Rain, Hail or Shine
  |  First Published: February 2012

We have had four seasons in one day lately, something we just need to live with and fish with.

Some of our best fishing sessions have been in very poor weather conditions, not to mention soaking wet. The upside of fishing in poor conditions is that there tends to be very little traffic on the water and this is a big plus for me.

Grunter bream have been the talk of the town with the average size being 1kg and a few reaching 2kg, these guys pull quite hard but don’t upsize your gear to stop them as they become very shy. Keep your line size down to a maximum of 10lbs and your lead as light as the tide will permit, so you can just enjoy the great fight.

I’ve had reports of anglers landing five or more fish in 3ft of water at the top of the tides off Shag Island, Goat Island, Bullock Creek and at the mouth of Poverty Creek.

Yellowfin bream have been caught in numbers around the pontoons of Pacific Harbour, Bribie Island and Pelican Waters, Caloundra, off the Caloundra boardwalk and the Blue Hole. The mouth of Ningi Creek is holding its fair share of bream, mainly around the creek mouth. Dunlops Gutter has also fished well for bream and grunter bream.

Flathead have been around in poor numbers but the size is good when you do eventually hook one. Catching a flattie at the moment is a lot of work, best left for the highly dedicated angler with heaps of time and energy for lots of lure flicking.

Plastics will give you best results: 3-5” Gulps will work, or Atomic Prongs and Z-Mans. The gutter on the northern side of Tonys Gutter should be holding flathead and the mouths of Bullock and Glassy creeks.

Jew and small snapper are around but in low numbers. At this time of year it’s a necessity to measure your catch as the majority are just, if not barely, legal. If you target them hard enough you will encounter big fish eventually but they are few and far between.

Best to angle this species on very light tackle in the dying light of day. Live hearing, live gar or soft plastics are my bait of choice for these guys.

I like to persevere with the soft plastics as I know these two species can’t resist a well-presented soft plastic lightly twitched in front of their nose. Use small, light twitches or hops to bring the lure back to the boat slowly in the same direction as the flow or current, as they lay and wait for food with their nose heading into the current waiting in gear ready to pounce on anything that comes close. In my experience they don’t like to use up too much energy chasing food, so I suggest getting it in their face.

Estuary cod and jacks have been busting anglers off on a regular basis and the old bull shark is doing its fair share of damage as well. These guys take some stopping at the best of time, but they can be stopped with a bit of luck and lot of muscle.

You need to beat them at their own game by doing what they do – hit hard and don’t be nice because nice guys never win, especially when chasing these dirty fighters. Bells Creek, Coochin Creek, Hussy Creek and Caboolture River are the target areas of my choice and stick to chasing them around fallen timber.

Whiting have been thick around Roys, Military Jetty, Caloundra and the surrounding sandbanks. If that doesn’t produce fish try Red Beach at the southern end of Bribie Island using beachworms and ultra light gear. Keep your line around 4-6lb and minimal lead.

These fish have been very good size, just remember that if they are only just legal, it’s always best to let them swim away unharmed as they will shrink up to 1-3cm on the ice. Remember this happens to all fish, not just whiting. A ticket from the fisheries for an under size fish will make for an expensive day on the water and one that could be easily avoided.

The crabs have been around, which means the thieves have been doing their thing and unfortunately there is nothing we can do about it but keep a good eye on your pots. Thieves will pinch pots, crabs and what I have found lately is they will pinch your crabs and cut huge holes in the pots deeming them useless – talk about making your blood boil.

If you are willing to man your pots, the chances are you will catch a nice feed of sandies or muddies. If I had to pick, I would chase the sandies down around the Bribie Bridge and south into the bay. Neds gutter and the Avon wreck, both just north of the Bribie bridge are also producing some good crabs.

There has been a few good muddies in the canals and high up in the creek systems.

Just a note to take on board is that the fisheries patrol have the same power as the Water Police and they are policing the passage consistently and doing a great job – thanks guys.

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