March is the official start of autumn and with the shorter days the water temperature will start to cool slightly in our dams and rivers.
Bass, golden perch and saratoga will start to move up into the shallows particularly early morning and late afternoon. Shallow running hardbody lures like the new Maria Shallow Crank 38 in the matt ayu colour or if you like the softies, the sliders work extremely well in most cases. But if things are a little quiet then live shrimp or good old garden worms will see results.
As the water clears and things settle down fresh water fishing should really start to fire. The dams are chock full of fresh water gar at the moment, and these fantastic little fish are great fun and easy for the kids to catch.
Small number 10 Gamakatsu Pan Fish hooks suspended under a 6” Quill float is a perfect way to catch these little energetic and aerobatic fish. Small pieces of bread squashed onto the hook will also do the job, along with a small handful of tiny pieces thrown into the water for berley.
Don’t forget you will need a Stocked Impoundment Permit (SIPS) to fish most Queensland dams. There are two options: a seven day permit is $7.00 or a yearly permit is $35.00. The SIP proceeds go back into restocking our dams.
It’s difficult to predict how the fishing will be in March. The incredible events of January have thrown a spanner in the works and it now depends on how much follow up rain we receive in February and March.
With the obvious flood disaster, estuary fishing has been fairly ordinary to say the least, but all things being equal March should hopefully see the fishing really start to fire.
Normally this time of year we would expect to still see good numbers of flathead, whiting, trevally, cod and jacks. Bream around 1kg+ have started showing up in the Pine River down towards the Horny Brooke Bridge. Fresh prawns or bonito strip baits have been the most successful baits. Some local lads have been having a ball with the bull sharks, most of which were also taken on live baits.
Try fishing from the highway bridge up as far as Petrie Road Bridge or the upper reaches of the South Pine River, behind the Westfield Shopping Centre. Depending on bait sizes, the hooks should be somewhere between 5/0-8/0. Wire traces are a must. Chasing mangrove jacks on livies is definitely still an option in March but as the water temp starts to drop they will become sluggish and harder to find
Prawns have been around in small numbers but should hopefully increase in March. Try cast-netting the deeper sections of the Pine, Cabbage Tree Creek or the flats out from Nudgee Beach.
Mud crabs have been going great guns even with the less than perfect conditions, so if you’re keen for a feed of muddies now is a great time to get out there and give it a go. Good catches have been coming from the Pine River, lower reaches of the Caboolture River and the Bribie Passage around Ningi Creek.
The bay has been fairly patchy for obvious reasons, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. The general consensus is that once things settle down we should be in for a cracker year. The change of seasons this time of year often produces difficult offshore conditions. Pre-dawn trips are the best option, but please beware of the possibility of floating debris.
Water clarity and salinity are two key factors and depending on how much more rain we receive will determine where the best places to fish are. January saw the bay virtually unfishable and it’s hard to predict how long it will take for the bay to recover.
If the bay islands haven’t had enough time to recover it may be necessary to avoid the shallow local reefs and head wide to find cleaner water.
Calounda Five Mile and Twelve Mile and out in the deeper water off the Cape have been fishing well with good numbers of Spanish mackerel, wahoo, various tuna species as well as mahi mahi. Trolling high speed skirted pusher style lures has been a highly successful method, and changing to deep diving lures or using rigged baits may be a better option during the middle of the day. Rig your bait upside down so that the hooks are in the top of the fish will significantly improve catches.
If heading out for a feed of reefies please remember the snapper, pearl perch and yeraglin are all off limits until the end of March.
At the Tackle Shop we now have our loyalty program in place. Loyalty card members automatically go into the draw to win a $60.00 gift voucher every month. This month’s lucky winner is Jamie Higgins from Strathpine. If you would like more information on tips and techniques, locations or for an up to date fishing report please give us a call on 3862 9015 or just call in to say G’day. Myself and my staff are all mad keen fishos and are always happy to help.Reads: 3207