We just got through the holidays and we were hit with what may as well have been called a cyclone, which once again dirtied up Moreton Bay and put a fishing trip off the cards for a little longer. Let’s hope this month we get more of an opportunity to get out amongst the best of what the summer species have to offer.
There are a few good things to come out of the weather. Firstly it has given the bay a good break after the fishing and boating pressures that are present over the holiday period. Secondly, it has given our estuaries and creeks a good flush out, pushing all the nutrients out. And thirdly, I have always found that after a lot of rain like we had and the water cleans up, the fishing really gets good for the following months.
This is probably one of my favourite times to throw some hardbodies up around the reef edges because the water is generally a little discoloured during summer due to the afternoon northeast sea breeze and the rain, which always helps.
Fish feel like they have a little more cover to get up into the shallows when the water is discoloured. Likewise the better times to target these areas, whether you are casting lures or bait fishing, is in your low light periods, so dawn and dusk. I have also had good success on overcast or raining days as you don't have that penetrating sunlight.
When fishing up in the shallows at this time of year the species you are likely to encounter are snapper, sweetlip, parrot and estuary cod. All of which are extremely good fighting fish and if you aren't onto it they will have you back into the bottom before you know it.
Out of those species the snapper would be the only one that wouldn’t intentionally try to bust you off on the bottom. My experience with them up in the shallows is that they are just running and dodging bommies as they go, so the result is your line rubbing against the structure. Try to keep your rod as high as possible to alleviate this problem. If you can increase the angle of which the line comes out of the fish’s mouth then you are giving yourself more of a chance of landing the fish. However, this is only applicable when the rod is out a distance from the boat; if you keep that angle when the fish is near the boat your rod could potentially snap. This is what we call high sticking your rod.
Unfortunately the one bad thing that all that rain does do is push all the bait and pelagic species out of the bay and back into clean water. The spotties had just started to show their faces before we had that low pressure system work its way over us. They will be gone now for a while or we may not see them again down this end of the bay until next year.
I hope this is not the case as they are an awesome fish to target. If you did want to have a look for some I would suggest going up the northern end of the bay, probably from Tangalooma north.
Well until next month I hope there are many opportunities to get out amongst the fish. If you have any further questions on my article this month please email me on the address at the top of the page.
Hardbodies like the Lucky Craft Bevy Shad 75 are a great option when fishing the reef edges.
The author’s nephew with his first ever spotty mackerel. Kids have an absolute ball chasing these speedsters because they can actually see the fish before hooking one.
You definitely encounter quality fish when fishing the shallows. This 66cm snapper was hooked in 9ft of water on the new bloodworm colour in the Z-Man Streakz Curl Tailz.Reads: 825