Flat out in August
  |  First Published: August 2011

Statistically Lake Samsonvale generally fishes well between May and October. Unfortunately the lake has been a little quiet over the past couple of months, but hopefully August will see an improvement.

For those who don’t mind a drive, Somerset and Borumba have both been fishing a little better with good numbers of sizeable bass and saratoga being caught. Look for the bass schools in the deeper parts of the dams, particularly along ledges and drop-offs. Jigging ice jigs and casting spinnerbaits are two popular methods this time of year when targeting schooling bass.

If the schooling bass are hard to find or have shut down, try casting small spinnerbaits or shallow diving lures up into the shallows. The warmer water and abundance of shelter will sometimes hold better fish. Don’t forget, the bass closure is still in force until the end of this month, and I for one have suffered bass withdrawals and am really looking forward to dusting off the kayak and hitting the creeks and rivers again.

If the bass are a no show, there’s still plenty of red claw coming from most of our local dams, however numbers are down compared to earlier in the year.


Bream fishing has been really good the last couple of months, but as the water is now fairly clear it may pay to start working the deeper parts of our rivers and creeks as Bream can become a little timid in clear water conditions. Some of the better areas for Bream have been the Pine River around the sunken barge and highway bridge pylons, Deep Water Bend and the rock ledges just up from the boat ramp at Dohles Rocks.

Recently I have had some good results by wading out and fishing from the rocks and casting small suspending type lures such as the Greedy Guts 44 or Strike Pro Pygmy. Because they suspend, I find a slow retrieval speed works well with subtle pauses and twitches.

The run-out tide has yielded the best results, but we have also had some success on the run-in tide. Other spots worth a try include the Hornibrook bridges, the Wells area and also the mouth of Cabbage Tree Creek. For the bait fishers, the best baits have been chicken gut, mullet gut, prawns and bonito pieces.

Flathead have been one of the most prominent species captured in the last month with plenty of smaller male fish being caught as well as some larger females.

August and September are prime breeding times and you will often find the larger females surrounded by several smaller male fish. Interestingly a lot of the bigger fish have come from less than 16” of water, reinforcing the fact that the flathead will venture right up into the shallows with the rising tide and move back to the edges of channels as the tide starts to recede.

Walking the sand and mud flats at low tide is an excellent way of checking out potential flathead haunts. As the fish vacate their ambush locations on the dropping tide they often leave a depression in the sand known as a flathead lie. You will sometimes find multiple depressions of various sizes in one area. The direction of the fish depressions will also give you a good indication of what part of the high tide the fish hunt in this area.

For example, if the flathead lies are facing towards the river/creek mouth then you could safely say the incoming tide would be the best time. Understanding how, when and where they feed will definitely increase your chances of encountering flathead.

Try casting small fish baits like baby blue pilchards, whitebait, herring or frogmouth pilchards up into the shallows and with a nice slow retrieve work your bait all the way back. Make the next cast to a slightly different spot to help completely cover the area.

Soft plastics are one of the easiest lures to use for cast and retrieve fishing for flathead. Cast your plastic up into the shallows and hop it down into deeper water. Ensure your jighead is heavy enough to make regular contact with the bottom; the more often your plastic makes contact with the bottom the better your chances of hooking fish.

The Bay

August is traditionally one of the best months to target larger bay snapper. Scarbough Reef, Mud Island and in particular Harry Atkinson Artificial Reef (HAAR) have all been producing reasonable numbers of smaller fish and on occasion fish around the 2-4kg mark.

Hopefully August will see better numbers of bigger fish enter the bay. By-catch may include tailor, jew, flathead, bream and school mackerel. Floating lightly weighted baits of small pilchards, bonito strips or squid is an excellent way to fish an area like HAAR, where the chances of getting snagged are high. (For more info about HAAR see fact box.)

Tailor are around, but have been a little hard to locate. Small schools have been popping up all over the place, but their presence has been a bit erratic and tend they to be here one day and gone the next.

Scarborough Reef, the mouth of the Brisbane River and the lower reaches of the Bribie Passage have all produced some decent, albeit patchy tailor catches.

At the Tackle Shop we are continually expanding our range. We now have a lot of new products in store at very competitive prices. Also, we still have one of the largest ranges of quality fresh and frozen baits in Brisbane. Our business hours are from 5.30am-6pm Monday to Friday, Saturday from 4am-6pm and Sunday 4am-4pm.

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 happyto help.


Harry Atkinson Artificial Reef

The Harry Atkinson Artificial Reef was established in 1975 and over its first five years more than 17,000 tyres were deployed. In 1987, 200 shopping trolleys were placed on the reef, however the sinking of the Tiwi Pearl has more than triple its size. Diving is not permitted on the reef.

The exact coordinates of where the Tiwi Pearl was sunk are:

Latitude 27° 24.404’S Longitude 153° 18.386’E

Latitude 27° 24.604’S Longitude 153° 18.411’E

Studying flathead lies at low tide can give great tips as to where and how to fish for them when the tide comes in.

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