‘Hit and miss’ is the message I’m getting from almost every angler I speak to, but hopefully this month will see the water temps rise considerably and the better reports will flow.
The flathead are around but the size is not up there where I would normally expect it to be for this time of year. If you put in the miles and do the hard yards you will catch a good solid feed of average size fish. The majority of fish being captured seem to be coming in at 45-55cm, which is a great size for the table but you won’t be bragging about it when you get to work on Monday.
Flathead have mainly been taken on the humble old soft plastic. They’ve been a bit slow to react to the hardbodies for some reason, it might be there’s a little bit too much boat traffic – I’m not sure why, but they seem to play the game a lot better mid week.
November should see a few grunter bream start to show up. The bream fisher using bait will love this month as they are taken with the same tactics as the grunter; light line and ultra fresh bait like yabbies, slab mullet, chook gut or prawns. They also hang in the same areas, such as structure, shelly banks and weedy drop-offs. A couple of spots that standout are the mouth of Glassy Creek and the mouth of Bells Creek.
As the water warms the bream will become smaller and fewer as a rule, but the grunter will do the exact opposite.
The whiting should fire up and be a main target for a lot of anglers. Just remember these guys only eat yabbies or worms, or for the very dedicated surface poppers in clear colours.
Whiting should be wide spread throughout the Passage. The mouth of Elimbah Creek is a cracking spot to start your hunting as it holds fish and is accessible to most craft within minutes from Donnybrook or Toorbul boat ramps.
Ningi Creek is firing up as well from the mouth to well up past the powerlines. Bribie surfside from Red Beach right to the northern tip is holding good numbers of summer whiting and is a rewarding adventure for the whole family, so don’t forget the kids.
Snapper are very rare at the moment, the chances of tangling with decent size girls are gone as they head for deeper, cooler waters outside of the passage. The deeper reefs outside are where you need to be if you want some fun on the knobbies.
The old hard hitting, fast running, high jumping, get your blood pumping queenfish should be a target species this month and coming months. Live baits such as hearing, mullet and gar, large surface poppers or trolled hardbodies should trick these guys.
Anywhere there is high concentrations of bait, and you see any signs of erratic nervous bait movement, start plugging it with a surface popper. Chances are you will come up tight on a queenie or a trevally, either one will do they both pull hard, test your gear and angler skill level to the max. The pontoons around Caloundra and the boardwalk always yield a few queenfish around this time of year.
The old muddies have been a bit shy, reports have been ones and twos and not much better. In saying that, they have been full from shell to shell, top quality. I find when they are as full as they are at the moment you need to boil them for a couple of extra minutes and add some extra salt to the water – 15-18 minutes is the cooking time after the water returns to the boil. Add salt to your own liking but I recommend three to four handfuls of sea salt to 10L of water. Never boil crabs in pre-used crab cooking water, new water with every pot of crabs boiled for the best results.
Dolphins, dugongs and turtles have been very active throughout the system lately putting in appearance all over from Bribie to Mission Point so slow down and take it all in, everyday on the water is a top day.
The Ice Box Bloke fish filleting table being put to use on a few pan size duskies. This table is gold!
Average size Passage whiting taken on live worms.
A duskie taken from the weed banks off Toorbul on soft plastics.
Olivia Edwards with a decent slatey bream from the southern end of Bribie Island taken land-based on plastic.Reads: 798