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Testing climate promotes fishing
  |  First Published: March 2014



What a month we have had! With Mother Nature’s minor hissy fit during the early stages of last month, northern bay anglers were ducking for cover and retreating to their favoured estuarine haunts in desperation.

The recent wild weather patterns not only brought testing times for anglers but also really turned the fishing on in the northern bay. ESE blowing winds had no choice but to push bait schools from the southern bay islands into the northern pockets giving anglers better than average numbers of fish caught for this time of year. Throw in the occasional afternoon storm and we have a recipe for a great day out!

Bribie and Scarborough were the outstanding spots over the past month. The increase in bait activity and the decrease in water clarity played a part in producing good catches, especially in the bread and butter species of bream, flathead and whiting. Fresh baits, like yabbies and live worms, have been the pick of the bait fishos with the lure diehards producing the goods on smaller suspending cranks and grub style soft plastics.

Water temperatures have remained pretty constant with intermittent rainfall making little impact on temperature fluctuations.

Let’s have a look what’s being caught in out northern bay.

BREAM

Bream numbers have been sound of late with anglers experiencing more quality fish around the 600-800g mark. Many are being caught with full and distended stomachs showing that the presence of bait schools has increased the bream population in the northern reaches.

Prime spots include the mouth of Glasshouse Creek, Ningi Flats, Tiger Rock at Sandstone Point, North Reef, Osbourne Reef, Woody Point and the trawler hulls in Cabbage Tree Creek on the making tide. Majority of the areas have been fishing excellently on the rising tide with the exception of spots in the Pumicestone that have been producing on the start of the ebb.

Fresh mullet strips and chicken thigh strips have been the pick of the baits with hardbody lures, like the Jackall Chubby, Atomic Crank 38, Cranka Deep Cranks and Ecogear SX40 working well in natural colours.

FLATHEAD

Estuaries like the Pine River, Caboolture River, Cabbage Tree Creek and upper reaches of Schultz Canal, have been the pick of the areas to get amongst some flathead. Areas around Bribie like Cooks Rocks, Hussey Creek, White Patch and Donnybrook have been very productive during dusk hours.

Longer shad style soft plastics have brought most success with bright colours and a simple hop-hop-pause retrieve enticing most flathead. For the bait fisher, pilchard halves and mullet strips have been reported as a crowd pleaser.

WHITING

We have had a great summer on the whiting front and last month has been no exception. The wild SE winds have really stirred up our waters, pushing the whiting up into shallower waters playing right into the hands of anglers. You can bet on bloodworms to get you fish on board with fresh yabbies also working a treat.

Lower reaches of the Pine River between Bald Hills Creek and the mouth have been productive at the last of the run-out with the bulk of the reports coming out of the Bribie area. The surf beaches have been the producers with those braving the Southeasters being rewarded by upgrading their lead sizes.

Another notable area is Coochin Creek where good summer whiting are being caught on the making tides.

mulloway

A good outcome of persistent easterly winds of late has been an increased number of mulloway being caught in the northern bay. Night stalkers have been nabbing some good fish with the Bribie Bridge being a popular hotspot during the darker hours. Anglers are also encountering good juvenile snapper up to 50cm as by-catch, which has come as no complaint to many.

The Brisbane River has been living a similar life. The sunken wall and areas around the sand dredger on the eastern side has been producing good mulloway and juvenile snapper with plastics and larger vibration baits working well in the deep. Definitely worth a try would be Shads Lures Jew Candy and Soft Ons, Jackall Transom 95s and Z-Man 5” Jerk ShadZ.

King threadfin salmon by-catches are also happening in the river. Anglers need to be extra careful when handling these awesome fish when releasing, to ensure mortality rate stays at a minimum.

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