This jewfish took Shaun Cornish’s slow fall jig. This was his first jewfish. Photos:

Winter kicks off on Sunny Coast

WITH the cooler waters the mackerel and tuna are almost gone, so methods will have to change, as these are no longer easy to find. This is the time where the main target species becomes the hard-hitting, head-thumping snapper. These fish certainly know how to fight, especially when they hit the 80cm mark, which ideally should be returned after a picture.

You’re better off taking smaller, much younger and tastier fish. There are many ways to target these big, old fish and now is the time to break out baitrunner style reels and load them up with monofilament if you like to drift big baits. Many anglers aren’t aware that mono gives a floated bait a much better presentation, as it is more buoyant than braided lines. winter kick

Bigger fish will want to run you into the reef and mono will really help prevent bust-offs. For bait anglers in shallow waters, a single pea sinker and a Mustad 3/0 Octopus Circle Hook, a chunk of your favourite bait slowly drifted downward on 20lb is a fun way to catch snapper. Lighter gear really teaches you how to fight a fish and is more rewarding than skull dragging them in. winter kick

Other great ways to target them are with soft plastics and Chasebaits, ZMan and Gulp have many great colours and profiles to tempt passing fish. Check out some of the new Chasebaits profiles in smaller sizes like the Love Bug. It’s no secret that snapper love a plastic with a lot of movement, and this ticks all the boxes. Try and fish these with minimal weight and let them sink slowly downward, as bigger fish come up and take them well off the bottom, which makes landing them far easier. winter kick

Lastly, light jigging is becoming more and more popular and with PE2-3 gear, 20-30lb leaders and 60-110g slow jigs, it’s a great way to fish for a multitude of species including jewfish, snapper, pearl perch, sweetlip, coral trout and more. One of my favourite are the Blue Blue jigs and smaller Samaki Ribcage fished on PE2 gear.

Areas to jig include the edge of Jew Shoal, Sunshine Reef, and North Reef, as well as further afield toward Double Island Point. Double Island is the place to head for amberjack and bigger 70cm+ trevally. These fish pull hard, so PE3-4 is better suited to this area. Sharks can be a problem so having heavier gear will let you apply more pressure and hopefully outrun them.winter kick

The Noosa River is holding a mixed bag of trevally species, smaller jewies and tailor. On the days when the winds are blowing from the north, Woods Bay is one of my favourite places to fish early mornings from the shore. A northerly wind will pass straight overhead and allow you to make really long casts with surface lures. The Bassday Sugapen 95mm and the smaller Nomad Riptide models are a couple of bigger options that tailor will blow up on.winter kick

From here you can head to the current line and have a shot on the golden trevally and flathead during a run-out tide. These fish will take a wide range of lures, with 3” grub style soft plastics and small micro jigs like the Majorcraft Jigpara both great options. Be sure to up leaders to 12-14lb if targeting flatties and strike at the slightest bump on your braid, as they often come up off the bottom to hit a falling lure. winter kick

Other areas to fish include the ski run and up toward the mouth of Lake Cooroibah. Here you can expect to pick up jewies, trevally and flatties.


Now for all the latest information log onto for up-to-date bar and fishing reports, don’t forget to drop into Tackle World Noosa, Noosa Boating and Outdoors and 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!winter kick

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