Quality time on the water
  |  First Published: June 2011

The past month has been an absolute cracker in our northern bay as the cooler, windless days have started to be more frequent allowing anglers much more quality time on the water.

Fresh WSW winds have been blowing across the land leaving our days on the water a lot calmer than we have experienced over this year’s summer, which has been a welcome change for most anglers and the fish.

Water clarity has still been average due to the frequent rainfall but this has often worked into the hands anglers. With calm waters, often comes a ‘shutdown bite’ meaning catching fish can become all that harder when the conditions become glass-like. So with the water clarity being poor, this can mean a larger window of opportunity for us to still net a catch. So bottom line ‘if it’s great boating weather, it’s bad fishing weather!’

With winter on our doorstep we have started to see a change in species creeping into the bay. Snapper, winter whiting, flathead and tailor have been the most prominent in the northern bay over the last month but will definitely start to fire even more as the mercury heads south. Good catches of snapper have been reported around the bommies outside of North Reef at Scarborough, Queens Beach and south of the green zone at Woody Point.

Plastics like 5” and 7” Berkley Gulp jerkshads have been doing most of the damage during dawn and daylight hours, the bigger fish have been coming at dusk on fresh baits like pilchards and pike fillets. So next time you catch a pesky pike be sure to fillet it and drift it lightly weighted for the best results.

Winter whiting have been on fire lately with great consistent bags coming out all over the northern bay. The compass adjustment buoy, the mouth of the Pine River and outside Beachmere have been the pick of the places with the humble blood worms producing the best specimens.

There is nothing like sitting out in the bay during a nice clear winter’s morning drifting over a school of these ambitious fighters, not to mention the afterthought of a good feed of whiting fillets.

Sand whiting have still been caught around the southern beaches of Bribie, Bakers Flat at Beachmere, Lime Pocket at Donnybrook and the mouth of Coochin Creek. Be sure not to get these confused with their winter counterparts as the legal limit for sand whiting is 23cm and they have been known to turn up in winter whiting catches.

Another species to look forward to during the cooler months are the humble flathead. In the past month flathead numbers have definitely been increasing with good reports coming out of Donnybrook, Beachmere and the Pine River. At Donnybrook be sure to try Gallagher Gutter on the receding tide and at Beachmere, the southern end of Mosquito Island has had some great catches recorded.

With the gathering of good bait around the Ted Smout Bridge continuing this month, the mouth of the Pine River has certainly been the pick of the areas as good sizable flathead have been ambushing straying baitfish during the receding tide. Keep your baits and plastics lightly weighted to maximize your strike rate as these lizards have been attacking anything flowing with the outgoing tide.

Bream have certainly started their annual spawning pilgrimage of late, as numbers have decreased in the shallows but have certainly increased in deeper waters especially around the mouth of the Brisbane River and Scarborough. With the SE winds still appearing occasionally over the last month, awesome numbers of bait schools have been accumulating around the mouth of the Brisbane River especially around the reclaimed area.

Fishing around theses schools have been fruitful as bream have been snooping around preying on any injured baitfish. Mullet fillets and hardiheads have been the pick of the baits and for the plastics fans the 3” Z Man Shrimps have been the outstanding performer. Also be sure to try Gulp 3” minnows in peppered prawn colour as it is a perfect imitation for the schooling bait.

Squid have started to appear in our northern bay lately with catches being reported around Redcliffe and Woody point jetties. Yozuri Aurie Q Neo 80mm and Megabass Caiyen 2.9 squid jigs have been doing the damage but be sure to keep your jig moving as the sink rate on these lures are quite quick, thus keeping those aggressive squid interested.

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