Extra jacket worth it
  |  First Published: July 2012

As we forge our way through another typical Queensland winter, it has been a great time to take advantage of the vast variety of fishing grounds we have in our great Northern Bay.

Whether its chasing flathead in the upper reaches of the Pumicestone Passage or chancing your arm at some longtail tuna in open waters, there’s no excuse not to take advantage of our beautiful, crisp winter mornings. As the mercury has headed south over the past weeks, the fishing has continued to heat up with great reports filtering through of happy anglers being rewarded for their brave efforts.

Snapper have been the biggest talking point of the cooler months as fish numbers have gained momentum as winter has progressed. Snapper hotspots of late have been the Brisbane River, Scarborough, Woody Point and Mud Island.

Brisbane River has produced consistent snapper numbers over the last few months with majority of the anglers having success on soft plastics and soft vibe style lures.

Outstanding plastics this winter have been 6” Atomic Plazos Jerk Minnows in ghost pearl and radioactive rooster colours, Z Man 5” Streakz in black neon and Gulp 5” Jerk Shads with pumpkinseed. Jighead weight selection has been dependant on tidal flow throughout the river. Anglers have found 1/8–1/4oz weights enough to cover all bases as it allows your plastic to get to the bottom in most applications.

Another lure accounting for its far share of snapper numbers has been the Jackall Transam. This 95mm, 20g lure has caught the attention of several fish of late with a speedy twitch-twitch-pause style retrieve reaping the most rewards.

Another species keeping us estuary anglers on our toes have been the trusty flathead. Cruising shallow waters looking for food, hanging below bait schools and ambushing prey on tidal run-offs are all in a days work for the humble flathead so targeting these areas in estuaries can make a dull day’s fishing into a fruitful one.

Pumicestone passage has been alive with flathead this month with anglers having success at White Patch, the mouth of Glasshouse Creek and Gallaghers Gutter. Also worth a try on the ebbing tide are the sand flats along Sylvan Beach and across the passage near Turners Camp Road. Places of interest closer to Brisbane for flathead have been the upper reaches of the Pine River, mouth of the Cabbage Tree Creek and even the mouth of Bald Hills Creek.

As baits like mullet strips, peeled green prawns and whitebait have been popular and a good number of anglers have been hooking good flathead on soft plastics and hardbody lures. Squidgy 100mm wrigglers, Atomic Plazos 3” Prongs and Z Man 4” Curly Tailz have been the pick of the plastics with the popular hardbody lures being Jackall Chubbys, Atomic Hardz Crank 38 Deep and Ecogear MW72F.

The retrieve on your plastics should be aimed around a hop-hop-pause pattern allowing the stalking predator time to catch up with your presentation. This differs slightly with a hardbody lure retrieve, which needs to be slow rolled as the lures action and rattle will keep the hungry fish interested.

Bream numbers have been awesome around this month as they are well and truly hitting their straps smack in the middle of their annual spawning cycle. During early mornings and on dusk, bream have been feeding up in the shallows, however once the sun is high in the sky they are seeking the refuge of the deeper waters and the security of large schools to continue their spawn. Aiming your attack on these patterns gives you a better chance of producing a good catch as numbers are less spread out but more concentrated this time of year.

Hardbody lures have produced the goods in the shallower waters this month with varying retrieve patterns being the key. The bream’s aggression towards attacking lures declines as water temperatures drop. Adding pauses and subtle twitches to your retrieve can keep bream interested in your lures as these aggressive pack hunters can become a little flighty this time of year.

Success has come over the last few weeks on lures like Atomic Hardz Crank 38 in muddy prawn, ghost silver and ghost brown Shad, and Ecogear CX35HS in 524 and 533 colours. Using light leaders around 3lb or 4lb has matched well but be sure keep a sharp eye out for another toothy lure stealer that is prominent this time of year; a tailor can turn your fishing expedition into an expensive one.

A few squid have shown up around the Redcliffe Peninsula lately and catches should increase this month as the water temperature drops. We can only pray that water clarity stays good, as squid prefer cleaner waters around rocky points to ambush their prey. Woody Point and Redcliffe jetties have been producing squid at nights especially those with low wind and low temperatures. So rug up and experience some of the exceptional fishing on offer this month.

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