Southern Passage Firing
  |  First Published: May 2011

Reports I have been getting lately have been great, and I put this down to the water clearing up perfectly. Water quality is not back to 100%, but it will get there soon. The waterway is becoming ‘normal’ again making it easier to target, predict and catch each species.

Bream have been outstanding in numbers and size, wherever you fish. A little bit out of season, but the local boys have been fishing any of the patchers of rubble deep or shallow it doesn’t seem to matter. Any lure that even half resembles a prawn, live prawns or any fresh bait has worked well.

Then you have the fish that terrorise the bream fishers: grunter, queenfish, trevally, estuary cod and grassy emperors, which can take some landing on bream fishing outfits. They are a much welcomed by-catch and will certainly have you sweating, but nine times out of ten anything much over 2kg will bust you off.

Grunter have been a good target species over the last few weeks. Well worth the chase, they have been a consistent size coming in around 1kg. I have seen a couple of 2.5kg grunter caught in the creek mouths though so you’re always a chance of a cracking fish. I suggest trying the mouths of Elimbah, Bullock and Coochin creeks. The grunter should hang around for a while yet, at least until the end of this month, possibly longer.

One of the fish you can target all year around with great success is the humble old dusky flathead. I put this down to the large soft plastic market we have. If somebody tells you soft plastics don’t work, they are sadly mistaken and missing out on a large piece of the pie. Then you have your vibes and blades that are taking more fish every day. These two lures are a lot like soft plastics in the way that they can confuse people with so many different sizes, weights and colours. When choosing vibes and blades keep your size and colour as natural as you can until you build your confidence with them, then branch out from there. Weights will depend on water currents and the depth you are fishing and the type of fish you want to target.

If you are looking for a good work out there are some good size bull sharks about, with the average size of sharks in the Passage between 3 foot and 6 foot. Sharks are quite a handful to land when fishing from your tinnie; it is a lot easier to chase them from the shore. Use big baits such as mullet or preferably large eels for best results. Shovel nose sharks are quite often caught throughout the Passage as they are scavengers tending to eat any kind of baits. Remember sharks 1.5m and over are protected so must be released unharmed.

Clearer water is making the muddies much harder to find, and when you do find them the quality has gone out the window. Don’t get me wrong the crabs are still there, you’re just doing more hunting than catching. Sand crabs are a much better option at the moment as they are getting thicker by the day. South from the Bribie bridge is a great option for a better quality catch of sand crabs. Once you get north of the bridge they disperse quite quickly. You can still catch a feed, it just takes more time and effort.

The Superior Custom Cabinets Bream fishing tournament was held on Saturday 2 April 2011. This is a great local fishing competition on the Pumicestone Passage run out of Toorbul by a local family business. The competition is small but a great family day, full of good fun, laughs, great fish and some nice cash and prize giveaways. It has been getting bigger and better with every event.

The next competition is a whiting tournament being held the first week end in November. Fishing is from 2pm on Friday 4 November to 11am on Sunday 6 November. The competitions are not solely bream and whiting specific, they also have a range of other categories, for example longest flathead, longest reef, heaviest mud crab and heaviest sand crab. There is also a junior category with cash and prizes for both 1st and 2nd in each category making this a great competition for the whole family to enjoy. For further information call Ian on 0417 727 172.

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