A Balmy Bream Bite
  |  First Published: December 2011

Summer time is my favourite time of the year in the northern bay area of Brisbane.

Not only do we have awesome balmy fishing conditions at dawn and dusk, we also get increased activity when fishing a surface bite. Any anglers who have ever watched a fishing DVD would recall watching, rewinding and watching again some segment that shows a fish smashing a lure skipping across the surface and no matter how much you watch it, it always arouses the fishing bug in all of us. Now this is the time of year to harness that bug.

Now it’s not about just buying a surface lure and throwing it anywhere, be sure to do your homework, ask for advice, do some research and buy the right type of lure for the terrain you are likely to fish most of the day.

For example when fishing the estuaries and rivers of our northern bay like Pumicestone Passage, Caboolture River, Pine River or even Cabbage Tree Creek, you are likely to be targeting bream, flathead and whiting so be sure to use surface lures that are 30-50mm ranging from 2.5-5g weight, rigged on 4lb-8lb leader. Just big enough to entice these aggressive predators to attack but not too big to scare them out of playing the game.

While fishing these spots this time of year, you are highly likely to encounter the bruising mangrove jack at dawn and dusk bite times. Unless you are specifically targeting this rampage breed don’t fall into the trap of fishing too heavy a line and leader combination when throwing smaller and light surface lures.

Enough of the technical stuff, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of what’s going on in our wonderful bay.

Due to the increase in water temperature and eastsoutheast winds, our bay is one of those areas where on the good days you head offshore. When the wind is up then you can fall back on the inshore options, like fishing the estuaries and up rivers.

Bream seem to be the flavour of the month this time of year. Great reports have been coming out of the mouth of Ningi Creek, Donnybrook weed flats, North Reef at Scarborough, Woody Point Jetty, the Wells, the highway bridge in the Pine River, under trawler hulls in Cabbage Tree Creek and even the mouth of Nudgee Beach.

The pick of the baits have been mullet strips, chicken breast and cooked prawns and for the lure fanatics, Atomic Deep Crank 38 in ghost gill brown, Cranka Crank 35 in smoked prawn, Jackall Chubby in ayu and on the surface bite try Megabass Dog X Jr in GP avocado and Atomic Pop 50 in muddy prawn.

Soft plastics have also accounted for some good bream numbers with the standouts being Squidgy 80mm and 100mm wrigglers, Ecogear Aqua Bream Prawns 50mm and Atomic 3” Fat Grubs.

A few good reports have been still coming in on good flathead being caught around the bay with the pick of the spots being White Patch and Sandstone Point at Bribie, Bakers Flat in the Caboolture River, Queens Beach North at Scarborough and Deepwater Bend in the Pine River. Most catches have been on live baits with some duskies falling to slow rolling crank lures.

Another species making waves this time of year have been the summer whiting. Anglers in all corners of the bay have recorded good catches especially in the early mornings. Margate Beach has been a real hotspot of recent times with many anglers lining up along this beach hoping to bag a good feed of these table delights.

Other places of interest are Coochin Creek where the annual summer whiting pilgrimage has begun, Skirmish Point at Bribie and opposite the sand hills at Moreton Island.

Again bloodworms have been the popular bait by far with anglers also getting good hauls on squid strips and even shelled green prawns.

The threadfin salmon craze is also in full swing with the Brisbane River pumping with its usual antics around this time of year. Great catches of fish over a metre long have been coming out of the system thick and fast with it not being a rare occurrence of anglers pulling 7-12 fish a session. Word on the street is Jackall Mask Vibs are the ‘go to’ lure.

Mangrove jacks have also been popping up in numbers with anglers using live baits and lures to nab these cage fighters of our waterways. As awesome numbers have been coming out of the Gold Coast Canals, I wouldn’t worry about Brisbane’s systems. There has been reports of good specimens coming out of the upper reaches of the Pine River, Brisbane River (at night especially) and even the canals at Newport Waterways at Scarborough. Live baits have been the main destroyer but on the lure front, try Megabass Anthrax, Luckycraft Pointer 78XD and OSP Power Dunk.

Also with our rising water temps we have started to see a few more estuary cod appearing around the waterways which have given a lot of anglers a good fight on their hands when hooked up to one of these crevice running lure thieves.

Heavier leader and aggressive playing is certainly some ways to combat these cod before they run you back into their hole and celebrate victory over us. All reefs up and down the Redcliffe Peninsula have been holding estuary cod so be sure to get out give them a go. Try lightly weighted baits and deep diving lures to entice these fun fighters.

With the great summer days we have been experiencing (and a few rainy ones) there is always an increased number of people enjoying our waterways, so when you are out for a fish at your favourite spot during the Christmas period be sure to exercise some patience at our boat ramps and if somebody needs a hand be sure to lend one, as what they say, ‘What goes around, comes around’.

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