Clearing the way ahead
  |  First Published: April 2013

The end of February-early March we were again inundated with rain, making fishing our creeks and estuaries almost impossible. However, it’s amazing how quickly our waterways begin to recover!

March saw the water really start to clear and as a result the fishing has been on the improve. The Pine River has been fishing well, particularly around the Dohles Rocks area and down around the bridges. We’ve had reports of plenty of bream around, but unfortunately a lot of the fish are under size (legal size is 25cm).

This time of year a lot of anglers turn their attention to chasing mulloway in the Pine. Last year saw multiple captures by fishers who put in the time and energy. Working the incoming tide before the sun hits the horizon with either plastics or baits was the most successful time. Squidgy fish and Z-Man swimmers were two popular choices for lure tossers; live poddy mullet or fresh mullet strips for the bait fishos. Flathead and even the odd king threadfin salmon are possible by-catch.

Jacks are still around but as the water temp continues to drop these fish will become increasingly sluggish and harder to entice. As the water continues to clear, start working your way further up stream, you might be surprised how far fish will travel as the salinity rises.

Nudgee beach is also fishing quite well and worth a try. Walking along the river bank or wadding the flats out from the beach is a top way to cover more area in search of better fish. Flicking soft plastics or hardbodied lures in and around the shallow gutters and channels on the run-out tide is one of the most productive ways to chase flathead in this area. If you’re a bait fisho, try using white bait rigged on a set of ganged No. 4 hooks. Keep the sinker size as light as possible somewhere around 0 or 00. I’ve caught some cracking flathead using both these methods in this area.

Nudgee is also a top spot to chase whiting. Live blood worms or yabbies are by far the best baits. Again the earlier floods have had a positive impact on the local crab population and as a result this year has been another cracker of a mud crab seasons. If you haven’t had a feed of muddies in a while, now might be your last chance.

Brisbane River

The fishing in the Brissy River continues to improve with reports of meter-plus mulloway and king threadfin salmon coming from around the river mouth. These fish will take dead baits, but live bait (mullet, herring or prawns) will increase your chances of hooking up to one of these awesome specimens.

There have also been some bream, tailor, coming from the river mouth area as well.

The Bay

April should see the snapper start to appear in better numbers around the usual haunts; Mud Island, Brisbane River, Harry Atkinsons artificial reef and reefs along the Redcliffe foreshore. Try anchoring and fishing lightly weighted baits such as pillies or squid in a berley trail. Alternatively drifting and flicking 5-7” soft plastics around drop-offs and reef structures is a tried and proven method. The use of berley will drastically improve your chances.

The pelagic action in the bay has been hit and miss lately with only sporadic schools of mac tuna, longtail tuna and school mackerel around. Live baiting around one of the bay beacons is still the best option.

If the weather is reasonable heading out to Western Rocks or Hutchies is still worth the trip. Spanish mackerel, tuna, cobia and wahoo have still been around in reasonable numbers, but have also been a little patchy.


April in South East Queensland is one of my favourite months. As seasonal wind shifts kick in and temperatures drop, new challenges arise. Impoundments, freshwater creeks and rivers still have plenty to offer for all forms of angling.

Bass have been very active in February and March, partly due to heavy rainfall across the state. Shore-based anglers and boaties have done well in Somerset and North Pine dams. Large golden perch have also been showing up, with some outstanding fish being taken on worm and shrimp baits in North Pine.

Creeks and rivers locally, have been a little slow, but as flow levels drop and water quality improves this situation will no doubt change for the better.

Saratoga numbers will taper off from now, but some exceptional specimens were taken from North Pine recently, on live crickets.

Pay attention to areas and shorelines that may not have produced through summer, as southerly and southwesterly winds push bait of all types to different locations, as compared to our summer winds. April is a mild and enjoyable time for freshwater anglers so make the most of it.

This article is my last for a while. Thanks to all my readers for your comments and feedback, which have been a great help to me in writing my reports.

At The Tackle Shop we are continually expanding our range. We now have a lot of new products in store, at very competitive prices. We have something for everyone, from beginner to expert. Also, we still have the largest ranges of fresh and frozen baits in Brisbane. Our business hours are from 5.30am - 6.00pm Monday to Friday, Saturday from 4.00am – 6.00pm and Sunday 4.00am – 4.00pm. If you would like more information on tips and techniques, locations, or for an up to date fishing report, please give us a call on 3862 9015 or just call into 1754 Gympie Rd. Carseldine (The Caltex service centre on the way out of town).


Brendan McGrath with a Mooloolaba snapper. April should see the snapper start to appear in better numbers around their usual haunts.


Lochie with his first bass! Freshwater creeks and rivers still have plenty to offer for all forms of angling this month.


Richard Mayfield with a decent cobia from the Cape.

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