River Runs Through
  |  First Published: April 2011

The freshwater scene has been a bit hit and miss over the last couple of months. Rotting vegetation from the floods has reduced water quality in local creeks and rivers and as a result it’s been fairly tough going.

There has been some reports of reasonable numbers of smaller bass being caught, but the bigger fish are far and few between. The good news is that as the water quality starts to improve, so will the fishing.

Lately, I’ve been walking the banks and fishing the upper reaches of some local creeks and have had a ball catching spangled perch. Although only relatively small, they’re a lot of fun and love taking surface lures. Small poppers or cicada type lures have been working well, with late arvo or first light the best times.

January, February and March are historically quieter months to fish the local dams. According to the data collected from the Pine River Fish Management, Lake Samsonvale generally fishes better in the cooler months and produces better quality bass in winter.

This time of year I like to use vibe style lures or TT spinnerbaits. This type of lure will enable you to work all levels of the water column and locate schooling fish.


It’s amazing how quickly our waterways begin to recover. Towards the end of Feb/early March the water really started to clear and as a result the fishing has finally started improve.

The Pine River has been fishing well particularly around the Dohlies Rocks area and down around the bridges. We’ve had reports of a few large bream around the 1kg+ mark, flathead and even the odd threadfin. Jacks are still around but as the water temperature continues to drop these fish will become increasingly sluggish and harder to entice. Using live prawns or poddy mullet will definitely help increase your chances this time of year.

As the water continues to clear, start working your way further up stream, you might be surprised how far fish will travel as the salinity rises.

Nudgee Beach is also fishing quite well and worth a try. Walking along the river bank or wadding the flats out from Nudgee Beach is a top way to cover more area in search of better fish. Flicking soft plastics or hardbodied lures in and around the shallow gutters and channels on the run-out tide is one of the most productive ways to chase flathead in this area. If you’re a bait fisher, try using whitebait rigged on a set of ganged No. 4 hooks. Keep the sinker size as light as possible, somewhere around 0 or 00. I’ve caught some cracking flathead using both these methods in this area.

Nudgee is also a top spot to chase whiting. Live blood worms or yabbies are by far the best baits.

The earlier floods have had a positive impact on the local crab population and as a result this year has been one of the best mud crab seasons for years. If you haven’t had a feed of muddies in a while, now might be your last chance.

Brisbane River

The fishing in the Brissy River continues to improve with reports of 1m+ jew and threadfin coming from around the river mouth. Jew and threadfin will take dead baits, but live bait, such as mullet, herring or prawns, will increase your chances of hooking up to one of these awesome fish.

There has also been some bream and tailor, coming from the river mouth area as well.

The Bay

The snapper closure has finished as of the 30 March 2011. April should see the snapper start to appear in better numbers around the usual haunts; Mud Island, Brisbane River, Harry Atkinsons artificial reef and reefs along the Redcliffe foreshore. Try anchoring and fishing lightly weighted baits such as pillies or squid in a berley trail. Alternatively drifting and flicking 5-7” soft plastics around drop-offs and reef structures are two of the tried and proven methods. The use of berley will drastically improve your chances.

The pelagic action in the bay has been hit and miss with only sporadic schools of mac tuna, long tail tuna and school mackerel around. Live baiting around one of the bay beacons is still the best option.

If the weather is reasonable, then heading out to Western Rocks or Hutchies is still worth the trip. Spanish mackerel, tuna, cobia and wahoo have still been around in decent numbers, but have also been a little patchy.

Recently I had the privilege of spending a day fishing with Brett and Troy Dickson (Dicko) from L Wilson and co. The plan was to get an early start, navigate the south passage bar and fish the southern end of Moreton Island. We had a great day with plenty of yellowfin tuna, Spanish mackerel and Samsonfish coming over the side.

I also had the opportunity to try some of the awesome Live Fibre Venom rods and the automatic 2 speed Tiburon overhead reels. These reels are unbelievable, they automatically change between high and low gear depending on the load on the reel. How good’s that! Dicko organised the whole day including the use of the new Cruise Craft Explorer 685 with a Yamaha 300hp V6 hanging off the back. The conditions were sloppy and less than perfect, but the Cruise craft handle it all with ease.

At the Tackle Shop we now have our loyalty program in place. Loyalty card members automatically go into the draw to win a $60 gift voucher every month. This month’s lucky winner is Elton Seeto from Cashmere. 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. My-self and my staff are all mad keen fishos and are always happy to help.

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