Early morning sessions on the water have been quite cool, but the fishing has been spectacular! Many days we’ve enjoyed glassed out conditions until midday, with a number of delectable species willing to take our offerings.
Bream are the talk of the town, and for good reason. They are out in great numbers and the size is good. Most of the fish are being taken on slabbed baits, mullet, chicken, gar and I’ve been told by one of the old locals is bullock heart soaked overnight in tuna oil. One thing I’ve learnt in my time is that if an old local starts talking about fishing, you listen.
The same man swears by berley and heaps of it. Berley is a personal thing with anglers preferring anything from chook pellets soaked in tuna oil to minced fish frames. Put good bait and berley together with light gear, a stealthy approach and patience and you’ll have yourself a good tight line session on the water. Bream are great table fish as well if you want to chuck a couple on the ice.
The lures have been snagging their fair share, with a lot of the gun anglers choosing small light blades in brown or gold colours. The lure fanatics have been targeting the bridge pillars on the slack tide and the pontoons at Caloundra and Bribie on the flooding tide.
As for that old local, I couldn’t get a location out of him but from what I can work out they are almost everywhere. The young anglers have been doing the job on boat ramps and jetties while the kayakers tell me hard up in the mangroves on high tide with small crank baits and poppers is very effective in winter.
Whiting haven’t been a bad target either; everywhere I go someone has got a few whiting to show off. Some anglers cleaning their catch at the fish cleaning facilities at Donnybrook had a swag of them – nice work boys. They weren’t giving out any info but I suggest they didn’t go too far and a lot of the time they don’t need to. That being said, I know Roys, Hussey and Coochin have been fishing really well.
Flathead are getting stronger with every fishing session. Caloundra the bar to the mouth of Bells Creek will be the July hotspot. The boardwalk anglers love this month as they get great opportunities to catch a big haul of fish.
Use soft plastics or small live baits on light tackle on sun up or sun down, ensuring you take a net as some of these fish can get quite large and irate at the sight of humans; you’ve been warned. The grassy drop offs around the southern end of the Passage will be holding good numbers; just pick a bank and pepper the main drop off area.
Snapper have been around in good numbers, mainly under the Bridge and southwards into the Bay. All the fish I’ve seen have been taken on soft plastics, but you can be sure pilchards would be taking their quota as well.
Jew have shown up in the passage in numbers but as per usual there weren’t any of great size. I did get some inside information that a few big fish have been landed but not on a regular basis. This makes them very hard to target successfully; however makes it a great challenge for those who are dedicated and the rewards are well worth it.
The yellow tail pike will be thick all through the passage in July and the months proceeding. These guys are great fun for the kids and even better for bait. I’ve heard of a few guys trying to eat them – I say don’t bother as they are disgustingly fishy and only good for bait.
The easiest way to catch them is to grab yourself a couple of bait jigs from your local tackle shop, making sure you grab the heavier line jigs as these guys will chew you off with their great set of dentures. An alternative to a bait jig is to use a small red chemically sharpened hook similar to what you would use for whiting and wrap a small piece of foil around the shank; it works a treat.
July is the main month to target tailor in the passage as they are schooled up in large numbers from the Bribie bridge north up through the Passage to Mission Campground. Stick to the main channel as they travel up and down it hunting for food. Chrome slugs and poppers are the fastest way to get your bag limits as they bust the surface. If they go to ground you may need to turn to bait. If you don’t do bait, just fish your slugs deeper and slower with fast burns off the bottom then letting it sink; sometimes this can aggravate them into a bite.
The sand crabs are back in good numbers and size from Toorbul south to the Bridge and into the Bay. You can’t beat a good feed of these guys. Just recently I was catching them on live bait meant for flathead; you know they’re thick when they hunt your live baits down and devour them like nothing.
Enjoy, and have fun out there!Reads: 987