August is the month where most anglers will say “wow” at some point on the water. “Wow, what a glorious day” or “Wow, that’s a big snapper, mulloway, flathead or whiting”.
Flathead will be reaching their peak and by peak I mean the peak of their breeding cycle, which in return leads to big fish and plenty of them. These fish will commonly go over size in August through to October because of their ferocious feeding habits when in this cycle. They are eating anything big or small trying to get past them. If you ever get the chance to see a flathead feed, do it because they are awesome. The way they lay and wait for food to pass by their sniffer in complete camouflage and punch themselves out of the sand or mud (they can alter their skin colour accordingly to suit the ground they lay in making them nearly invisible) to climb all over your offering. In that initial attack over approximately 1m they are one of the easiest fish when in attack mode. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying they are the biggest and best fighters in salt, not by a long shot, but the tactics they use to feed and catch prey is awesome.
These fish are throughout the system from top to bottom and this will continue for a while yet. They are not on a migration run, they live, feed and breed right here at our back door step in this pristine system. A handful of mates and I, including my wife and kids have been doing a lot of damage with the Lively Lure Micro Mullet on the troll. With a troll depth of approx 2 – 2.5m they suit a lot of our gutters in the passage. If you get the chance to pick the brain of a well known lizard angler, they will tell you straight up you need a handful of the Lively Lure range. They should be named TNT because they blow fish out of the water. Go to www.livelyluresonline.com.au or contact the boss directly on 5491 8009. He is an Aussie legend, tell him Jason sent ya.
You will find anglers hitting all creek mouths hard throughout the system with good results but don’t rule out the skinny water flats as the tide rises and any drain or weed bed around the mouths as they go on the hunt for food to fatten up. Your surface presentation is a great way to tap into their feeding needs when in skinny water working a surface lure gently with a walk the dog or just gentle bloops, keeping in mind you will need to be in stealth mode at all times when in skinny water as they can spook easily. Make sure you take a camera to capture a memory of the big girl. Anything over 75cm needs to be released quickly so an image is your only proof. Their possession size slot is 40cm through to 75cm and a bag limit of 5 per person.
Snapper are at their best this month with some cracking captures from the south end of the passage from the bridge out into the bay. The odd one has been angled throughout the passage in deeper zones that have a rubble bottom and hold bait. These fish love plastics but you need to be dedicated with early starts, late finishes and pure persistence. In saying that, they love bait even more than plastics. The bait must be super fresh squid, pilchards, prawns, mullet or live bait if you can get them. You can go through a lot of bait with a lot of juveniles around pinching your bait. You will need to hold on when that big one comes along, it will have your reel singing and you grunting hard. Just watch your bag limits of 5 per person and only one of these fish can be over 70cm with a minimum size of 35cm.
The tailor have been patchy throughout the passage. The Bribie surf side has been the ‘go to’ location for a decent amount of action, with the southern end of the passage yielding patchy hit and miss showings of just legal fish. With only a few lucky anglers bagging out, you will find the anglers bagging out are the ones spending a lot of hours chasing tailor. Time on the water is the secret and plenty of it, that’s my hot tip.
Summer whiting, aka sand whiting are still coming from most parts of the passage. The name summer whiting can sometimes fool people into thinking they can only be angled in summer months; this is a long way from the truth. Some of the biggest and best elbow bangers will come from the middle of winter. There are bucket loads of trumpeter (winter) whiting taking over the passage, you won’t need to travel far to get a feed. Drifting up and down the main passage channels will yield fish every time at any time of the day. Take the kids with you as they love this type of fishing. It is simply, effective and doesn’t cost the world. Another plus side is you will be eating fish for weeks. Use fresh squid, yabbies or worms.
Get out there, have a crack. I guarantee you will have a great time.Reads: 689