The times and travels of Jodie and her little men out and about on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. A focus on family-friendly venues, events, things to do and fun under the sun.
Published March 19th 2012
Mooloolaba is famous for its coastal attractions, so it's no surprise that fishing is such a popular pastime in the area. On any given day, you can spot anglers trying their luck along the rocks at Mooloolaba Spit. Bream, flathead, dart and whiting are regularly caught closer to shore in the area.
However if you want to catch larger fish, and plenty of them, you may consider a fishing charter off Mooloolaba. Fishing charters couple local knowledge with the right equipment, in the hopes of netting you the "big one". Wahoo, Snapper, Tuna, Mackerel, Dolphin Fish, Marlin and Swordfish are some of the larger species targeted. Amberjack, Maori Cod, Snapper, Rosy Job, Pearl Perch and Moses Perch are also commonly caught.
Most fishing charters that depart from Mooloolaba (and surrounding areas) head offshore to an area known as the Barwon Banks. This reef system sits approximately 42 kilometres off the Mooloolaba coast, and can take around 2 hours to reach there. As the Barwon Banks sits in open ocean, be prepared for considerable swell and rough conditions.
There are other reefs closer to shore that can be visited, including Murphys Reef, Chardon Reef, Currimundi Reef, Halls Reef and Leach Shoal. Most fishing charter companies will visit one or two sites depending on weather conditions, but if you are unsure, check with the company or your skipper on the day.
Being keen anglers, my partner and I have embarked on two separate charters - one with Offshore Reef and Game Fishing Mooloolaba, and one with Mooloolaba Fish N Crab Deep Sea Charters. Offshore Reef and Game Fishing Mooloolaba's "Outrigga 1" departs from the Yacht Club Marina. You can choose from a variety of tours, from half day (5 hours) to mega day (12 hours). Prices start from $120 per person. We opted for a full day (9 hour charter) at $190 each and found this to be the perfect length for us - long enough to reach the Barwon Banks and fit in some decent fishing, but not too long and tiring. Lunch is included in the longer cruises, and generally consists of sandwiches, pastries and finger foods - handy for when you need to keep on hand on your fishing rod.
Fish N Crab Deep Sea Charters
Fish N Crab Deep Sea Charters also offer a range of tour options, from half day (5 hours) to mega day (11 hours). Prices start from $140 per person. The unique attraction of Fish N Crab tours are the crab pots they deploy on the outbound journey, and collect on the homebound trip. The Spanner Crab caught are cooked onboard using a professional, gas powered, crab cooker and shared amongst the passengers. Even if the fishing is light, you can still take home some spanner crab to enjoy.
Things to know before you go on a Mooloolaba Fishing Charter 1. Book well in advance. Weekends and holiday periods are especially busy. 2. Most tours are subject to weather conditions, which can often only be confirmed the night beforehand. Be prepared for Plan B, particularly if you are on a tight holiday schedule. Safety must come first. 3. Charter operators generally only offer one particular type of tour per day, e.g. Mega Day, Full Day, and so forth. If you have your heart set on a specific length, you may need to be flexible with dates or book well ahead of time.
4. Pack plenty of sunscreen, and wear a long sleeve light shirt and hat. Most vessels offer a shaded deck, but you will be leaning over the edge reeling in your big catch so may not always be covered. 5. Pack an Esky or cooler in your car, stocked with ice, to transport your catch home. 6. Most charter crews are happy to assist with baiting your hook, casting, or reeling. Don't be afraid to ask, as you are paying for the privilege.
7. There is no need to bring any of your own equipment, as all is provided.
8. Most boats have a "BYO, but no glass" policy, for safety reasons.
9. If you are prone to seasickness, consider taking some seasickness tablets. The swell offshore can be surprisingly choppy, and once you have reached the Banks, there is no turning back until the end of the day.
10. Pack a camera to photograph your catch.