What a blast this winter has been with the fishing and the westerlies that have greeted us in the Northern Bay.
This winter started early for us in SE QLD and has held pretty consistent over the last month, even producing some mornings that have been the lowest we have recorded in the last 3 years. But enough of this weather chit-chat, this is a fishing magazine not ‘Weather Forecaster’s Digest’, so lets see what’s been going on in the Northern Bay.
Usually I start my article with what’s been hot and the flavor of the month, but this time I’m starting with ‘What’s been a little quiet’…. and that would be bream.
Having a soft spot for these roving predators, this winter has been a little quieter on the bream front as it’s their usual time of year to hit the spawn in deeper waters. I’m not going to lie, I’m stumped to find them this winter in good numbers, with catches being reported as good in size but in small numbers. If anyone is generous enough to share any knowledge of the schooling bream in the northern bay, please send me an email!
But there has been a shining light through the bream gloom and that would be Caloundra, a noted bream hotspot in the cooler months. Run in tide, leading up to the full moon and fresh baits… boom-time on the bream front (don’t forget rigged lightly)
Which brings me back to what’s been good this last month and that has been Squire.
Bribie Bridge, ‘the Ripples’ at Pacific Harbour, North Reef at Scarborough, Shields St Reef, southern end of the green zone at Woody Point, mouth of the Brisbane River (reclaimed side) and Clara’s Rocks are a few noted hotspots lately as anglers have been getting good squire on both fresh bait and shad/minnow style soft plastics.
Daylight hours have been quieter than dawn and dusk, so the early bird does catch the squire!
Diver whiting have shown a bit of a presence lately with dedicated fishos loving the cooler months to get a good haul of these delectable fish. Diver whiting have been present at the mouth of Bell’s Creek up the passage, Toorbul foreshore outside the boat ramp, the Cockle Banks, lower reaches of the Pine River, Bramble Bay and the Sand hills off Moreton with bloodworms and squid being the pick of the baits.
Flathead numbers have certainly taken a turn for the better as our winter has progressed. Good size female breeders and smaller males have been populating out estuaries making for fun times for both kayak and boat anglers.
Drop offs in the Pumicestone Passage around Toorbul, Glasshouse Creek and Buckley’s Hole have been consistently good in the Bribie area with areas like Deception Bay, Ted Smout Fishing platform, the mouth of the Pine River and Cabbage Tree Creek also chiming in with good reports. Run out tides are the popular times for the fishos with pilchard halves, mullet strips and whitebait being popular choices for baitos.
For the soft plastic bandits, ZMan 4” DieZel MinnowZ, 3” Atomic Prongs, 3” Zman MinnowZ and Gulp 4” minnows are all producing good results.
Another one of those ‘must chase’ fish in the winter are mulloway, and anglers in many corners of the Northern Bay are cashing in on these awesome fighters making the cooler nights in the cold worth it.
Deeper waters around the mouth of Brisbane River, Bribie Bridge, the upper Reaches of the Pine and Caboolture rivers and even North Reef have been producing good specimens with night anglers reaping benefits of braving the cold and the westerlies to get amongst some decent catches.
Most anglers have reported using soft plastics and soft vibe baits hopping them in the deeper waters finding the constant movement beneficial.
The odd threadfin salmon is still being caught in the mix along with other by-catch like big bream and flathead coming to the surface much to anglers’ surprise.
Last but not least, over the cooler months anglers have been catching good tiger squid in the northern bay. Weed and/or rubble flats have been producing good numbers with anglers getting some good sizable specimens in their bags when chasing them in the shallows.
At nights the Redcliffe and Woody Point jetties have been working well with patient anglers working the deeper ends to good effect.
The addition of a glow stick near the nose of your jig helps your nightly catch rate, where a high rod tip on your retrieve helps reduce the risk of snagging in shallower waters and reefy points.
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