Early morning starts in darkness are becoming all that more common over the last few weeks which is telling us that winter is in the not too distant future.
Over the last month our beautiful northern bay has been a pleasure to fish with some consistent weather letting anglers get out of the estuaries and into open waters to chase seasonal pelagics and your common cooler weather fish.
Bait schools have shown greater presence around the bay of late which tends to increase the number of larger predators cruising in the area looking for a feed. Be sure to keep an eye out for these schools as concentrating your attack around them can pay off. Your bread and butter species like bream, flathead and tailor will certainly be cruising the immediate area.
Bream have been reported in good numbers and quality in all corners of the bay. Hotspots have been The Wells under the Ted Smout Bridge, the southern side of Redcliffe Jetty, reef bommies outside Osbourne Point and the ever trusty North Reef.
Also worth a try are areas throughout the Pumicestone Passage including weed flats near Shag Island, Little Goat Island at Donnybrook and Elimbah Creek.
Lightly weighted plastics like 2” Atomic Jerk Minnows, 80mm Squidgy Wrigglers and 2.5” Z-Man Grubz have been a big hit along this area with most anglers opting for heavier leaders to combat bust-offs.
Another species in good numbers throughout the Brisbane River has been the estuary cod. With a legal size of 38cm, many anglers have come face to face with a legal fish over the past month as water temps have only slightly lowered as summer draws to a close.
Live baiting has been the pick of techniques to snag one of these brutes, with soft plastics also providing great results. The pick of the plastics would be the Z-Man 4” Swimmerz in gizzard shad colour and 3” Atomic Prongs in shrimp core colour.
Table size snapper have been prevalent throughout the Redcliffe Peninsula and are set to continue through to the cooler months. North Reef at Scarborough and the mouth of the Brisbane River have recorded the best catches with some anglers encountering them around Woody Point and Garnet Rock.
Dawn and dusk have been the pick of the times to chase these delectable delights with most anglers scoring their fish on fresh baits. For the lure fanatics try longer profile 50-70mm suspending lures as their pausing feature gives snapper time to attack it as it would attack injured baitfish. Lures worth trying are Jackall Squirrel 61, Bassday Sugar Deep 70SP and Luckycraft Pointer 48DD.
Another aggressive feeder that will pop up soon is the tailor. This toothy speedster has been known to slice through bait schools causing quite the surface commotion and can often be seen while waiting for your next bite. It may pay to have a chrome slice rigged with heavier 12-15lb leader onboard as first sight of a fleeing bait school within cast’s distance could produce your next dinner. As an abundance of bait schools will hold throughout our northern bay more tailor will be caught as we head towards cooler weather.
Summer whiting are still decreasing in numbers over the past month and eventually these bigger sand scavengers soon will give way to their little brother, the diver whiting.
As temperatures slowly fall, expect the Compass Adjustment Buoy, Deception Bay and Skirmish Point to start to fire over the next month with the pick of the baits being the humble bloodworms rigged on long-shank hooks. For beginners out there use 8/0 Gamakatsu long shank hooks or 6/0 Mustad Bloodworm hooks, rigged on a swivel and light ball sinker with a minimum 30cm leader. This allows your bait to move in the current maximizing ground coverage to entice these bottom feeders.
We have certainly had our fair share of climatic ups and downs over the summer but I believe this will lead us into an awesome fishing winter with the abundance of bait building throughout the bay. Lets keep our fingers crossed that April is a great stepping stone into winter.Reads: 2305