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Feel the heat
  |  First Published: February 2013



How good is this weather? Yes we have had the occasional rainy day and windy weekend but on a whole the days have been favourable for anglers.

As we punch through the steamy summer, fishing has been quite good throughout the Northern Bay with the staple species of bream, sand whiting and flathead showing us the value of a day out on the water.

Offshore has also been fruitful for the adventurous anglers with cobia, mahi mahi and small black marlin hitting the decks with high frequency, showing us baitfish have been holding well in the bay.

During the start of the summer we experienced plenty of northeasterly winds that had quite an effect on the Northern Bay, as it pushed all the bait schools down to the south. During this last month we have had our seasonal east/southeastly winds blowing again, which has fired up the bay and brought back the much needed food to the northern waters.

BREAM

A reliable indication for increased bait schools in an area is usually the presence of bream, both big and small. The Redcliffe Peninsula has shown better than average numbers of bream with good consistency of sizes around 27-28cm fork length. Many of these have been roaming in packs of 6-8 so be sure to remove your hooked fish quickly as there is a high chance you may be on again.

Chicken breast and peeled prawns have been the most successful bait this summer for bream. A lot of anglers are also getting good hauls on hardbody lures like Atomic Shiner 45, Cranka Crank Deep and Ecogear CX35HS. Transparent colours have been working a treat as water clarity has been quite good.

The Peninsula hasn’t been the only place firing with bream with the estuaries showing good form of late; especially the Pine and Caboolture rivers and the Pumicestone Passage.

The Pine and Caboolture rivers have been working better on the incoming tide with the bream chasing bait up into the rivers and amongst the mangroves. This is quite a contrast from the Pumicestone Passage, which has been firing on the receding tide.

It is also a good time to take advantage of the many creek mouths in the Passage as anchoring at these mouths can ambush fish on the move. Light sinkers with baits and deep diving crankbaits can ensure your presentation remains in the strike zone for longer.

SAND WHITING

Sand whiting numbers have been nice and steady at this time of year and should continue while the hot weather remains.

White Patch, sand flats outside Toorbul and the surf side around Skirmish Point have been the pick of the spots up at Bribie Island with bloodworm and squid strips being best baits.

While fishing the surf, pipis are definitely worth a try with the off chance you may even snag some good dart in your ventures. Remember to rig red plastic tubing through your line near your hook as this acts as a good fascinator to these delectable table fish.

FLATHEAD

I love this time of year as you can pretty much guarantee you are going to encounter lizards somewhere in the Northern Bay by fishing estuaries and inshore waters. We don’t quite breed them as big as the southern coast waters but we do commonly encounter numbers around the 60-70cm mark.

Fast flowing tidal areas with swirling waters are a perfect backdrop to hooking good lizards so be on the lookout at your local fishing hole; anchoring up is the best option.

Live poddy mullet, herring or mullet strips are loved by flathead this time of year with soft plastics being a great option for the lure fanatics. 3” Gulp Minnows, 3” Atomic Plazo Prongs and 2.5” Z-Man Grubz rate high on the agenda with brighter colours catching the eyes of these bottom feeders. Try a 1/8oz or 1/12oz jighead with a size 1 or 1/0.

SAND and MUD CRABS

Sand crabs are still on the haul in the Northern Bay with pots littered in great numbers in the usual hot spots. White Patch and the mouth of the Pumicestone Passage have been the pick of the spots at Bribie, with Deception Bay and Bramble Bay producing good numbers around the Peninsula.

Muddies have been on the move with the occasional rainy days, so target the drop-offs around the mouth of Ningi and Elimbah creeks, Donnybrook boat ramp, upper reaches of the Pine River and the middle reaches of Cabbage Tree Creek around the trawler moorings.

Mixed catches have been reported out of the Northern Bay all summer long with anglers even encountering small snapper, estuary cod, grunter, mangrove jack, tailor and even golden trevally in the most random spots. This is an awesome sign as it shows there are holding bait schools in the area, which should continue into the cooler change in months to come.

So the moral of this story is ‘get out on the water, ASAP!’

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