Tough weather still fishy
  |  First Published: February 2008

With the wild, blustery weather we had in the south east of late only the die hard anglers are venturing out. Thankfully the Brisbane River and protected creeks and estuaries can be successfully fished when most other fishing locations have been too rough. Expect the mouth of the river to really fire when the creeks get the good flush they desperately need.

If the long range weather forecast is anything to go by then 2008 looks like being a wet one for the south east. This means it will be great fishing around the mouth for jew, snapper, bream, cod, crabs and threadfin. Like most river mouths I’ve fished on the east coast, they really fire when we receive nasty weather like big swells or prolonged rain periods. Just before and several days after the weather pattern hits the mouth of the Brisbane River fishes well, especially on the incoming tides if there is any fresh around.

What’s on the chew?

As usual the large resident threadfin population is still hanging around the flats at the mouth. They are definitely thinning out in numbers (probably due to the fishing pressure) but on other flats like the ones opposite Breakfast Creek where all the boats are anchored and at the mouth of Bulimba Creek the threadfin can still be found in good numbers. I’ve had a few mates of late who have been catching them alongside the shipping terminals while fishing for snapper. They found schools of threadies sitting in between docks in huge numbers.

It’s not uncommon to hook several threadfin per trip if you put in the time and search for them on the sounder. Anglers are catching them from the mouth to the very limits of fishable water near Colleges Crossing so there is lots of unfished water to explore.

It’s pleasing to see (for me anyway) all the anglers catching these fish over the last few months around the mouth of the river. For a lot of anglers this is the biggest fish they have ever caught, which puts huge smiles on their faces and even bigger smiles when they relay the battle.

Snapper are being caught in good numbers around the Hamilton stretch. The new marina near the Gateway Bridge and any of the shipping docks towards the river mouth have been good (always check the boating restrictions first thogh). Soft plastics and vibrations baits are both working well at different parts of the tides it’s just a matter of trying different techniques until they bite. Finding schools on the sounder and staying over the schools is the key to successfully landing good numbers in the river. It may take several different presentations to entice the snapper to bite but once they turn on it’s worth it.

Jew have been a little hit and miss for most anglers with the odd one being caught amongst the snapper schools. Cod on the other hand have been in plague numbers along the rock walls towards the mouth. Most are small 25-35cm fish but there are definitely some bigger ones that keep taking my SX 40s back into their caves to hang as decorations. There is one ledge in front of Fort Lytton that I have donated 20+ lures to cod over the years but its cave looks great.

Bream are being caught in good numbers around the Pinkenba wall and sunken rock wall at the mouth. Baits like yabbies and strips of fresh mullet or gar are working best for the bait fishers, while small hard bodies like Ecogear SX40 or MX48 fished at night on the high tides are working well. On the larger tides it’s worth driving along the inside of the wall back into the bay to fish the flats then work the inside of the wall for good numbers of bream. If the weather allows it the flats at the mouth of the river north of Luggage Point are worth a surface fish too at this time of year for quality bream.

Crabs, both sand and mud, have been harvested in good numbers around the mouths of both Bulimba and Boggy creeks, throughout the Boat Passage and along most of the deeper rocky banks from the mouth to the city reaches. Most of the crabs being caught up the river towards the city are mud crabs but the odd sandy is venturing up that way, which is a good sign for the future.

Prawns are worth chasing in the any of the creeks and rivers that empty into the bay. The amount of rain we receive in the next couple of weeks will be a big determining factor wether we will have a cracker of a season like we’ve experienced for the last couple of years or a not. 2008 will be the last year that some of the better prawning spots will be able to be netted because of the bay closures so make the most of it this year.

Bay Islands

The bay has been very hard to fish around the islands of late with the continual weather pattern hitting us with horrible conditions. Those who have braved the conditions have been reporting some great catches of sand crabs along the reef drop offs and some good snapper action. Along the back side of Mud and Green islands have been producing the best catches. Sweetlips and estuary cod are still around and are worth chasing in the same areas too.

Until next month enjoy your fishing.

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