Lizards lure us to water
  |  First Published: September 2011

With the great weather that we have had over the last month I’m sure that plenty of us have spent quite a bit of time on the water. It wasn’t only the weather that got us out on the water; there has been a good variety of fish on offer too.

With the tailor turning up in good numbers and some big salmon with fish reported up to the 80cm mark, there is plenty of fun to be had on light gear.

During August I was lucky enough to go fishing with Sean Conlon from Moreton Bay Charters. Sean is one of the only charter operators that operates in Moreton Bay, from the ledges up around Bulwer to the sand banks and weed beds down around Jumpinpin. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced angler that just wants to learn more about fishing Moreton Bay then I would definitely recommend giving Sean a call.

With the weather forecast not in our favour and winds predicted to be 20-25knots from the southwest, our plan was to chase some flathead and bream around some of the southern bay islands and the Logan River. When targeting flathead on the flats you want to be looking for areas where the water is draining off sandbanks and weed beds. The fish will be lying in these areas on the falling tide waiting for baitfish to ambush. If there is baitfish flickering around on the surface then you expectations should be high.

Our first spot looked quite fishy with flathead lies everywhere on the bottom and fish darting out from underneath the boat, however this only accounted for one fish around the 45cm mark. After about an hour we made the move across to the other side of the channel between Pannikin and Garden Island.

We spent some time casting up in to the shallows on the edge of the sand bank with no results we began casting out into the edge of the channel and that is where the fish were sitting. This was by far our most productive spot, with 10 or so flathead coming from one small area and all on the Gulp 3” Shrimp in the garlic prawn colour and mango ripple.

When chasing flathead it is so important that your lure or soft plastic is regularly making contact with the bottom. If you are fishing slightly deeper water and you aren’t in contact with the bottom then you won’t catch your target species.

For the day we ended up landing 15 flathead all between the 40-60cm range and some nice bream to the 30cm mark on Cranka cranks. It was a great day out chasing some of our bread and butter species around the southern bay islands and a reminder that you don’t have to travel big distances to catch good fish. If you are interested in a charter you can contact Sean on 0433 732 310.

For those who are still interested in chasing some tuna throughout September they are in good numbers just out the back of the South Passage Bar. In these schools they are mainly mac tuna but the odd long tail were mixed in among the schools as well.

Targeting these fish can often be quite frustrating as they are very fast moving and very fussy about the size of the offerings you are casting at them. Chrome slugs in the 7-14g range would be my first lure of choice as they are generally similar size to the bait that the tuna are feeding on.

Always line your drift up wind of the school as tuna always feed into the wind. Not only do the fish move towards you but it allows you to have the wind at your back so that your casting distance is increased.

The mistake that many anglers make when they are chasing tuna is that they get overly excited about seeing fish feeding on the surface that they drive straight towards the school of fish and in turn spook the fish. Taking a little longer to drive a wide berth around the school so you are up wind of the fish will give you more chance of getting within casting distance of the fish. Tuna also get use to the noise of the outboard so a little tip is to leave your outboard running instead of turning it off as that sudden change in noise quite often spooks the fish down.

Just a quick reminder that the new snapper bans start from September 1. So keep this in mind when chasing a snapper or two. If you have any queries or questions on anything that I have written in this month column, please don’t hesitate to come down and see us at Fish Head in the Victoria Point Town Centre.

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