Interrupted January
  |  First Published: February 2008

Fishing in the Southern Bay has been interrupted over past weeks due to the heavy rains that have fallen in the Logan and Albert River catchments as well as in local creeks. Large amounts of muddy water and debris are pouring out into the ocean, forcing fish, crabs and bait out of their usual habitats. This may seem like a bad thing for fishing, but on the contrary, it brings nutrients to the whole marine ecosystem, triggering strong feeding in many species.

In the middle of January bream and mud crabs were being caught in good numbers around the southern bay along with reasonable quantities of snapper further north in the cleaner waters. The bream were biting well on fish baits such as baby blue pilchards, whitebait and hardiheads. Some of the top locations included the jetties and shoreline of Redland Bay and Victoria Point on the mainland and islands such as Russell and Karragarra.

Mud crabs have been moving out of their holes way back in the mangrove swamps, so now is the time to target them as they are on the move, looking for a more comfortable, salty environment.

As flood waters subside in the Logan and Albert, fishing for jewfish and mangrove jacks should improve right through to the Jumpinpin Bar area. These species are quite tolerant to fresh water, so they will sit in the deeper holes and pick off all the disoriented baitfish and prawns being flushed out of the river. Live baits of prawns and small fish work well as do large soft plastic lures such as Berkley Powerbait Shrimps, 7” Gulp Jerkshads and big Assassin Shads. The key is to work the deeper holes and eddies that concentrate prey and allow the predators to sit comfortably out of the main, dirty currents. When the tide runs hard you may need some substantial weight on the line to keep the bait or lure down. Don’t be afraid to pack on the lead, because in these situations if you can’t get right into the strike zone, the fish may miss your offering entirely.

Flathead are a fish that does not have the ability to tolerate fresh and dirty water as much as some other estuarine species. The best way to target them is to look for cleaner water on the flats outside creek mouths and around the bay islands such as Macleay, Karragarra and Garden, which are less affected by outflows from the rivers.

The strong southeasterly winds that have plagued this part of the coast for the last month or more should help to push warm currents against the coast, bringing tropical species down from the north. Spotty mackerel, longtail tuna, wahoo and black marlin all ride the currents so look out for them as soon as the warm water begins to push in against Moreton and Stradbroke Islands.

Until next month, tight lines! For more information, give me a call on 07 3207 9965 or --e-mail address hidden-- Alternatively drop in and see us at our new store in Victoria Point! We are now located next door to Pattons ‘Big Gun’ Butchers in the Town Centre at Victoria Point, just off the Redland Bay Rd. Our range of specialist fishing tackle has increased with the move to the big new store, so come in and check out our local and imported brands.

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