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PART 2: Reef Fishing Off The Sunshine Coast

Following on from part one we have the remainder of reef fishing coordinates. Like all offshore fishing please be prepared for all eventualities that could happen. At North Coast Boating we have years of boating experience. For professional offshore boating knowledge and equipment pop on in or call us, we are here to help you become a better skipper and to make sure you are kitted out for all your offshore adventures.

The Hards

Location: S26º17’200” E153º38’015”

Depth: 50-80m

Distance: 62km (50km from Noosa Bar)

The Hards begins at the tip of the Barwon Banks and goes a further 20km north offering changing reef and bottom conditions along the way. This mark is close to the middle of the Hards so you can work around a fair bit. It’s typical rough country with plenty of kingfish, amberjack, tuna varieties, sailfish and wahoo during the warmer months. Top fishing for reef species throughout the winter period but be aware that it is a big trip and you can have days where not much happens. This is a terrific area to get some real quality marks for future fishing trips.

Sunshine Reef

Location: S26º25’100” E153º09’150”

Depth: 20-35m

Distance: 29km (10km from Noosa Bar)

Well known for its pelagic fishing in the summer, in particular kingfish, mackerel and tuna varieties and can serve up some outstanding snapper, pearl perch, parrot, cobia, spangled emperor, grass sweetlip, trout and many other species. Sunshine Reef is a very good system (scattered boulders as per the National Park Hedland) mixed with coral reef and patches of sand. Grassies are very common there, possibly the most common catch on some trips. Maori cod and red emperor are often caught there too, although the vast majority of the reds are under size.

Halls Reef

Location: S26º20’250” E153º05’110”

Depth: 15-20m

Distance: 38km (2km from Noosa Bar)

Halls and Little Halls reefs are worthwhile spots to start the adventure on the way to more distant reefs. These areas can fish outstandingly well after prolonged rain as they are the closest structures to the river mouth and a big fresh pushes prawns, herring, mullet and other bait out into Laguna Bay. Halls is also a great place to deploy a bait jig and collect a few livies.

Misery Reef

Location: S26º22’626” E153º09’260”

Depth: 25-32m

Distance: 33km (7km from Noosa Bar)

Another spot to chase long tail tuna and other tuna varieties from October onwards. Spotty mackerel are often caught around Misery along with their bigger cousin the Spaniards. Baitfish can also be taken along with snapper and other reef species during the cooler months. Sometimes worth moving to if all the other reefs in the local area are tough fishing.

Jew Shoal

Location: S26º21’640” E153º06’890”

Depth: 10m

Distance: 35km (3.7km from Noosa Bar)

Jew Shoal is a very good area for fat longtails and passing schools of spotted mackerel in summer. Also worth trolling small rigged bonito or hardbodies for Spanish mackerel. Trollers regularly pick up quality snapper over JS in winter. Look for bait around this area and really only target it if you are heading out from Noosa bar. In the winter you can pick up snapper, cod and sweetlip and normally some mackerel hang around when they are on elsewhere.

Chardons Reef

Location: S26º23’920” E153º15’480”

Depth: 30-55m

Distance: 31km (9km from Noosa Bar)

Chardons is a very good option when Sunshine is quiet. Big Spaniards run up and down the coast out at Chardons late in the season and many marlin are hooked there too by trollers chasing the mackerel, and from time to time on floating baits while bottom bashing. (A mate of mine hooked a 2m blue at Chardons last Saturday on a floating squid bait on 6/0 gangs). Not many marlin are landed though.

North Reef

Location: S26º16’550” E153º11’350”

Depth: 40-55m

Distance: 45km (15km from Noosa Bar)

Top spot to fish for mahi mahi, kingfish, mackerel in particular spotty, and Spanish. Also has a great range of reef species like spangled emperor, snapper and quality pearl perch. Again this is a worthwhile trip when there is a blow on around Mooloolaba and Caloundra areas. There is a fairly protected run up along the coastline.

*Remember never go into open water by yourself. It is always best to plan a trip with a mate, so that if something happens when you are out a fair distance, at least someone can assist you. Please ensure that you have the correct safety equipment and radios in place before proceeding on any fishing trip and you need to be aware of the catch and take limits on all species.

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