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Reap Reef Rewards
  |  First Published: November 2010



Prepare yourself as summer is well on its way! The prevailing northerly winds have finally pushed the hot air down from the northern regions to give us some beautiful warm days.

After fruitful fishing in early spring, the warm weather has increased water temperatures making the fish more aggressive during their feeding times on sunrise and on dusk. With daylight hours also increasing, this gives anglers a bigger window of opportunity to snag some good catches before the weather has its say.

The Northern Bay’s fishing activity has been very rewarding over the spring with the abundance of bait schooling up around the reefs; making it a haven for predatorial breeds like tailor, giant trevally and bonito. When targeting these breeds, the use of lightly weighted baits like hardiheads, whitebait and even strips of squid, provide tasty targets. The slow sink rate of the bait is the key to ensure the bait stays in the upper water column to maximise your chances.

The use of lightly weighted plastics like Gulp 3” Minnows and 2” Shrimp, Atomic 3” Prongs and Jerk Minnows have also proved to be very effective, coupled with a simple lift retrieve. Try this around areas like Castlereagh Reef, Scarborough Pt, Osbourne Pt and Woody Point Jetty.

Flathead have been increasing in numbers around the Woody Point, Hays Inlet and The Wells under the northern side of the new Ted Smout Bridge. Mullet strips and pilchard halves being the pick of the baits and 3” and 4” shads and minnows being the best choice of plastics.

Shallow diving hardbody lures like Jackall Chubbies, Atomic Crank 38 and Shad 50 and Zipbaits Khamsin SR have also reaped excellent rewards but be prepared for a nail biting fight as a flathead’s razor teeth and deadly gill spikes can make your fishing expedition an expensive day’s outing! To combat this it pays to upgrade your leader size to 6-8lb which can provide some protection without compromising your strike rate.

Small squire are still being found around on shallow reefs of Scarborough with the peak bite times around dawn and dusk. Areas around Castlereagh and North Reef are worth a try in the mornings, along with the southern area outside the Scotts Point Green Zone being the pick as the sun starts to set.

Sand whiting are starting to make their presence known around the Bribie area with reports of good hauls at Skirmish Point and the sandy flats of Bongaree and even further south towards Beachmere. Live bloodworm and yabbies are the top choices for baits but keep an eye on those bag limits as it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement when hitting a school!

After finishing the last of their spawn, bream numbers are definitely on the rise as they are replenishing energy for the upcoming warmer months. Targeting bream around shallow waters during the rising tide seems to be the pick of the times as bream love to herd up baitfish and scavenge around in the shallows searching for anything to feed on.

With the popularity of catching bream on lures and soft plastics gaining huge momentum, it can be hard to convert even the most diehard of bait anglers but when you experience the sensation, it can be quite addictive. Areas to look for are shallow rubble flats that hold around 2-4ft of water at high tide with the occasional rock bommie or ledge to throw into the mix. Redcliffe Peninsula holds heaps of such areas so everywhere is worth a try. Areas also of interest include Toorbul Point, the mouth of Ningi creek, Cook’s Rocks, Woody Point, Clontarf Foreshore and the banks of the Pine River leading up and past the highway bridge.

For the diehard bait fisher, again lightly weighted baits like mullet strips, green prawns, hardiheads or squid strips are a great choice, with many anglers often choosing to use no weight at all. For the lure fanatics it’s hard to go past Atomics Hardz Crank 38 (mid-diver), Jackall Chubbies (shallow), Ecogear SX40f and 43F, Maria Japan MC-1 shallow cranks and Cranka shads. Also remember as the waters heat up a topwater bite is definitely worth a go, so try Megabass Dog X Jr, Luckycraft Sammys and Zipbait Fakie Dogs around those shallow waters and you may be pleasantly surprised!

As a replacement writer for the relocating Jay Perham, I hope my future reports are informative and helpful but if you have further questions feel free to email me at --e-mail address hidden-- . I wish all the best for Jay, Claire and the kids for their new life in NZ and hope his impeccable fishing knowledge and skills will impact our fellow trans Tasman anglers as much as it has here.

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