Leave it all behind and go fish
  |  First Published: December 2013

With summer in full swing, it's hard not to leave all your household chores behind to hitch the boat up and grab a fishing rod and enjoy the gorgeous weather we have been experiencing lately in the northern bay.

Easterly winds from the north and the south have really buffered our east-facing bay of late. This has played into the hands of local anglers pushing bait and predators into all the inshore waters and estuaries, giving fishers a good run for their money.

Summer whiting have been the hit of the month with anglers pulling good numbers recently. Fresh bait of bloodworms and yabbies are accounting for the majority of the catches. The Cockle banks, Coochin and Ningi creeks, Red Beach, Skirmish Point, Margate Foreshore, lower reaches of the Pine River and Sandgate sand flats have been good places of interest. The rising tides on dawn and dusk are proving to be the most advantageous times. Lighter lines and sinkers have also proven to work a treat with anglers adding a little red tubing to their leaders for confidence in faster flowing areas.

Flathead numbers have been steady over the last month with Pumicestone Passage, the Pine and Caboolture rivers and Brisbane River producing decent catches on bait and soft plastics.

Mullet strips and pilchard halves have been enticing flathead to bite with the soft plastics of choice being Z-Man 3.75” Streakz, Atomic Plazo 3.75” Jerk Minnows and Squidgie 100mm Wrigglers in wasabi colour. Keeping plastics close to the bottom with the assistance of heavier jigheads and using a hop-hop-pause retrieve, is proving to be the downfall of hungry flathead in our estuaries as movement is catching their attention and the pause is giving the often sluggish moving flathead a chance to strike.

In the Pumicestone Passage, places worth a try include Turners Camp road, Sandstone Point, Donnybrook flats and the mouth of Hussey Creek with the mouths of the Pine and Caboolture rivers firing more than the upper reaches.

Bream numbers have been good over the last month with numbers set to increase as we head into our hottest part of the year. Shallow running cranks and top water surface lures have been producing good bream with increasing water temperatures keeping them actively cruising for their next meal.

Flooding tides have interested anglers more as bream have been keen to herd their food up into shallower waters; hence the use of shallow water tactics gaining the advantage over sitting in deeper waters. For baitos, drifting shallower banks and reefs play more to your advantage this time of year with lightly weighted baits going hand-in-hand with your drift. Don't be afraid to keep your bait off the bottom at all times as roaming bream aren't afraid to attack anything that looks moor-ish.

Places of interest include, the trawler hulls in Cabbage Tree Creek, The Wells under the Ted Smout Bridge, Woody Point, the northern side of Redcliffe Jetty on dusk, Queens Beach and Osbourne Point at Scarborough, Cooks and Tiger Rocks at the mouth of the Pumicestone Passage, and the flats at the mouth of Ningi Creek.

Hardbody lures and small soft plastics have been popular amongst the lure fanatics with lighter fluorocarbon leaders gaining popularity due to anglers finding it increases their catch rate. Sacrificing line strength for invisibility has been the gamble some have taken with sunny days and increased water clarity upping the ante in the battle to catch these sometimes elusive bream. Strengths around 3-4lb are commonly used by bream anglers, whether in a leader joined by braid scenario or just fished straight through.

As the weather warms up, juvenile snapper and mulloway are still being caught lately around the deeper waters of our northern bay, spanning from The Ripples in the Pumicestone Passage to the ferry stops in the middle reaches of the Brisbane River. Anglers have been targeting these species at the early daylight hours and even at night, which are prime feeding times for them with larger soft plastics and soft vibration style. Z-Man 7" Scented Jerk Shads, Shads Lures Soft Ons and Jew Candy, Atomic 60mm Semi Hard Vibes and old favourite Jackall Mask Vibs are doing the damage, with bait fishers getting in on the action too.

A good sounder/fishfinder is a must when fishing for these larger prized fish. You can sound around areas for schooling baitfish holding nearby predators, while your GPS capabilities allow you to mark waypoints while drifting through potential hotspots.

As the weather heats up and the festive season nears, it's always a busy time of the year on our waterways. As recreational fishers, we have to be aware of sharing our waterways with other users ranging from swimmers to jet skiers. Be sure to exercise some patience at boat ramps and be the bigger person to walk away from sticky situations. At the end of the day we are all on the water to enjoy our beautiful summer.

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