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Noosa River Fishing and Crab Adventures

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by Gary Brown (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer and photographer from Sydney who has now had five books published on fishing. I also write for the NSW Fishing Monthly, Visit the Shire, Fisho App & Tackle Tactics. I also like to travel and experience new things to do.
Published March 25th 2016
Try & catch the fish of a lifetime while tucking into crabs
Early this year, the opportunity came up for myself and Leanne to take a few days off after our daughter's wedding and head off to Noosa.

As it had been a number of years since I had been up to Noosa I start to surf the net for accommodation, places to eat and things to do while we were up there. I came across a number of fishing charters, both in the estuary and offshore and after many emails, Brad from Noosa Fishing and Crab Adventures got back to me and we arranged for me to fill a spot on one of his four-hour Fishing and Crab Adventure tours on the Noosa River.

Upon arrival, I found that there were nine other eager anglers who couldn't wait to get out and hopefully catch a few fish and crabs. After a quick discussion, I found out that they came from as far as Canada and Sydney in the south.

Eager anglers boarding the Jay-Lea. Image by Gary Brown

As we pushed off, Jeff, our captain for the da, went through the safety procedures and roughly what we would be doing for the next four hours. Now having ten adults on board meant that we couldn't get up a full head of steam in the 'Jay-Lea', but it wasn't long before we arrived at an inviting little corner down near the river's entrance.

As Jeff positioned us near a snag on the corner, everyone spread out and it wasn't long before the first fish came on board. From memory, it was a grunter. Then came a few tarwhine, more grunter, shovelled nosed ray and the odd small dusky flathead.

The first of a number of shovel nosed rays that were caught. Image by Gary Brown

The rigs that we were using were 1.8 metre thread line outfits with around 7 kg line, a ball sinker down onto a swivel and a leader of about 30 to 50cm with a No 1 long shanked hook. We had a choice of two baits; prawns or frozen beach worms.

Snags were quite common, but Jeff handle them with ease. Image by Gary Brown.

As the tide was running out, Jeff decided to go over and fish some deeper water in Woods Bay. Once we were anchored up, a few legal grunter came aboard, followed by the biggest silver biddy I have even seen, some bream and the odd small golden trevally.

Golden Trevally taste great to eat. Image by Gary Brown

While there I noticed that there was one small dead herring left in the bucket, so quickly putting the hook through the eye twice and then into the body, it was displaced over the side into the current. No sooner had I put it into the rod holder it screamed off. After a bit of quick manoeuvring around the boat and under a few other lines, the golden trevally was skilfully netted by Jeff.

This Golden Trevally was the fish of the day. Caught by yours trully.

It was around two kilos and was the biggest fish caught for the day.

Due to the tide slowing down, it was decided to check the crab pots, before anchoring up further up-stream at another of Jeff favourite spots. We checked about five pots that had a few mud and blue swimmer crabs in them.

Remember that all under sized and female crabs in QLD have to be released. Image by Gary Brown.

Many of the crabs were female and had to be put back. After each one was rebaited, we moved further upstream and fished a set of flats for whiting, bream, grunter, small dusky flathead and a few rather large sting rays.

Care needs to be taken when wading the Noosa River as there a number of large rays about. Image by Gary Brown.

While at anchor, Jeff cooked up a few chilli crabs and much to my delight there were only four other anglers out of the ten that liked eating crab. I think I had two by myself.

How good does that look? Image by Gary Brown.

The chilli crab was great. Image by Gary Brown.

At a cost of $89 per adult and $59 per child, it is very good value for money. As you get four hours of fishing, checking the crab pots while having either a ham and salad bread roll, muffins, a chocolate or two, cold drink and who could forget the chilli crab!

The boat comes with toilet facilities, rods, reels, bait, tackle, ice and all weather jackets, plus plenty of local knowledge from the skipper.

The next time that you are up in Noosa and you are looking for something to do for a few hours and the cost won't break the bank. You should check out Noosa Fishing and Crab Adventures and book either a few hours or a full day on the Noosa River. You too might catch the fish of the day.


Noosa Fishing and Crab Adventures are based and departs from the O Boat Hire which is located behind the only tennis court on Gympie Terrace, The River Esplanade with easy all day parking right by our bait and tackle shop.

Noosa Fishing & Crab Adventures departs from O Boat Hire. Image by Gary Brown.

Noosa boat hire offers the best and largest range of deluxe pontoons, barbecue pontoons and boating types for self-drive hire on the Noosa River and if it's boating, fishing or simply a relaxing tour on the Noosa River you are looking for, O Boat Hire is equipped to ensure you have a perfect Noosa holiday. Pack a picnic or enjoy a barbecue on the sand banks of the Noosa River, go swimming, fishing, and bird watching and have fun in the sun with Noosa boat hire.

They have an extensive fleet of boats includes deluxe barbecue pontoons, barbecue pontoons, cuddy cabs, deluxe cruisers, front runners, runabouts, jet skis and kayaks to cruise the serene estuary and reaches of the Noosa River system.

You can cruise over 20 kms of river and canals from Hastings Street in Noosa Heads, along beautiful Noosaville and historical Tewantin, through Lake Cooroibah and up to Lake Cootharaba. Skipper your own party pontoon with no licence required and tour the canals and glorious Noosa River taking in the wildlife from the tiny kingfishers to the majestic pelicans.

They also have a bait and tackle shop has a full range of bait, fuel, rods and reels, snacks, drinks and ice creams.

One of the overseas visitors from Canada getting instructions from Jeff on how to reel in the big one. Image by Gary Brown.

To keep up to-date as to what's been caught on the Noosa River, you can like Noosa Fishing and Crab Adventures at or call them on either 07 5449 7984 or 0407 206062 to make you own booking.

Or you could go to the O Boat Hire website and check out what's for hire or like them on their Facebook page to find out what special deals they have.
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Why? A great way to spend a few hours on the Noosa River.
When: Daily all year round.
Phone: (07) 5449 7984
Where: 222 Gympie Terrace, Noosaville, QLD
Cost: Various. Check web site for details.
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