Catches run deep
  |  First Published: April 2013

We just can't cut a break with the weather at the moment; if it isn't raining then it is blowing its head off! Along with all the wind and the rain comes the dirty water, which will put people off going fishing. However, dirty water is not always a bad sign.

If the water looks muddy and silty then it is probably worth waiting a few days until it settles, but generally if you get out into the deeper areas of the bay where there is more tidal flow then the water clarity is generally better.

We have quite a few estuaries that flow into Moreton Bay so after we have a substantial amount of rain all the run off flows straight into the bay. Generally, from Peel Island south is the worst and takes a while to clear.

When the water is really dirty and has that muddy look about it, I have found that the fish move out of the shallows and either sit at the base of the drop-offs or move out into the deeper nearby reefs in search of some clearer water. From Peel Island north it normally only takes a few days before it is fishable. This is where I focus most of my time targeting big snapper and mulloway in these conditions.

If you don’t do much deep water work in the bay it is times like this to start refining you techniques and looking for areas to target. Look for areas/reefs that have a high tidal flow as it will move cleaner water in quicker, but it will also mean that you will need to fish them around the slower parts of the tide. The fish are more likely to be out hunting for food at this time as it means the smaller baitfish will be out and about without being swept away. It also means that for the predatory fish it is less effort on their part to swim against the tide.

Hopefully, by April the water will have cleared up quite considerably. I had been hearing whispers of longtail tuna showing up just before the last large dump of rain so fingers-crossed they will turn up in some numbers soon. Going by the amount of bait in the bay at the moment it shouldn't be too long after the water clears.

This time of year is also a great time to get up in the shallows and chase some big bay bream. And there is no better way to target them than on surface lures. One of my all time favourites is the Lucky Craft Sammy 65. These lures have a really decent wide walking action and are an ideal size for the bream in the bay. If it is something that you haven't tried then I would highly recommend it, there is something about being able to see the fish come from a distance and smack the lure off the surface.

Bream are not the only fish you will encounter up in the shallows, you have the chance to hook up to juvenile snapper, sweetlip, trevally, flathead and tailor just to name a few – all of which are awesome fun on light gear.

Some areas to explore are the northern side of Coochie, Macleay and Peel islands. When I talk about the shallows, I mean up in 1-2ft of water if you can get up in that there.

Until next month I hope you all get out amongst the fish.


Fish like this mulloway landed by David Greer is a great target while the water is discoloured.


Ben Lowther and his first longtail tuna taken on a 5' Z-Man Streakz in bubble gum. Hopefully it’s not too long until we see good numbers of these guys.


This is a decent Bay bream taken on the Lucky Craft Sammy 65 in sunfish. An ideal imitation of a small hardihead, which is one of the bream’s favourite meals.

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