12ft surf rods so be sure all your guides are clean and free from rust. We do repairs so don’t wait until the fish arrive in big numbers to get your rod done. Other fish include whiting in the shallows and bigger dart from out the back of the surf zone. These fish taking fresh beach worm and pipis on single hook paternoster rigs.

The Noosa River has seen a change as winter has arrived early and reports of schooled up tailor are becoming more frequent. These fish are attacking bait balls around woods bay and the ski runs and will decimate anything cast at them. There is nothing better than a surface explosion from a 60+cm fish and the runs and jumps are what makes them a great target. Try the Jackson risk bait for a chunky surface lure that casts well. Another option is the Atomic K9 and like the risk bait they push a bit of water when walked which tailor love.

Seeing as winter has arrived early, the lower estuary has been holding good numbers of smaller flathead to 55cm. These fish will take a range of soft baits as well as whole whitebait and frogmouth pilchard on fine wire gang or snelled rigs. Ask us how to snell a hook for the best bait presentation. To target them look for sandy drop off or areas where current converge as they are an ambush predator and wait for fish to pass overhead. Bigger bream are making their presence known and flicking the rocks and jetties during low light periods certainly sees some bigger fish come out and crunch all sorts of lures.

The MMD splash prawn is becoming a consistent producer of solid fish including whiting so come and grab a few as they catch everything. If you are looking for a soft plastic then the gladiator prawn is a Noosa favourite. These can be rigged with a stinger hook and loaded with scent so ask us how we do this as this will see you connect to more fish that short strike your lure. To prevent getting rubbed off make sure leaders are fluorocarbon and up to 16lb and high quality like YGK Nitlon. Lastly be sure to carry a big net as the cold water fish aren’t too far away and they get BIG!

Now for all the  latest information log onto for up to date bar and fishing reports, don’t forget to drop into Davo’s Tackle World, Davo’s Boating and Outdoors in Noosa and  Davo’s Northshore Bait & Tackle in Marcoola for all the right equipment, bait and advice to get you catching. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and remember Tight Lines and Bent Spines!

For more winter tips around Noosa and the Sunny Coast, click here!

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