Bigger chill, better results
  |  First Published: May 2014

As the mercury falls the quality of the fish will rise. Fingers crossed we get a good chill. It might make early morning starts more difficult but they’re definitely necessary; the early bird gets the worm.

We should start to see the early tailor in May as they start to make their migration north to breed. These early travellers are not normally big fish but the bigger guys won’t be far behind. Finding a few small tailor is an exciting time around here as they soon get big and come in numbers.

You will need to target these fish at dawn or dusk only. It’s very rare that you will angle these guys with any success at any other time. They can be great fun for the whole family, taking all offerings when in feed mode. I personally like to take them off the surface as you get to actually see them eat your lure. Poppers are great but I prefer the standard metal slug like a Halco Twisty, Bumpa-Bar, flasher or a spoon for a number of reasons. Firstly, they are as cheap as chips and it doesn’t hurt the pocket when you lose a couple (which will happen), and secondly they work a treat as the tailor love them. Thirdly, you can work the whole water column with them, from surface to the bottom. These fish are well known for busting the surface and two seconds later be on the very bottom, so working the whole water column will result in better results.

Another benefit of these lures is that you can flick them great distances if need be. The fish move around a lot so flicking great distances can keep you in contact with the school. Metal lures are also robust so they don’t wear out, lose paint or break. The only thing you may need to do is replace the treble from time to time.

I also like the fact that they run only one hook. This means fewer hooks to get out of the fish or your landing net, which results in less down time, less work and more time with your lure in the water.

Finally, these lures take very little skill to operate, making them great for the while family. Remember your bag limit is 20 per person and a size limit of 35cm and a bag limit of 30 per person if caught on Fraser Island.

The squire should be starting to show up in numbers under the Bribie Bridge. These fish will tend to be a little on the small side as well because it’s only early in the season. We have seen a few fish being hooked all through summer but in no great numbers. However, this should turn around as the water cools off. Fresh bait is the better option here and lots of berley. Be prepared to tangle with a lot of bycatch as well. The bridge holds large estuary cod, mulloway, sharks, rays and most of the time it’s the bycatch that gets the heart pumping. Plastics are a good, clean fun option that will work great in the right hands at the right time. This time can be after dark or near dark when boat traffic is at a minimum.

Bream and whiting are being targeted with success in numbers from one end of the passage to the other. The jetty at Bongaree is a popular spot at the moment with bream and squire with Elimbah Creek being an exceptional spot for whiting. The inside of the Caloundra bar has been the go-to spot for the lizards on soft plastics or drifted pillies.

There are a lot of turtles, dugongs and dolphins cruising around the passage at present so take it easy and enjoy.

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