Moreton Bay through December has been a mixed bag of pelagic reef fish and our more standard species we regularly expect, such as jew, bream and whiting.
Tuna provide great sport this time of year and these drag busters are suckers for tiny offerings in the form of slugs and plastics. Slugs often come in a large range of weights and on the lighter side 10-30g is a good start. Colour is personal choice but flash factor is a must for this type of lure.
Plastics can be cut down to size and matched with suitably weighted jig heads to attain maximum casting distance. A high speed retrieve is always the best, for tuna in Moreton Bay, whether they are on the surface or further down in the water column.
Some areas worth mentioning are the Rous Channel, Middle Banks and Northern Bay of Redcliffe. Mud lsland is plugging along with some nice cod around the 3-4kg mark, a good size for the table. Spottie and school mackerel are about with the Bribie coast in the thick of it on bait and artificials.
The coast on the inside of Moreton lsland has produced a great run of flathead right across its size range lately and we can only hope this continues. The Brisbane River is still going strong with threadfin and snapper becoming a popular target.
Fishing in the freshwater is still all good, natives continue to be active and redclaws are plentiful. Dams continue to fish well with bass, goldens and silver perch all feeding readily in a variety of locations
Plastics are getting more and more popular in freshwater angling as a huge range of products are aimed in this direction. When jigging for bass in deep water with plastics, a paddletail is always good as these guys swim on the way down as well as on retrieve. Watch your slack line on the sink to make sure you don't get hit unaware.
Local rivers and creeks are great places to be this time of year with a lot of our native plants and trees flowering and producing some stunning scenery while we practice our sport. As short sharp storms are common around now, make use of these events by fishing in the fast rise and drop in water that occurs with them.
On days when the water has been dirtied with sediment go to the surface in the backwaters for a try if your normal tactics are not working.
North Pine Dam is fishing exceptionally well and is fast becoming a north side icon for trophy bass and therehas also been more reports of quality togas in recent years. It’s great to have such a fruitful fishery so close to us.
South East Queensland continues to provide all our expected species including some great catches of crabs. Mud cabs attract a lot of attention through January and if December is any indication things are looking good.
Pumicestone Passage and its vast network of feeder creeks provide good open and small water crabbing. A few tips to remember:
1. Keep your bait secure in the centre of a trap.
2. Place the bait in a container or cage to protect it against those powerful claws.
3. Pay attention to the location of your pots in relation to boat traffic.
4. Use additional weight if required in a fast current.
5. Make sure all your traps are marked in accordance fisheries regulations.
Baits for crabs vary and many types can be used. Mullet and fish frames will do nicely but chicken carcases are also effective and easily obtained.
Sand crabs are in good numbers during January and provide plenty of fun for family outings, Sand crabs are also a good introduction for children before moving on to their larger cousins.
When handling crabs you can never be too careful, even small crabs need to be shown respect. lf you are just learning this type of fishing a good, safe way to handle your catch is straight from pots to an esky or container of icy sea water, this will soon calm, them down for packing or tying.
Offshore fishing is ticking all the boxes with good catches of wahoo. Spanish mackerel, cobia and kings are forming the bulk of most top water catches, with the outside coast of Moreton lsland doing particularly well.
Amberjack are a good target for this month and most anglers who encounter this fish will agree it's a dirty fighter from the moment they're hooked which only adds to its appeal. Fish baits and knife jigs will do the job nicely for amberjacks. In open water, trolling is a standard move for a lot of us around now so take care when approaching other craft as long distances from the boat is preferred by some anglers.
Sailfish and marlin can trolling can pop up unexpectedly when trolling for other species and great care needs to be taken if you are not familiar with this type of fish. These fish are responsible for many injuries to anglers over the years and if you're not experienced in handling these magnificent creatures, a release at waterline is best for the fish and angler.
Seek proper advice when dealing with these guys as they are a dangerous animal. Large schools of mac tuna and bonito can be encountered offshore. While they are regarded as a pests by some, they can still be fantastic fun on light gear, particularly for kids. Not only are they a great sport but they are even better bait for all types for fishing.Reads: 1006