Summer Start to Settle
  |  First Published: February 2011

Summer is in full swing and there has been an endless amount of fishing activity throughout the Northern Bay. As the weather patterns start to settle, there will be a marked increase in the presence of predatory breeds cruising our bay looking for food.

GT and spotted mackerel have been the two main predators terrorising bait schools throughout the Northern Bay. They can often be seen in the distance below flocks of diving seagulls tearing through the large schools. It sometimes pays to have a spare rod on board with a 20-30g chrome slug rigged up as these schools have been known to travel towards anchored anglers during their feeding frenzies.

Over the last month our bread and butter breeds of bream, flathead and whiting have been firing on all four cylinders. There have been good reports coming from the estuary systems and from surrounding foreshores and local jetties.

Summer is a great time for targeting table pleasing sand whiting, which have been showing a great presence in recent times with good reports coming out of the mouth of the Pine River between the two bridges, Cooks Rocks, the sandy flats outside Sandstone Point and even the mouth of Nudgee Beach. The pick of the baits has been bloodworms but squid strips have also been a popular choice. On ultra calm days, small surface lures like Ecogear PX55F and Atomic K9 walkers can be worked over these shallow flats to entice these aggressive feeders to come out and play.

Flathead numbers have really picked up over the last month as recent rains and annual prawn migrations have seen these stealthy assassins schooling up around our river mouths with the pick of the areas being the mouth of the Pine River with reports extending all the way up to Dohles Rocks. Soft plastics have been a popular choice with 100mm Squidgy Wrigglers in bloodworm and wasabi colours, Atomic 4” Prongs, Gulp 3” minnows in pumpkinseed, the most popular. For the diehard baitos, try pilchard halves, live poddy mullet or herring, whitebait and even mullet strips have been working a treat.

Bream have been a little hit and miss over the past month but, with the hot weather showing some consistency, numbers should pick up. These finicky eaters can sometimes be affected by adverse weather conditions that have a bearing on water temperatures and clarity. Good catches can still be found around the Redclifffe Peninsula with the standout areas being Queens Beach between Osbourne Point and Drury Point on the top of the incoming tide. With water clarity increasing over the past month targeting deeper drop-offs and bommies will definitely be a wise choice and bream have a sharp eye when it comes to surface activity especially on clear windless days.

For the bream lure junkies, try the new Ecogear CX40HS in colour 523 and 528 as these lures have had a great impact after hitting the market in recent months. Also try the favourites, Atomic Crank 38 in mid and deep divers, Jackall Chubbys and Berkley 3B Fat Dogs with mongrel, terrier and growler colours being the most successful. Downsizing your leader size to 2-3lb might be worth a try as water clarity can play a massive part in catch rates – it can make the difference between having a bad day and a cracker day out on the water.

Estuary cod have been firing lately with some great reports coming out of the mouth of the Brisbane River and Castlereagh Reef at Scarborough. Upgrading your leader to 10-12lb has been working a treat with catches being reported up to 50cm of late. These aggressive feeders love taking your lure or bait and heading straight back to their favourite hiding hole so make sure you tighten those drags and pull their heads away from the bottom, otherwise your fight may be short lived!

Over the last steamy month, mangrove jack have still been caught in the estuaries with the best spots being the upper reaches of the Pine River past the sunken barge and up Ningi and Coochin creeks. Live baits and large hardbody lures, like Jackall Squirrels, Sebile Koolie minnows and Ecogear SX48F, have been working lately with the most popular live bait being poddy mullet. Having a good cast net (and being able to throw it!) is a must when chasing jacks in creeks as live poddy are often seen cruising the shoreline in little schools, and are second to none when used as bait.

The last few months have been great for bagging a few sand crab or muddies as the fluctuating weather patterns have flushed baits and other crustaceans from the creeks into the waterways. Lately it hasn’t been a bad idea to toss out a few crab pots in while having a fish as most anglers have been surprised on what they’ve caught in just a short time.

Be sure to take good care on the waterways as there have been lots of people getting out to enjoy our awesome hot summer. Be wary of your speed at all times and anchor up in safe areas out of traffic’s way. It’s always better to come home in one piece!

Happy fishing.

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