Well this is a welcome change. The cooling westerly winds have been a pleasant break from the barrage of humid weather we have encountered over the first quarter of the year. Although anglers have had quite a fruitful summer with consistent catches being recorded in all corners of the Northern Bay area, this may have been assisted by the higher than average water temperatures we had been experiencing.
As another chapter of summer fishing closes, we look forward to the cooler months, with many winter species already ramping up the action and anglers keen to get amongst it. Easter weekend turned out to be quite the turning point weather wise in the south east, with heavy rains and wind signalling the end of summer and clearing the way for a beautiful opening to a cooler autumn. Now let’s see what has been going on in the Northern Bay.
Yes, everyone’s favourite this time of the year, and it turns out they have already been on the bite. Scarborough showed early signs, with many juvenile squire being nabbed around the bommies surrounding North Reef and outside Queens Beach. Early mornings have been the pick of the times, with another small bite period occurring during the middle of the day. With these areas resembling a carpark on calm days, many of the boats and kayaks have braved less favourable weather and been rewarded for their efforts.
Soft plastics have been choice of many, with Shads Lures 4” Flick Tails, Z-Man 4” Curly Tail StreakZ, and Atomic Jerk Minnows being the standout models. On the bait front, a lightly weighted squid or mullet strip cut thin and rigged on a 1/0-2/0 hook has been keeping up with any artificial baits on the market.
Mud Island and the Brisbane River have also started to produce the goods this month, with the outer reefs of Mud producing the bigger models than its river counterpart. Again, larger soft plastics have been the popular choice with anglers.
Bream numbers have been nice and steady over the last month and are set to continue as they put on condition for their annual spawn run. This pilgrimage takes place over the much cooler months of June and July, but May seems to find them very aggressive before they start to move. Ningi Flats, Cooks Rocks and the mouth of the Caboolture River have been the noted hot spots around Bribie, with Tiger Rocks at the mouth of the Pumicestone Passage also firing well on the rising tides.
Redcliffe Peninsula has its good and bad days, with bream averaging around the 27-28cm fork length on a regular basis. Woody Point and the fishing platform at Clontarf have been the place for land based anglers, with some night anglers being rewarded for their efforts along the Brighton/Eventide rock walls at the top of the tide.
Deep diving hardbody lures have dominated on bream over this autumn, with the popular ones being OSP Dunks, Pontoon 21 Crack Jacks, Jackall Chubbys and Atomic Shiners.
Flathead catches have been as common as sleeve tattoos in the NRL, with numbers increasing as the cooler weather begins. The Pine River is leading the charge, with the mouth under the Ted Smout Bridge being the place to be for a good haul. Hays Inlet, The Wells and the mouth of Cabbage Tree Creek have also been fishing well for flatties, with the runout tide being most fruitful. In the Pumicestone Passage precinct, try the dropoffs and creek mouths around Toorbul, Elimbah Creek and Donnybrook on the ebbing tide, with recent showers pushing enough bait out of the feeder creeks to keep the lizards active.
Good sand whiting are still being caught, even though the weather has cooled, with anglers still reporting catches along the southern beaches of Bribie. The mouth of the Caboolture and Deception Bay and have also been productive, along with the mouth of Bald Hills Creek in the Pine River. Worms are the best bait, but small hardbody lures have also shown good form.
Terminal tackle like hooks, swivels, sinkers and jigheads are easily left lying around on the boat floor (or stuck on carpet) after a good day out on the water. Be sure to clean these up after each trip, as it can accelerate corrosion in the bottom of your tinnie, or leave rust marks on the carpet, which can turn out to be a major chore when left for ages. For some short term pain, you can get a long term gain.Reads: 527