Cracker sessions for the coming year
  |  First Published: December 2011

If 2011 was any indication of the piscatorial patterns for the future then we should be in for cracker sessions this year.

Last year started out with less than ideal conditions due to flooding throughout our northern bay but as people spent the year recovering from this natural disaster, anglers were the biggest winners.

The SEQ floods of 2011 were just the catalyst that the northern bay needed as waters flushed out baitfish and other crustaceans into the mouths of our creeks creating whole new feeding cycles for the areas. These cycles have bought a marked increase of bigger predators in our waters and this trend has continued through to this year.

Jewfish and threadfin salmon numbers have continued through the summer months with the Brisbane River continuing its run as we experienced in the spring months. Numbers have not been as thick and fast as the cooler months but good reports have still been coming in. Jackall Mask Vibs, TN60s, Megabass Vibration-X Smatra and 6” Z-Man SwimmerZ have been the pick of the lures with live pike being the choice of the bait fishers.

During the Christmas period many anglers have been on the trail of the delectable summer whiting. These feisty fighters have been a family favourite for years not only for their taste but they are great fun for kids to catch and handling whiting can be easy for even the most delicate hands.

The upper reaches of Pumicestone Passage, Cooks Rocks flats, Red Beach, Suttons Beach at Redcliffe and the mouth of Nudgee Beach have all reported good bags of whiting of late with the area outside the sandhills of Moreton Island experiencing its annual whiting fiesta with anglers being rewarded for their longer journeys. Bloodworms have accounted for majority of the good bags with anglers also having luck with squid strips.

On the estuary front, mangrove jack have been the talk of the month with many anglers nabbing these toothy barbarians at dusk and dawn. With hardbody lures often being the first choice of most fishos, soft plastics like 3”Atomic Prongs, 3” Z-Man Shrimpz and 3” Gulp Shrimp have also been fishing well. Be sure to upgrade those leaders, as it’s a hell of a ride.

Good numbers of flathead have still been appearing of late with anglers scoring great catches around the Bribie region. White Patch, the mouth of Glasshouse Creek and the drop-offs around Toorbul have yielded great success but further south the spots to target have been the mouth of Cabbage Tree Creek, Dohles Rocks, The Wells and Woody Point jetty. Squidgy Wrigglers in bloodworm, wasabi and lava in 100mm lengths have been popular with the flathead over these warmer months, with a twitch-twitch-pause retrieve doing the trick. Be sure to also give Atomic 3” Prongs a go this summer as their swimming action is enough to tempt any dusky on the prowl.

Bream numbers have been consistently good throughout the festive season and are set to continue into the start of this year. Although they have been caught in all corners of our bay, the pick of the spots are Cooks Rocks, the mouth of Ningi Creek and Lime Pocket up in the Bribie area; North Reef, The Wells, Osbourne Point and Queens Beach in the Peninsula area; Trawler Hulls in Cabbage Tree Creek; and Shorncliffe Jetty and the rock wall along the mouth of the Brisbane River in the southern region.

Other areas in the Brisbane River worth a go are the rock walls between Pinkenba Boat ramp and the BP refinery and the flats outside Royal Queensland Golf Course on the top of the tide. Hardbody lures are the anglers’ choice with the list of the usual suspects doing the damage, Atomic Crank 38, Jackall Chubby, Berkley 3B Fat Dog, Bassday Sugarpen (for surface bites), Atomic Shad 50 and Pontoon 21 Crackjack 48SP.

Be sure to keep your leader strength dependent on the water’s clarity when chasing these aggressive feeders, as clean waters may require downsizing to 2-4lb to ensure your catch rate remains high. For dirtier waters, heavier leaders are less of a problem due to clarity not being an issue.

Here’s a tip: thinly coat your hardbody lures with fish attracting scents like S-Factor or Megastrike to increase your bream numbers as it can often keep them on the lure chase for a little longer, thus decreasing bream from being spooked.

As we kick off another year of angling, all signs are pointing towards a cracker season. A little storm activity, balmy days and a little bit of rain does our northern bay the world of good as we have awesome creeks feeding out around the area.

On the sunny days be sure to hit the upper reaches of all our creeks as fish have had a tendency to be widespread. After rain concentrate your fishing to the mouths and opened waters as fish will shy from the fresh seeking waters with high salinity.

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