February means calm hot days with a lot less boat traffic. Now school has gone back, it’s time to get serious and hook in. The main target, like last month, has been whiting and they are coming from all parts of the passage.
Red Beach on the southern end of Bribie Island for the land-based angler is going nuts and will continue to go nuts until the water temps begin to fall. When it does drop a few degrees you will need to head north up the passage, which holds a larger number of whiting all year round.
Slip up onto the shallow banks where the water remains warmer, this allows you to pick the perfect spot out of the wind as the mangroves and tree line breaks the flow of wind. As you target the whiting in the shallows just remember to keep one line out to target a larger species. There have been a few queenfish around and these guys love to hunt up in the shallows for poddy mullet, gar and whiting. As whiting are number one on your hit list. You will also encounter trevally, flathead, bream and grunter bream all in the same area.
I’m still finding bream popping up everywhere and, for this time of year, the quality has been up there with some of the best I’ve seen in years. We are still getting 1kg+ specimens from a large number of areas.
Your lure flicking fanatics have been targeting the boats and pontoons at Pacific Harbour Bribie Island and the canals around Pelican Waters, Golden Beach. The bait boys have been targeting the gutters that have a rubble bottom, like the mouth of Gallaghers. The western side of the 112s is a perfect spot with huge amounts of rubble. The grounds are targeted by some of the best bream anglers I know and some of their bream tallies for a session can get up to 30.
There is also a large gutter that runs north to south just west of the 112s which is a hot spot. This gutter holds rubble on the western side of it and turns to weed beds on the northern side, the depth ranges from approximately 2.5ft through to 9ft on a low tide. The flat head don’t mind this gutter as well.
The yellow cross mark just up the passage about 500m is very rubbly and is a good area as well, just take it easy around the southern side of the yellow cross as it is a rock bank you can only see on a dead low tide. I have seen multiple props destroyed in seconds on this bank, but it does hold fish. Queenies and trevally also frequent this area.
Dunlop’s Gutter has a few rubble patches on the southern end around Goat Island and the old oyster lease. The old oyster lease has been fishing very well, mainly on the incoming tide. This lease has deep water surrounding it on both sides, you will find jewies will travel and feed here.
There are still a sprinkling of flathead around. These are taking a little more work than normal, but you can take a few good fish if you put in the time and effort. I’ve been targeting the deeper sections of the passage with hit and miss results. I believe the fish are there but they seem to be smarter and not as hungry, making them a harder target than normal. I had a 70cm+ lizard follow my plastic all the way to the boat just to have it nudge the lure, laugh at me and swim off.
There have been a few good jacks taken out of the passage on lure and bait. I haven’t been the lucky one taking them but they are biting. When you see a 60cm+ jack in somebody else’s arms and not yours it hurts, and to have them tell you they caught it off the bank on a slab of mullet using a less than average piece of angling equipment (kids combo rod from Kmart) hurts even more, but that’s fishing!
The sand crabs are showing up all through the passage from Mission, south to the tip of Bribie. Guys have even complaining about them taking their baits while fishing. This is a good sign. I suggest putting the rods down, and put your pots out. Focus on the crabs and do a bit of angling to fill in time between lifting your pots. These guys will remain a target for the next couple of months.
The old muddie has been a bit of a harder target but well worth it when you find them. They can often take a day or two to track down so don’t hit one spot, catch nothing and give up. Move your pots around and hunt them down. Bullock Creek is holding a few, but most people are keeping tight-lipped. The few crabs I have seen have been awesome.
The guys who catch good muddies normally spend a lot of time and effort doing so, but they do it because it pays off in the end. Just be careful, the pot thieves are present. These are normally the guys who brag about bag limit every day, but you never see them with crab pots in their boat. Just keep a good eye on your pots if possible and make sure they are marked properly as the fisheries can also take them if not done so.
Have fun and keep safe. Tight lines always!
Ryan with two double XL mud crabs taken from the mouth of Bullock Creek after a lot of hunting. It pays off in the end.
This is a typical Passage jack taken on a soft plastic.Reads: 1435