Pumicestone Aplenty
  |  First Published: December 2010

Summer fishing in the Pumicestone Passage brings lots of options to keen anglers. Even though winter has gone you will still catch your winter bread and butter species, however the long warm summer days will slow them down and make you work for them.

Bream are always a popular target bringing in mixed results. Plenty of small bream can be caught quite easily by the average angler at anytime of the day or tide, however, smarter anglers will chase bigger bream at dawn or dusk with ultra light line and large fresh bait; taking the extra time to source fresh or live bait will be well worth the extra effort.

There have been great catches of large summer whiting in the shallow waters throughout the passage. Creek mouths are the best location for targeting the elbow slappers. Coouchin, Hussy, Glassy and Elimbah creeks have proven to be the best spots to start chasing them, but don’t count out any shallow sand banks in the main passage. It’s not uncommon to catch 40cm+ whiting at these locations. These fish are well worth the chase, and will continue strongly throughout the next couple of months.

Large whiting are running off Red Beach at the Southern end of Bribie Island. This is a great location to take the whole family fishing these holidays. Blood worms or beach worms work best.

Flathead are the easiest fish to bag out on in the passage, and have been bringing in average numbers this month, with some great size fish being caught. The number of small fish has thinned right out compared to last month; this is as a result of the warmer weather. The large flathead are still there, it may just take a little work.

If you prefer fishing with bait, I suggest pilchards or herring; however I highly recommend giving soft plastics a try. Soft plastics are taking over from bait and are producing the best results for this species. If you haven’t tried fishing with plastics, go to your local tackle shop and purchase a handful of various sizes, colours and weights, you will be amazed at what you can, and will, catch. I like to stick to natural colours as they work best in the shallow water.

Work your soft plastic retrieve slowly, making sure your lure makes contact with the bottom regularly. Pepper the area you are targeting as sometimes it takes many casts to raise their attention. If I know the fish are at a particular location, then I have worked for 20 minutes before catching a fish.

There are a lot of bycatch when working the passage at this time of year, and they can often be more fun to catch than the fish you are chasing! Expect to catch estuary cod, grunter bream, trevally, queenfish, squire or tailor.

Trevally, queenfish and tailor can pop up at anytime busting bait right beside your boat. You will need to have a rod with a popper or chrome slug rigged up and ready to throw, or you will miss your chance. These fish can disappear as fast as they show up. I can guarantee you won’t have time to tie on a popper to capitalise on the feeding fish, this I have learnt from experience with many missed opportunities. These three species are great sport fish, but I will generally ‘catch and release’ as they are not the greatest eating fish.

If you like a feed of crabs, there is some great quality muddies about. You will need to use fresh bait and stick to the deeper water as this is typically where the better quality, larger crabs are this time of year. There is very few quality crabs around the shallows, however this may change over the next month.

Ensure you have sufficient rope as pots will drift in large tides. A lot of people believe their pots have been stolen, however half the time they have simply drifted away with the tide, especially light cheap pots. I have even seen pots drift past my boat while fishing.

Leading up to the silly season, please make sure you have all your lights and safety equipment in working order. I have had some near misses with smaller craft in the passage missing lights; this is a recipe for disaster. Remember to check Green Zone locations and legal fish size and bag limits because this is 100% the anglers responsibility.

I have grown up fishing the Pumicestone Passage with my Grandmother and parents, and am looking forward to providing Queensland Fishing Monthly readers with all the latest and greatest information on enjoying what this great region has to offer, including all the great locations and fishing hot spots.

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