Full steam ahead
  |  First Published: March 2013

Full steam ahead is the name of the game for fishing in the Northern Bay this month, as summer is drawing to a close and the cooler temp species start to show their faces. This time of the year is the start of a significant change in our piscatorial calendar as directions change as quick as Australian One Day cricket captains.

Southeasters are the usual cup of tea we experience during our warm summers but over the last six months we have been cursed with annoying NNE winds. They have been showing a variety of speed and direction leaving a lot of anglers scratching their heads on whether to brave the weather.

Hopefully over this month we will start to see a pattern emerge shifting winds back around to the south with slow emergence of those westerly wind blown days we in the Northern Bay love!

On the fishing front, although been scrappy at times, anglers have made hay while the sun has shone changing their methods of attack to suit the conditions. Bream and flathead have been the big winners and are set to continue into the cooler months.

With decreased salinity in the estuarial waters feeding into the bay, anglers have chosen to search for patches of saltwater; whether in close proximity to river mouths, slightly offshore or deeper waters where waters remain more brackish due to the laws of density.


Redcliffe Peninsula has withstood Mother Nature’s moodiness of late to still produce good fish with all things pointing in the right direction for a good winter.

Bait schools have flowed out of our estuaries with the recent weather to sit around inshore waters drawing the attention of predators to the area. Good bream, tailor and flathead are being caught in the usual hotspots around the peninsula with Queens Beach, North Reef and Woody Point being the outstanding performers.

Making tides have been the order of the day while the water movement keeps the bait on the move. Good bream are being caught around the shallow reefs and rocky points scattered through North Reef, Osbourne and Drury Points.

Lightly rigged chicken breast and mullet strips have been the pick of the baits with lure mongers opting for shallow running hardbodies. Shallow Jackall Chubbies, Atomic Shiner 45s and Cranka Cranks have produced above average specimens with bream still being caught on topwater/surface lures.

Water temps have still been up enough to stir some surface activity with long casts being the key.


The Pine River has had its fair share of ups and downs over the start of this year but it is slowly starting to get back on its feet. Anglers have been venturing into the upper reaches of the river to chase bass with sizable fish being caught but lacking in numbers.

Recent rains have moved bass throughout the Pine with any snag up river from the highway bridge being a potential hook up spot. The mouth of the Pine has been the pick of the areas with bream being nabbed on the run-in tides and flathead showing their faces on the ebbing tides.

Run-offs are the key at the mouth as ambushing predators are congregating around these areas looking for their next meal.

Mud crabs are still being caught up river with numbers of jennies and bucks being equal; be sure to do the right thing and only take the bucks.


It is a good case of ‘grab a map, close your eyes, swirl your finger and see where you point!’ The passage has shown the same form as David Warner of late with good days being awesome and bad days showing up at the wrong times.

Grunter and bream have been the solid catches through the month around the mouths of Elimbah and Ningi creeks with flathead showing up in steady numbers throughout the channel, especially around drop-offs.

Local anglers have singled out soft plastics as the prime lure of choice with smaller shrimp and minnow styles being the most advantageous. Jighead size has been ranging from 1/12-1/20oz depending on water depths with a size 1 hook covering all bases.

The occasional mangrove jack is still being caught in the upper reaches of the Caboolture River and Coochin Creek with persistent anglers snagging a few in Pelican Waters up the other end of the passage. Lures and live bait have been working well on dusk and dawn in those canals so take advantage of the early longer days before they diminish.

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