Sun, Sweat and Sizeable Fish
  |  First Published: October 2011

It’s that time of year folks where the weather starts to heat up, and the fishing follows suit.

Spring is a wonderful time to fish the northern bay because produces excellent catches across all corners of this vast arena.

Over the last few months we have had a great run of flathead around the bay, making this year one of the best seasons we’ve had for a long time. This trend will continue into the warmer months with good reports still coming out of the upper reaches of the Pine River and throughout the Pumicestone Passage.

Catches of flatties around the 55-60cm have also been reported along the foreshore of Clontarf and Margate Beach with some good specimens still being caught on the inside of Scarborough Reef.

The pick of the baits has been mullet strips and the lure fanatics have been bagging some great catches on Atomic Shad 50s, Jackall Colt Minnows and Ecogear SX43Fs. When using plastics, it’s hard to go past the 100mm Squidgie Wriggler in bloodworm or lava or the Atomic 3” Prong in clear copper flake.

Another species that should fire up over this month should be the ever trusty bream. After a long deep water bite over our winter it has been great to see cracker bream being caught in shallower waters of late. Areas of interest are North Reef and Osbourne Reef at Scarborough, Cook’s Rocks at Sandstone Point and even the eastern side of Woody Point Jetty before the Green Zone.

Best times to fish these areas is on the rising tide at early dawn or at dusk. The bream scavenge the shallows looking for baitfish and crustaceans to satisfy their insatiable appetites. Lures and lightly weighted plastics seem to be doing the bulk of the damage with the best lures being Atomic Crank 38s in ghost gill brown and Jackall Chubbys in clear shrimp. On the plastics front try the new Ecogear Aqua Bream prawn and the ever trusty 2” Gulp Baby Shrimp. Be sure to keep your jigheads light to ensure a slower sink rate but not too light that you sacrifice distance in your cast.

Over the last month there have been reports of good sized jew being caught in the Brisbane and Pine Rivers and around North Reef at Scarborough. I was fortunate enough to hook one of these beauties whilst fishing for bream and after a long and tiring battle - due to a 3lb leader - it was great to land such a wonderful fighting fish.

The presence of mulloway over the last few months can be credited to the cracker prawn season that has graced our northern bay this year and with a hot, wet summer on the cards who knows what’s in store for us in the future.

Tailor catches are still being recorded around our bay with the pick of the hotspots being Castlereagh Reef and along the foreshore at Queens Beach. The main bait used to snag these toothy speedsters has been pilchard halves and for the lure anglers try using 50-60mm jerkbaits; they are known to fire the tailor up. Jerkbaits like Smith DD Panish 65F, and Daiwa Double Clutches are ideal. Using a twitch-twitch-pause retrieve will be sure to entice any tailor into feeding so be sure to give it a try.

Though numbers of legal snapper are decreasing as our summer approaches, good catches are still being recorded around the bay especially in open waters. South of Scott’s Point green zone and outside North Reef at Scarborough have been productive of late but don’t be afraid to change your method of attack as the weather heats up. When fishing with baits keep them weighted lighter than you would normally during winter as snapper are known to feed in shallow waters during the summer months. Lightly weighted baits stay in the strike zone for much longer therefore increasing your chances of snapper attacking it on the drop.

Sand crabs should start appearing on the radar as the water temperature rises, so it might pay to set a few pots whilst heading out for a fish. Be sure to keep your pot floats clearly visible and have all the adequate information as stated on the DPI website. It’s also worth having a sneak peak through the DPI website as it’s a good way to refresh your memory of the fishing rules and regulations that are ever changing.

Also with the warmer weather comes a marked increase in boating activity in our beautiful waterways. Ensure you exercise caution and patience when out on the water over this month so everyone enjoys their day out in the sun. Until next month happy fishing.

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