Fish n Crab Charters operates out of the beautiful Mooloolaba Marina in Mooloolaba, Queensland (Australia). Just a one hour drive from Brisbane, Mooloolaba is at the heart of Queensland’s stunning Sunshine Coast. We fish areas all along the Sunshine Coast from Caloundra in the south as far north as Noosa Flats and all areas in between. Mooloolaba has a rich fishing tradition with a large fleet of commercial fishing vessels and a healthy charter fishing fleet as well. Located at the mouth of the Mooloolaba River, Mooloolaba Marina is the perfect location to begin your charter fishing adventure.
The weather in Mooloolaba is mild year round with temperatures ranging from 10° to 20°C in winter to 21° to 28°C in the summer. There are many reefs and shelves off Mooloolaba which are home to a great number of fish species. Snapper, perch, sweetlip, mackerel, blue fin tuna, Maori cod and many other species inhabit Mooloolaba’s extensive reefs and wrecks. The warm currents also attract many big game deep water fish species including marlin, tuna, dolphin fish (mahi-mahi), swordfish, wahoo, and mackerel. Mooloolaba is also home to a healthy population of spanner crabs which are most commonly fished by commercial fishing vessels. However on a Fish n Crab charter you will get an opportunity to experience crab fishing with commercial grade crabbing equipment. And you will get a chance to sample the crab catch freshly steamed on board.
The waters near shore are generally very calm and are perfect for a relaxed party cruise or family fishing adventure. Mooloolaba boasts beautiful beaches, sparkling azure water, world-class shopping and friendly locals. Surfing along the white sand beaches is a popular pastime with fewer crowds than the more famous Gold Coast beaches. And the fishing is truly world-class. There is great fishing year round in Mooloolaba for a great number of popular game fish species. Mooloolaba also has great scuba and snorkeling for the times when you’re not reeling in that giant fish. With so much to offer, a Mooloolaba and Sunshine Coast fishing trip with Fish n Crab Charters is a great way to experience the best fishing in Queensland.
Q. Where are the best offshore sites to fish on the Sunshine Coast?
Without any doubt the best fishing location off the Sunshine Coast is the Barwon Banks. This is a massive reef system between 18 to 25NM Running North to south for about 20 to 25km off the coast between Caloundra and Mooloolaba. It does take either a brave and experienced skipper, or a large boat to head out that far, but the trip is more often than not well worth the trip. Depths vary from 50m to 120m, allowing different fish species to be targeted.
Just south of the Barwon Banks, about 14NM offshore is a reef system known as “Caloundra Wide”. It gets some protection is SW winds from Moreton Island which makes it a favourite area for the keen fishermen in less than ideal conditions. Smaller structures than the Barwon banks means the larger vessels can have a difficult time anchoring correctly to get the best of the location.
For smaller vessels that prefer to stay in closer, the Inner and Outer Gneerings are a shallow reef system approx 2NM off Mooloolaba. It is an area dotted with rocky pinnacles and drop-offs making for excellent fishing at the right tides and times. It is best fished on an early morning tide change or evening high tide on dusk. Being so close in it can attract of lot of fishing boats making it difficult to find a spot if left too late.
Q. What kind of fish would we expect to catch there?
The Barwon Banks is extremely large making for a massive range of fish species including but not limited to pretty much all general reef species, large pelagics, kingfish – both yellow tail and Black (Cobia), amberjack, cod, snapper, pearl perch, tuskies and parrot fish, bream, hussar, emperor, jobfish and many more. There are also plenty of sharks so you could lose a few nice fish to a hungry shark or hook on to one without really being set up for such a fight.
Caloundra Wide is a favourite spot for great pearl perch, spangled emperor, mahi mahi, wahoo, mackerel, cobia and amberjack, as well as teraglin and snapper. Often trolling for tuna or other pelagics will work well here also.
The Inner and Outer Gneerings: sweetlip, cobia, pearl perch, tuskies and parrot fish, small snapper and pelagics such as spotty and Spanish mackerel. It’s also a top area for squid fishing
Q. What kind of gear / boat would an angler need to go there?
Most areas off the Sunshine Coast can be fished with most kinds of Vessels. The Barwon Banks can be hit quickly with weather so it is recommended that only larger vessels head out that far. It must be remembered that this is open ocean, deep sea fishing which always brings with it an element of danger. As such no vessel should ever head out without a marine radio, Epirb (or ideally one of the new Gpirbs) and letting the Coast Guard know of you intended trip complete with departure and return times and the number of people aboard.
Tackle wise it will depend on the type of fish you are targeting and the time of year. The Barwon banks, given its depth fishes extremely well with the Paternosta rig we find, but Floaters and “livies” also work very well for the larger predatory fish.
Q. What are your top tips for successful fishing?
Tips will be different for everyone depending on their skill level. For the less experienced angers we find that the best tips for success in fishing are:
1. to use a fish finder to locate a spot where you know there are fish below the boat.
2. Using a slightly more flexible rod will allow you to feel the fish on the bait better than a stiffer rod thus allowing you to strike most effectively.
3. Once hooked on ensure you keep pressure on the line at all times to avoid the hook releasing from the fish. Pull up and wind down to make use of the rod’s flex without putting too much strain on the reel.
4. As for bait, less experienced angler might do better with a “tougher bait” such as squid or Mullet. Pilchards are an excellent bait but can be lost off the hook easily if not used correctly. Don’t put too much bait on the hook as it basically does need to look like something alive a fish might be interested in eating.