July is famous for light breezes and little swell, which encourages anglers to head offshore in droves. There are heaps of snapper and pearlies around the reefs at the moment with North Reef, Chardons Reef, the Barwon Banks and the Hards producing some outstanding fish. Micro-jigs are a great way to fish these areas.
Sweetlip have been well spread throughout most of the major reefs, with some bigger fish caught during the lower light periods. There has still been the odd coral trout taken from Sunshine Reef – fishing hard to the reef is the best way to come into contact with a trout, so a running sinker rig with the sinker all the way down to the hook should see results. Don’t forget that lumo bead just above the hook to stop that big ball sinker damaging the knot.
We’ve seen an abundance of live bait on most of the reefs lately, so make sure you have your bait jigs handy for when you come across a patch. There are also big cobia hanging around at this time of the year and they love nothing more than live bait on a slow sinking floater rig. We see plenty of whales migrating up the coast, so if you’re planning on a night fish or an early morning start, be aware.
On the southern reefs good snapper, sweetlip and tuskies have all been on the chew. Overnight trips have been very productive, particularly when we have smaller tides and less run. Try to get a good berley trail going and then send down a couple of light or even unweighted baits. Snapper will be drawn in by the berley and will hopefully find your baits.
In the Noosa River these cooler nights make fishing perfect. If you’re into chasing trevally and big tailor. These fish seem to revel in the cooler water and can often be caught in big numbers.
These cold water predators love nothing more than forcing bait to the surface to feed so casting surface lures can see some amazing results. For anglers that are working the banks, the river mouth and dog beach areas have been producing great numbers of quality bream, whiting and flathead.
Live worms and yabbies have been the best on the whiting, while live herring have been the standout bait for the big bream and flatties. For those of you without a cast net or yabby pump, pilchards and worms have been the favourite fresh baits. The Gympie Terrace stretch of the river has also been producing with prawns and worms delivering impressive results for the kids.
Heading a little further upriver, the Tewantin stretch and the first ski run have been producing mulloway in the low light periods. Vibes have been dynamite on the mulloway as well as large trevally. Lake Cooroibah has been producing great numbers of pan-sized flathead with hardbody lures delivering the goods. The most effective colours have been hot pink and dark red. Soft plastics in prawn profiles have also been very worthwhile.
The Maroochy River has been really turning it on over the past month with good reports of flathead, trevally, mulloway and bream throughout the system. Those that braved the cooler weather and went out after dark have been well rewarded with good-sized mulloway taken around the Cod Hole and the deeper sections upriver. Flathead and trevally have been in good numbers off Godfreys Wall and in the upper reaches of Petrie Creek with the run out seeming to be the pic of the tides.
Noosa’s North Shore has again been firing for tailor with the quality fish coming from the area north of Teewah. This is that great time of the year when they start to school up in large numbers. Having plenty of anglers fishing near you will tend to keep the school around. This is also the time to change over to slugs.
Cast to the back of the school and retrieve quickly through the school so these fish will think it’s a scurrying baitfish and smash it. Another fish you find at this time of the year are mulloway. These fish love nothing more than a fresh tailor fillet, so if you catch a smaller legal tailor, take the fillets off and run it down a set of 4/0 ganged hooks. The southern beaches around Marcus and Perigian have also been seeing tailor and mulloway activity. Mulloway tend to hunt more on the darker nights so the bigger tides around the new moon are the ideal time to target them.
For the bass anglers, Lake Macdonald will take a little extra effort as the fish tend to be a little more lethargic in the cooler water. Try fishing the edges of the weed beds in the early morning and late afternoon periods looking for those fish that are actively feeding. Once the suns get a little higher, it’s time to change over to spinnerbaits and blades. For the best results, fish them slowly with a few pauses to encourage a reaction bite.
Look for those drop-offs and any structure that may be on the bottom. Once you find the fish they tend to stick with you and it’s not unusual for the school to grow in size, as more and more fish become attracted. If you don’t have a live tank, you’ll have to move away from the school to release fish, as these guys can spook the school and shut down the bite.
Remember the closed season for bass is on until 31 August and applies to tidal waters only.
• For all the latest information log onto www.fishingnoosa.com.au for up to date bar and fishing reports and don’t forget to drop into Davo’s Tackle World in Noosa or Davo’s Northshore Bait & Tackle at Marcoola to find out where the fish are biting. All your boating needs can be met at the new Superstore in Noosa so check it out the next time you are in town!Reads: 737