When the NRL season is in full swing, the kids’ sports are occupying your beloved weekends and you’re finding yourself wearing ugg boots more and more, you know the cooler weather is gathering momentum. The good news is it looks like it’s going to a good winter on the fishing front.
Good reports have been coming from all corners of the northern bay with the Pumicestone Passage on fire with squire and mulloway to good bream and flathead coming out of the Peninsula and the lower reaches of the Pine River. The summer this year was recorded as one of the driest we have had for 28 years; not only had the land been affected due to the parched surrounds but the sea conditions remained stable due to no rains flushing out our waterways. But this all changed at the end of March with a good week of rains on the back of our annual prawn run. All of a sudden anglers were reaping the rewards of nature’s generosity.
Known for their winter presence in the northern bay, we have been blessed to be catching good sized squire/snapper all through the summer which hopefully will carry over to the cooler months.
In the Pumicestone, anglers have been getting good squire at the bridge during the night and early hours with some good catches coming from ‘The Ripples’ outside of the canals at Pacific Harbour. Baits like squid strips and pilchard halves have been a favourite of bait anglers, while soft plastics like 3.75” Atomic Plazo Jerk Minnows, 4” ZMan DieZel MinnowZ and 3” Atomic Prongs have been working to great effect in the deeper waters.
Redcliffe Peninsula has been the snapper stalwart for the last 12 months with boaties and kayakers getting amongst the regular action each weekend. Prime spots have been North Reef, Queens Beach, Shields St, Garnet Rock and Otter Rock with the early hours being the popular amongst our piscatorial community. Again, lightly weighted soft plastics have been working best with bait fishers also getting their fair share of action.
Flathead numbers were a little sluggish earlier in the year but have gained momentum as water temperatures have started to decrease, making conditions ideal for this ambush feeder. Creek run-offs and river bends seem to be the best areas to pick up a few flatties, with great reports coming out of the Pumicestone Passage. Mission Point, the mouth of Glass Mountain Creek, Sandstone Point and Turners Creek Rd on the making tide have also been successful for lizards, especially targeting tide lines and drop-offs where flatties have been sitting patiently.
Lightly weighted mullet strips and live herring have been the locals’ choice of baits with the lure junkies selecting minnow-style plastics in 3-4” lengths to keep the flatties entertained. Using a 1/12-1/8oz weighted jighead will ensure your plastics remain close to the bottom, with a twitch-twitch-pause retrieve doing the most damage. Successful plastics include ZMan 4” Curly Tail StreakZ, Keitech 3” Easy Shiner and Castaic Jerky J 3” Swimmers.
After a brilliant autumn of bream fishing due to a great prawn run this year through Nudgee Beach, the Pine and Caboolture Rivers, numbers of good bream have continued over the last month leading perfectly into their winter spawn. I know it’s maybe a little early to talk about their spawn but good bream have been cruising around of late, with some anglers even getting great specimens on larger baits when targeting bigger species like mulloway and snapper. Let’s just hope they have found their home in the northern bay!
Hardbody lures have yet again topped the charts with anglers using both floating and suspending lures to great effect. The Atomic Shiner 45, Pontoon 21 Crack Jack 48, OSP Dunk 48SP, Ecogear CX40HS and the new Cranka Crabs have been the destructive top order of the breaming team. Light leaders (3lb-4lb) have also been popular with some anglers due to good water clarity. Alternatively you can opt to stick with a slightly heavier leader due to larger bycatch like tailor, estuary cod and squire kicking around.
Cooks Rocks has been the pick of the areas in the north with a surface bite still happening in the cooler months. For the southern anglers, the mouth of the Pine River, Drury Point, Osbourne Point, North Reef and Shields St Reef have all been producing good fish, especially in the dusk and dawn hours. Yes, the early angler catches the fish!
A few good tailor have been roaming the northern bay of late with both estuary and inshore anglers getting amongst these speedsters. Lightly weighted baits and plastics have been the producers with a few lure fanatics holding their breaths when hooking up on one with their $20+ lures. Donnybrook and Ningi Flats, Tiger Rocks, inside North Reef, Redcliffe Jetty and southern end outside of the Scotts Point green zone have been some of the hotspots of late, with anglers even upgrading leader size to avoid disappointment.
Happy fishing!Reads: 805