Fresh Start After Flood
  |  First Published: May 2011

The bass fishing at Lake Samsonvale has been pretty tough over the last few months and many are blaming the recent flood events.

Certainly this has had some effect, as the water quality has been poor and many fish may have been lost over the wall. However, data supplied by the Pine Rivers Fish Management Association (PRFMA) who manages the stocking program for the lake, shows a pattern to the number of bass being caught through previous years. Historically, the lake has not fished well for bass during the summer months and so far the 2010-11 data closely follows this pattern.

Only time will tell whether this trend will continue, but expectations are high for another good winter on the lake. With nearly 200,000 fish stocked into Lake Samsonvale in the last 12 months, this should continue well into the future.

All is not lost however, as the lake is absolutely alive with red claw crayfish and a day on the lake with a few opera house pots will result in a very rewarding bag of these tasty critters.

For information on how to set up for catching red claw, go to the PRFMA website www.prfma.com.au and look under ‘Articles and Contributions’ for the informative article by Ray Kennedy.

To take a boat on the lake, you will need a permit issued by the PRFMA. These permits run from May each year for 12 months and applications for 2011-12 will open on 3 April. Again, visit the PRFMA website and look under ‘Boating Access Scheme’ for information on the permit scheme.

A closed season applies to Australian bass throughout Queensland from 1 June to 31 August. See also the section on www.dpi.qld.gov.au freshwater closed seasons (Australian bass) for information on taking bass from some freshwater during the closure.


The lower reaches of the Pine River and Hays Inlet have been fishing particularly well with reports of quality bream and flathead coming from this area.

The Bribie Passage is also fishing well with plenty of the usual bread and butter species on offer. Recently I had a great session on flathead, fishing the sand bars and weed banks around the mouth of Elimbah Creek. Several fish were landed ranging from 35-55cm with a couple of big girls between 70-75cm. I was using soft plastics and bait and, interestingly on this occasion, the softies out fished the bait.

On the subject of flathead, another spot worth a try is the shallow weed beds on the right heading south just past the Bribie Bridge. If you’re after a feed of whiting, try from Skirmish Point around to South Point. Live blood worms and yabbies are definitely the best baits with small peeled prawns and squid strips a good back up.

The cooler weather this month should see better numbers of larger bream entering our local creeks and rivers in preparation for the forthcoming breeding season. Under the cover of darkness, bream will often scavenge up on the shallower banks especially at the top of the tide. During the day, try the deeper holes and drop-offs or under/near bridge pylons.

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to locating bream schools, so be prepared to move around and try different locations. Best baits have been prawns, yabbies, bonito pieces, chook gut and whitebait. Fishing light, 1-3kg rod, 4-6lb main line and 4-6lb fluorocarbon leader will definitely increase your catch rate. Small hardbody lures such as the Ecogear SX40LC or Atomic shad 40 can also be very effective. A lightly weighted Gulp 2” Prawn can be deadly when chasing bream.

Brisbane River

The Brissy River continues to impress with reports of some reasonable catches of snapper, mulloway, threadfin, large bream, and cod. The lower reaches of the river still seems to be the most productive, with the sewage pipe outlet at Luggage point, the sunken rock wall or the rocks along Bulwer Island being some of the better areas to try.

This time of year we should hopefully see better schools of tailor start to appear around the river mouth. Keep an eye out for any surface action or birds working an area.

The current tends to really rip through this area so I prefer to fish the last hour of the run-in and the first hour of the out going tide. As the tide picks up I look for areas of less water movement.

The Bay

There have been plenty of juvenile snapper and bream coming from the shallow reefs off Scarborough and from around the islands off Moreton Bay. As with the previous years, the earlier rains have kept the water clarity down and subsequently most of the shallows reefs have been fishing fairly well.

As usual, first light or late afternoon have been the most productive times, and if the rising tide coincides with dawn or dusk, then even better. Remember a stealthy approach will increase your chances of better results when fishing shallow areas. The eastern side of Mud Island is worth a try, with good numbers of grassy sweetlip, cod and bream being reported.

I like to fish the entrance to the lagoon on the north eastern side just as the tide starts to fall. Casting lightly weighted baits and allowing it to slowly drift with the current will often yield bream, snapper, sweetlip and cod. There maybe a few school mackerel or tailor around so it may pay to have a floating pillie out just in case. Possible by-catch can also include flathead, Moses perch and those mongrel grinners.

May is often a great month to chase long tail tuna in the Northern Bay and in close to the beaches of Bribie Island. This is an ideal opportunity for those in smaller boats to access this awesome fish. Try casting chrome slugs into working schools or trolling minnow lures around the edges of sand banks and drop-offs. If things are a bit slow, it sometimes pays to experiment and try different trolling speeds, lure depths and colours.

Last but not least, we’re still getting a few reports of Spanish mackerel and cobia coming from Western Rocks, Hutchies and around Flinders Reef.

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 Alan Robertson from Bridgeman Downs. 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 team are all mad keen fishos and are always happy to help.

Reads: 1987

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