Pack away winter woollies
  |  First Published: September 2014

This time of year would have to be one of my favourites when living and breathing the northern bay, as it’s a great time to finally pack away the winter woollies and get ready for the warm weather ahead.

Being quite a dry winter, the famine on the land has seen a feast on the water as fishers have had a productive season during these cooler months. Your known bread and butter winter species showed good form this year; juvenile snapper, mulloway, squid, flathead and tailor have kept us entertained in all corners of the bay.

But it wasn’t all rosy on the fishing front, when a couple of weeks into last month saw a bit of a tough period of fishing where reports slowed and angler’s found it tough to find the fish in many of the usually populated fishing areas. Whether it was a change in the temperature or even an early change in the season, it will probably remain an answer we will never find. Fingers-crossed though, the change into spring should start to bring better fishing conditions with the last of the westerlies making way for the southeaster’s we have grown to expect over the warmer months.

Flathead numbers have been steady over the last month with better numbers being caught in the Pumicestone Passage, Pine River and Cabbage Tree Creek, especially the mouths where baitfish have been more abundant. Areas worth a try at Bribie are White Patch, Glasshouse Creek and Poverty Creek with some fishos having success along the drop-offs near Toorbul. Drifting with the tide have been a fruitful technique as has been anchoring up on the corner of river and creek mouths being a noted ambush spot for flatties.

At the mouth of the Pine, under the Houghton Highway bridge and Hays Inlet on the run-out tide have been the popular spots for flathead along with the Eventide wall on the top of the tide. Fishos have had mixed success with lures, soft plastics and bait with all three having wins in this area. The mouth of the Cabbage Tree Creek has also shown good form on the flathead front with anglers drawing better luck by anchoring up on the run-out tide.

Tailor have been hot and cold over the past few weeks but have been plenty of fun when they are on the bite. They have been widespread through the Pumicestone, especially on the top of the tide as an increase in bait presence has drawn these rogue hunters out to play. Cooks Rocks has been a favourite of the locals of late as the sandy/weedy bottom of the area keeps the baitfish around, therefore drawing the tailor into there to feed.

Also worth a try are the Cockle Banks as good whiting numbers throughout the last few weeks have drawn tailor into the area to prey on the smaller winter whiting.

If beach fishing is your fancy, the Eastern Beach has seen anlgers pulling a few good tailor from the area, especially during the early hours of the morning with fresh baits being the weapon of choice.

Bream numbers are starting to rise along with the water temperature after a sluggish back end of the winter season for the humble bream. After finishing their annual spawn the bigger bream are slowly appearing in the usual spots in the Pumicestone and the Redcliffe Peninsula with anglers throwing shallow running hardbody lures to great success. Atomic Crank 38s, Pontoon CrackJacks and Berkley Fat Dogs have been working well with light leaders combating the clearer waters and bringing increased success.

Brisbane River has and continues to produce good numbers of mulloway over the cooler months with this trend set to continue into spring. As the water temperature increases we should also start to see more king threadfin salmon activity accompany the mulloway fishing in areas of deeper holding bait.

Lately the Pine River has had sound reports of smaller school mulloway being caught with fishos also snagging the odd threadfin when chasing the deep water dwellers. Areas throughout the Brisbane River have also produced the same results with bigger specimens populating areas around the mouth of the river. Heavier weighted soft plastics and soft vibes have been the pick of the lures this spring with anglers having success on Z-Man 5” Scented Jerk ShadZ, Shads Lures 4” Ribbed Candy Atomic Plazo 5” Prongs, Jackall Mask Vibes, Atomic Semi Hardz Vibe 60mm and Shads Lures Jew Candy.

With the warmer months upon us, it’s certainly good to see the back of winter and the layers of clothes we usually wear over the cooler months. When usually covered up so much we often forget the importance of sun protection, especially that of our faces. As we start to spend more time on the water this spring be sure to pack the sunscreen and use a Buff/Headsox to keep our delicate faces away from the rays of sun. With only taking seconds to apply and cover up will be a valuable tool in our fishing careers.

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