Chill Heats Up Fishing
  |  First Published: August 2011

After a red hot winter of fishing, our Northern Bay looks set to continue the trend throughout spring. Until then, we should expect our annual blustery westerly winds to grace us with their presence and give us our final chill for the year.

Up to now the Northern Bay has been firing on all four cylinders as constant catches of snapper, tailor, whiting, flathead and bream are being reported. Anglers are crediting their catches to a vast array of baits, soft plastics and hardbody lures as the abundance of baitfish holding in the bay has kept the fishing at its optimum.

With the westerly winds we have had over the last few months, the water clarity has really improved in the Northern Bay. This has made fishing excellent at times but testing in shallower waters during daylight hours as baitfish tend to retreat to deeper waters for safety from bigger predators.

Snapper have been the pick of the species of late as good catches have been constantly coming out of Scarborough Reef, Woody Point and even Suttons Beach. Soft plastics have accounted for the majority of fish with most catches coming on Gulp 5” Jerk Shads in peppered prawn colour, Z-Man Swimmerz and Jerk Shadz and Atomic Prongs. Also worth a try are Z-Man Scented Shrimps, which have been smashing the bream and even producing the odd squire here and there. It might also be worth mixing up your attack by using soft plastics and baits as both these methods have been working well lately.

Another species anglers have been encountering in great numbers are the feisty tailor. These toothy speedsters have been terrorising our bay for the past few months and are not only great fun to catch but are a tasty table treat when bled immediately. Again Scarborough Reef has been the pick of the spots but the mouth of the Caboolture River, Cooks Rocks and Skirmish Point at Bribie and Woody Point Jetty are also producing. Be sure to keep above the legal size limit of 35cm for tailor as quite a few just under this size have been cruising the bay.

While targeting tailor on these crisp winter mornings, anglers have been snagging good bags of bream as these opportunistic feeders have an uncanny habit of hanging around the fringes of bait schools picking off the odd struggling baitfish. During this years’ spawn, bream numbers have been awesome with most fish being quite robust in stature due to their aggressive feeding patterns around the moon phases. The pick of the spots have been, The Wells under the Ted Smout Bridge, Drury and Osbourne Points at Scarborough and North Reef at the top of the Peninsula.

Soft plastics are again the choice baits, like Gulp 3” Minnows, 2” Shrimps and Z-Man scented Shrimps. Rigging them on 1/12oz or 1/16oz TT jigheads have been a hit lately as bream have schooled in deeper waters during the cooler months.

For the lure fanatics, try Atomic Crank 38’s in deep and shallow, Smith Camion DR, Jackall Chubbies and Berkley 3B Lures. Don’t be adverse to chasing bream in shallower waters at the top of the tides as they often travel up with the tide in search of bait and crustaceans.

Flathead numbers should continue during August as this season has been quite a good one with good reports coming out of all corners of the bay. At Bribie, the most successful spots have been Mission Point, Elimbah Creek and White Patch especially on the ebbing tides with most catches coming on fresh baits, like yabbies and mullet strips. Soft plastics have also made their presence felt with Gulp 3” Minnows and Squidgy 100mm Wrigglers in bloodworm doing the damage. Also worth a try are shallow running hardbody lures like the Atomic Shad 50, Jackall Colt Minnows and ZipBaits Khamsin SR.

Other areas that have reported solid flathead catches are Margate Beach, Hays Inlet and the mouths of the Pine River and Cabbage Tree Creek, again chasing fish on the ebbing tide.

Good reports of diver whiting in the Northern Bay have been coming in with a lot of anglers being rewarded in the early morning around sunrise. Deception Bay, Nudgee Beach, Cooks Rocks and the Compass Adjustment Buoy have produce consistent numbers over the past and should continue throughout this next month before the water temperature is due to rise. Fresh bloodworms and squid strips have been the popular baits with anglers rigging two or more hooks in a paternoster style rig, which is having the most success keeping the baits off the bottom.

As we start to see the end of another winter, the Northern Bay should continue to produce great fishing and keep anglers happy. Be sure to keep an eye on bag and size limits when out enjoying your favourite pastime as it protects the environment and ensures we have fish to catch in future years. And nothing puts a bigger downer on an awesome fishing session than a huge fine!

Happy fishing.


Rhoul with a solid Redcliffe bream caught in 2ft of water.


Alan Leahey from Deception Bay picked up this healthy snapper from the foreshore at Scarborough.


This decent 58cm flathead was caught by Ben Woodford at Margate Beach.

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