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Happy days on the northern bay
  |  First Published: March 2015



I said to my wife, as a New Year’s resolution I’m going to try to see the positive side of things more than focusing on the negative. With so many negative aspects of the world being broadcasted on the news and on social media, it’s very easy to be caught up in bad thoughts and views, leaving you nothing but a little miffed with the world.

So what’s this got to do with fishing? Well, a lot in fact, as this favourite pastime or yours and mine can often be tarnished by angry or negative people not only off the water, but also on the water. Next time you are out fishing your favourite spot and someone rolls up next to you, don’t be angry that they are there, but use it as fuel to concentrate on your fishing to catch that next keeper before they do. A little friendly competition never hurt anyone, but don’t turn what is meant to be a relaxing day on the water into a day of high stress.

Now for what’s been going on in the northern bay over the last month. March has seen the prawns on their annual run through the Pine River, Cabbage Tree Creek and Nudgee Beach, bringing their fair share of predators along with them. Anglers chasing prawns can be seen casting their nets all through these areas, chasing the schools up and down the rivers and leaving no stone unturned. This increase in prawn activity has fired up the fishing around the river and creek mouths, as predators have been moving with the tide as the schools of prawns do. Large banana prawns have been the main targets, with the smaller greasies filling majority of the quotas.

This has been great news for the Redcliffe Peninsula, with the presence of bait making the fishing quite good. Squire numbers are on the climb, with all things pointing towards a good snapper season like we had back in 2012. Patient anglers are pulling mid 40-50cm specimens from around the bommies of North Reef, with Woody Point also gaining popularity. Mullet and squid have been the pick of the baits, with the majority of the better sized fish coming off shad style soft plastics and larger slender hardbodies. Jackall Squirrels, Imakatsu Riprizers and Atomic Shiner 45s are a great choice for those hardbody fanatics out there, with Z-Man GrubZ, Keitech Easy Shiners and Shads Ribbed Candys doing the damage in the soft plastic field.

With the presence of bigger predators comes a good consistency in your bread-and-butter species, with bream, flathead and summer whiting all showing up in reports through the peninsula. Bream have been firing around the top of the tides, especially in mangrove-laden areas like Deception Bay and Hays Inlet. The fuller tides of the full and new moons have been the pick. Flathead numbers are steady, as the prawn run has kept these bottom dwellers closer to the higher current areas waiting in ambush. Summer whiting are still coming from the shores of Margate, with the mouth of the Pine River being the pick of the areas, especially on the run-out tide. The warmer weather has brought the occasional mangrove jack out of the Pine, with some anglers also reporting the odd threadfin from there and the neighbouring Caboolture River.

Pumicestone Passage has been fishing reasonably well of late, with south east winds working favourably for recreational anglers as it pushes and holds the bait high in the system. Areas like Glasshouse Creek, Gallagher’s Gutter, Donnybrook and Ningi Creek normally fare well when the winds are high. Bream and flathead have been the pick of the species, with a few squire starting to show up in the usual spots. The Ripples and the Bribie Bridge are the noted squire spots, with night anglers being rewarded for their bravery against the wind and occasional showers. Mud crabs have also continued their good form, with recent rain pushing these crustaceans out of the creeks and into the channels.

MONTHLY TIP

Never skimp on buying sunscreen. Good sunscreen is expensive for a reason, so treat your skin with respect. Sunscreen is also known to ‘go off’, so be sure to replace large pump packs that have been in the boat for a while, as their protective powers may have diminished over time.

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Ewan Bulger helped his dad get amongst some great prawns.

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Peter Metzdorf with a cracker saratoga from Lake Kurwongbah.

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Avoiding the bommies is the key to landing squire like this.

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