Full cold ahead
  |  First Published: July 2014

With a great autumn behind us it’s full ‘cold’ ahead for the winter and, by all vibes, reports and whisperings the fishing has been pretty good around the northern bay.

Fresh westerlies blowing off the land has kept good bait schools tucked around inshore waters, which in turn has seen them filter into our river and creek mouths keeping many fishers happy.

With our annual bloom of different types of weed throughout the bay and rivers, fishing has become a little testing for many anglers but for those knowing areas of limited growth and good current flow, have been able to cash in with good reports of fish.

Juvenile snapper tops most of the success stories coming in this month with good catches coming at the traditional night and early morning as well as all hours of the day. Noted hotspots have been the mouth of the Brisbane River, Woody Point, Otter Rock, Garnet Rock, Queens Beach, North Reef and ‘The Ripples’ in the Pumicestone Passage, with smaller specimens and the odd legal coming out of White Patch.

Pilchards and squid have been the mainstay of the bait fisher with soft plastics like Z-Man StreakZ, Atomic Jerk Minnows and Shad Lures Flicktails having a large impact on the snapper community. Also anglers have had good success with soft vibes like Jackall Mask Vibes, Shads Lures Soft-ons and Atomic Semi Vibe 60, slow hopping them with a twitch-twitch-pause retrieve.

Flathead numbers have been great over these cooler months with not only good numbers but good size showing up in all corners of the bay. Our major rivers, the Pine, the Caboolture and the Pumicestone, have been alive with good flathead cruising around most of the high tidal flow areas with the outgoing tide being the common denominator for success in these areas.

Plastics have lead the field in decent flathead catches with several reports uttering a slow rolling retrieve to be the right recipe for these bottom feeders. Be careful of their spikes when getting these critters into the boat as a flathead’s subtle fight in the water can quickly turn into mayhem when landed on board. Trust me, it’s happened a few times to me lately! In the Pine, try the mouth of Bald Hills Creek and the lower reaches near and under the Ted Smout Bridge. In the Cabbie, Bakers Flat and King Johns Creek are the picks with the Pumicestone it’s been a case of ‘pick a creek mouth, any creek mouth’ and you will get flathead.

As the majority of us know, winter is spawn time for our beloved roaming feeder. The full moon phases over the winter months see the bream congregate in deeper waters to spawn (often around the 13-15th). Times either side of this date, the bream are on full attack and feeding up for the next full moon party.

Over the last month the bream have been in great condition, feasting on baitfish for their annual pilgrimage and being ultra aggressive when caught by anglers.

With this information don’t be fooled by just chasing bream in deeper waters as they will still be in your favourite bream spot feeding like kids after school camp, just not around the middle of the month! Over this last month, slow rolling hardbody lures have been working effectively for catching bream, especially in areas where the bottom is rocky and rubbly. Choosing light leaders increases your bites but can come at a price when encountering by-catch like flathead, tailor or pike, so be prepared for the worse and you will reap the benefits.

Winter also brings a marked increase in tailor numbers as these speedy inshore pelagics are often found ripping through schools of bait generating that sweet sound of showering baitfish, known to prick the ears of many avid fishers.

Tailor have been popping up throughout the northern bay with noted catches coming from the mouth of Ningi Creek and the flats, Tiger and Cooks Rocks, White Patch, North Reef at Scarborough, Drury and Osbourne Point, Clontarf foreshore and the middle reaches of the Pine River near the highway bridge.

Happy fishing and keep warm!

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