Winter warming wonders
  |  First Published: July 2011

Yes folks, winter is here and boy has it been cold. As the majority of our population are snuggling under the doona on these brisk mornings, the diehard fishos have been hitting the waters hard to take advantage of the buffet assortment of fish on offer in our northern bay.

The plethora of bait fish gathering around the bays’ foreshores and reefs has really fired up the fishing of late with awesome reports coming out of Scarborough, Woody Point, Sandgate and Bribie. Chopper tailor have been the most frequent fish visiting the ruler of late with these toothy speedsters ripping up a storm through bait schools all over the bay.

Targeting tailor on light gear can be great fun. Not only are their surface hits spectacular but you are often treated to an awesome aerial display while the line is ripping off your spool. It’s enough to get the blood pumping on these cool mornings for sure!

Great reports have been coming out of North Reef at Scarborough, the pylons under the Ted Smout Bridge and Shorncliffe and Woody point jetties with the pick of the techniques being soft plastics, long slender hardbody lures or light chrome slugs. Having at least one of these rigged up on board your boat will be handy as surface bust ups of late have been as frequent as a train in downtown Tokyo. Plastics worth trying are Z-man 3” shrimp, Atomic 3” Prongs and the trusty Gulp 3” minnows.

Another species that has returned with a vengeance this year has been the humble flathead. After having a dry spell from visiting our northern bay over the last two years, awesome flathead have been bagged around Hays Inlet, Redcliffe Jetty, White Patch at Donnybrook and the mouth of Cabbage Tree Creek.

After recent trips, I’ve found the pick of weaponry to be 3” Gulp minnows in banana prawn colour rigged on a 1/16 TT jighead, Smith Cherry Blood 75s and Atomic Deep Crank 38s. Working the plastics on a simple lift and drop retrieve has been accounting for most flathead catches, which is a stark contrast to the hardbody lures where a slow rolling retrieve for the Atomics and a twitch-twitch-pause for the Cherry Bloods have been working a treat.

After the recent summer ban on snapper catches, this winter has been quite fruitful with these dinner table delights being caught throughout the Redcliffe Peninsula.

North Reef and south of the green zone at Woody Point have been the pick of the places with catches recorded on bait, 5” soft plastics and hardbodied lures. Following the hordes of early morning fishers often gives you a good indication where the snapper are being caught but be sure to exercise caution and respect when motoring through these groups so the day can be enjoyable for all parties.

The annual spawn run for our trusty bream is in full swing with a majority of the catches coming from the deeper waters as the bream school up for their yearly pilgrimage. From most accounts, good solid bream have been bagged lately on slightly heavier baits and soft plastics with the pick of the baits being herring, mullet strips and chicken breast. On the plastics front, Z-Man 3” Scented Shrimp, 2” Gulp Shrimp and 3” Minnows have been the smashing the others, with deep hardbodied lures also worth a try.

The Wells at Clontarf, Woody Point Jetty, Queens Beach foreshore and the mouth of the Caboolture River will be prime bream spots over this month as these aggressive feeders will stalk prey on the flooding tide in these spots and retreat to deeper waters during the ebbing tides.

Diver whiting have also been showing up in good numbers over the last month and should continue while the cooler water temperatures stay around. Picks of the spots continue to be the Compass Adjustment Buoy off Sandgate, throughout Deception Bay and Beachmere foreshore. Bloodworms are doing the damage on the bait front with catches also coming on the trusty squid.

Speaking of squid, these tasty cephalopods have been appearing lately throughout the Redcliffe Peninsula. Targeting these slippery critters in deeper waters have been the key with most imitation prawn jigs on the market doing the trick.

When hooking up squid be sure to maintain constant tension on your line at all times and keep your rod tip up high. Also be sure to avoid their treacherous black ink sprays as this not only can make a good mess of your boat but is a major hassle to get out of your clothes.

With the fresh westerlies continuing this month, a lot more anglers are enjoying time out on the water as the wind blows off the land and protects us in the smooth waters of the northern bay.

With more anglers hitting the water be sure to lend a helpful hand to our fellow boating brethren when in need at your local boat ramp. A little bit of patience and commonsense goes a long way and with the way karma and the fish gods work, I am sure all good deeds won’t go unrewarded!

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