Welcome change for fishing
  |  First Published: April 2013

As the curtains draw to a close on our summer’s performance stage, the cooler weather will be a welcomed change. Westerly winds, fresher mornings and increased piscatorial action are starting to get the anglers excited in the Northern Bay.

With our bread and butter species like bream, flathead and whiting holding good form throughout all corners of our waterways last month, they are set to continue their charge as autumn looms around the corner.

Despite recent rainy periods producing a kaleidoscope of water colours, anglers have still been able to produce good catches by adapting to testing conditions. Consistently fresh northeast winds this year have brought a gaggle of changes to our bay, making anglers think on the fly to successfully crack a bite pattern and find fish away from their usual honey holes.

Fishing dirty water lines, running tide lines, run offs and deep underwater structures have been some the tactics of the modern day estuary fisher when trying to unlock the feeding secrets of their target species. Over the last few years, technology has played a huge part in establishing fishing patterns with fishfinder/sounders making the bias weigh more in the anglers favour on the aquatic playing field. Having a sounder is a must nowadays, and don’t be afraid to ask someone how to use it properly.

On the fishing front, the Pumicestone Passage has shown growing potential as waters have been increasing in clarity. Bream have been the mainstay of late with the mouths of Ningi and Glasshouse creeks and Buckleys Hole firing on the rising tide.

On the subject of bream, steady numbers have been coming out from the Redcliffe Peninsula with bait anglers encountering bigger models while chasing juvenile snapper. North Reef has been the most favourable of the locations on the map with the weekend’s boat traffic resembling a Westfield carpark! Also worth a try when chasing good bream are Woody Point, Queens Beach, reef bommies outside Shields St and Drury Point.

Lures and soft plastics have shown great success at the back end of the summer with lure fanatics choosing to drop weight in murkier waters; this is a great tip to increase your plastics hang time in the strike zone. Successful soft plastics include Gulp 3” Minnows, Atomic 2 3/4” Jerk Minnows and Z-Man Grubz.

Long slender profiled crankbaits have also shown good form lately and, with water temps on the decrease, are definitely worth a try. Be sure to add pauses and twitches to your retrieve to mimic injured baitfish.

Showing a perfect lead out into the winter, mulloway numbers have been good in the Northern Bay with deeper bait holding waters being the hot spots. As previously mentioned, sounders have been playing an important part in chasing mulloway with anglers sounding out bait schools and having larger predators cruising nearby. Good models up to the metre have been snagged at the Bribie Bridge mainly at dawn and dusk, the mouth of the Brisbane River and the middle reaches of the Pine River. The Brissie River has shown the most consistency last month, which no doubt will be a promising sign as our winter looms.

Larger shad and paddle-tail style plastics around 5-7” (Z-Man, Atomic or Squidgy), Jackall Transams 95 and Mask Vibs, Megabass Smartras and Shads Lures Jew Candys have been a selection of fruitful baits showing good success. Fanatical anglers are constantly switching styles to crack a pattern.

Juvenile snapper numbers have definitely been on the up around the Peninsula as bait abundance increases due to westerly winds holding bait inshore. Specimens between 40-50cm have been appearing in shallower reef bommies with larger models cruising the deeper water. Squid strips and Pillies have been the pick of the baits with soft plastics again reigning supreme. Atomic Plazos 3” Prongs, Z- Man 4” StreakZ Curly Tails and Squidgy 100mm Wrigglers have done the damage around North Reef, Deeper waters north of Scotts Point Green Zone and even Otter Rock. Drifting has definitely drawn better quantities but be aware of fellow anchored boaties especially on weekends.

Saturating rains at the start of the year definitely helps the Northern Bay as many of our estruaries cop a good flush out that replenishes quite rapidly. Targeting river and creek mouths is high on the priority and as waters clear predators venture further upriver. As 2010-2011 floods showed, the following winter’s fishing was excellent; my fingers are crossed for an encore performance.


Mitch Zischke with a 84cm mullowau caught on a Z-Man Jerk Shadz in new penny on a HeadlockZ 5/0 HD.


Nathan Wolhuter with a decent legal juvenile snapper caught on a Shads Vibe.


Michael Thompson landed this solid Redcliffe Peninsula bream.

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