Pay off at Passage
  |  First Published: August 2013

We have a plethora of fish species hanging in the Passage at the moment, and to pick a single target species for the day ahead of you is hard. However, the trick is to have the gear ready (rod, tackle, bait, lures) on hand to target all species, then all you need to do is hook up, hang on and enjoy the ride.

Tailor are widespread through the Passage at the moment from the surf side of Bribie under the Bribie Bridge north through to the Caloundra Bar and every spot in between. Targeting these guys is best done with the silly pillie (pilchard) or chrome slugs; flick and retrieve style or trolled.

If trolling, you need to run them with a little more pace then you normally would troll a hardbody for flathead for example. You will need to run well above idle speed – approximately 4-6 knots would be fine.

This is a great way to locate feeding fish, ultimately we would like them to be busting the surface feeding but it doesn’t always happen, so trolling is a great fish finding tool covering a good amount of ground in a short time.

Once you get a hook up, stop and work that immediate area over; whether tolling around in circles or flicking and retrieving your slugs, work them over and over like a tap. They are very erratic feeders they can go from surface feeders mid water to bottom feeders within minutes and for no reason. You will need to keep a close eye on your leader as you angle these guys as they can destroy your leaders quickly.

Just remember tailor bag limit is 20 fish per person as it is very easy to catch many more when they are on the chew. Minimum legal length is 35cm. If you want to take a feed home you will need to bleed and ice them ASAP. The average size of your tailor in the Passage is around 30-45cm and by the middle of this month they will thin out as they move north to breed.

Bream are thick through the Passage this month. A very easy target for anyone who just wants to catch fish all day with ease; great for the kids as they supply them all day action with minimal effort, and with some good sized fish amongst them you will ensure a few for the table.

Bream have a minimum legal length of 25cm and a bag limit of 30 per person. Ensure you’re using light line and fresh bait.

The flathead are all go in August. One of our most productive months, the flathead are in numbers and great sizes and will be feeding. This is the time if you want to try something different and see if it works. It’s a great time to learn a few skills and techniques to broaden your knowledge for future.

If you find feeding flathead, stay in that general area and work it over. Even if you drop a few fish and haven’t spooked them, they will continue to feed. For example, you hooked a fish and dropped it half way back to the boat, drop your offering back down in its face as sometimes they will pick it back up. If not, work over that area for a bit and there’s a good chance you will come up tight.

You can try changing your lure or get your mate to throw a different offering at the area. You could be surprised at the end result. Just remember flathead are one of the easiest fish we have to reach your bag limit. Some days 5 legal fish can be angled in no time. If you are keeping a feed, it is 5 per person and a size slot of 40-75cm. From experience any fish over 60cm is a breeder and is best to be released unharmed to continue the cycle. If you are out to get yourself a feed, the smaller fish are a much smarter option and the eating quality is better as well; a win-win situation if you ask me.

There are some scattered snapper around throughout the Passage. The majority of them are small fish but there are a few good ones amongst them. Target areas have been Mission Point, the mouth of Poverty Creek, Gallaghers Gutter and the Bribie Bridge.

Fresh baits have been most productive with soft plastics coming in a close second place. I prefer to use Gulps but a lot of anglers are turning to the Z-Mans as they are a lot more durable, costing you a lot less coin in the long run. At the end of the day it comes down to personal preference as what works for me may not work for you. One thing I do know is they all work a treat given the right action and conditions. Your bag limit is 4 per person with no more than 1 over 70cm; the minimum size limit is 35cm.

Mulloway have been a good target and will continue until the water temps start to rise. The majority of these fish have been under-sized and good fun catch and release. Target these guys with soft plastics, big or small. They can be finicky feeders picking at your offerings like a small bream, it’s not until they are hooked and pulling line that you will know what you are dealing with. Mulloway pull hard with multiple headshakes and direction changes. The size limit is 75cm, which makes it hard to get a legal fish at times, but it is possible with persistence. These guys are a welcome addition to an angler’s catch for the day.

Sand crabs are being caught in great numbers and size from Mission south down through the Passage and out into the bay. Very hard work and best left for the warmer months or a large inflow of fresh water to bring them out and about.

At the moment we have loads of dolphins in the Passage, so take it easy out there, have fun and hang on!

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