Cool weather catches
  |  First Published: May 2015

May signals the start of cooler weather and the start of the bream season in South East Queensland.

Fishing conditions are usually perfect with cool clear days and plenty of fish on offer. This is definitely one of my favourite times of the year to fish, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this thinking.

BREAM time

Bream will be the main species that make up most catches throughout this time of year, and whilst they are able to be caught all year round, there will be an improvement in the size and quality of fish as they gear up for their breeding season. This time of year big bream to over a kilo can be caught along Kalinga Bank, the deep hole on the north east of Crusoe Island, Short island, Tipplers Island, the beach off South Straddie, the Powerlines, and the Seaway. Best baits to try are prawns, yabbies, herring, whitebait, chook and mullet gut, and flesh baits. Soft vibes, small plastics and suspending lures work well around pylons, jetties, rock walls or any structure where bream congregate. They hit lures hard and fight even harder so be prepared to muscle them out or you could lose plenty of gear.

Wintertime whiting

Good catches of whiting can be expected too with some big elbow slappers on offer during the cooler months. Best spots to try for a feed of whiting are Slipping Sands, Long island, Tipplers Island, the Gold Bank, Couran Cove and Alberton Sands in the Logan R. Bloodworms work the best but they will take a variety of baits such as squid, prawns, chook gut, and even small soft plastics retrieved slowly along the bottom will work. Another good tactic is using surface poppers in shallow water on a calm day, or late in the arvo when conditions class out.

Whiting will rise and hit poppers and at the same time you’ll be in with a chance of catching other species such as flathead and bream. Winter whiting should be around in good numbers, and are great fun for the kids as they are easy to catch and handle. Identifiable by the dark spots along their flanks they have no size limit but do have a bag limit of 50. Fish as light as possible using a no. 8 or 6 long shank hook with yabbies, worms, squid or peeled prawns. Try around the Green and Gold Banks, Tiger Mullet Channel, The Bedroom, or Never Fail Island.

Flatty fun

Flathead are still around in good numbers and quite a few larger ones are still being caught and released because they were too large. (Max75cm). They can’t resist a live Mullet or Herring but it is becoming increasingly more popular to use lures that mimic the action of a baitfish. Whether you try soft plastics, holographic swim baits, trolling hard bodied lures, using vibes or even poppers in shallow water you’ll find that Flathead are very aggressive fish and will strike violently at pretty much anything that is presented to them. try around the sand flats at the top of south Straddie, the broadwater around Wavebreak Island, Kalinga Bank, eastern point of Short Island, the mud flats just north of Cabbage Tree Point and Cobby Passage.

Tailor made

Tailor should be schooling and moving up the coast feeding on the schools of whitebait pilchards and hardiheads. Tailor ball up these bait schools inside the bars and around the river mouths, smashing the bait on the surface, in-turn making them fairly easy to spot. There’s nothing like being in a tailor feeding frenzy with the water literally boiling around your boat. If you head out on the water mid week when there is less traffic on the water you’ll have a better chance of this happening. Use lures the same size as the bait they are feeding. An offering in the 10-40gm size range is usually the right size.

Jewie time

There are plenty of jewfish around at the moment, but most of then are 60-70cm in length, which means they are undersized and need to be released. The legal size is 75cm and the bag limit is two so keep this in mind and stick to the rules is you’re out chasing a feed of jew. Live baits are working the best as usual, but large banana prawns, pilchards or bonito fillets work well too. Try the deep water off Swan Bay, Kalinga Bank, Short Island, Giants Grave and in the Logan River near Marks or Pitts Rocks.

Don’t forget the King Of The Pin fishing comp is on again this month starting Friday May 29 and running until to Sunday May 31. Entry fee is only $30 for adults and $15 for juniors (15 years old and under), with a major prize of $2000 cash one offer for the heaviest random species. Entry is available here at Gem Bait & Tackle, with the weigh-in taking place at the Gem Hotel (Sun May 31). Food and entertainment will be available, and you could even win yourself, a boat package valued at over $8000, or one of a host of lucky door prizes on offer.

Thanks for all your reports and keep those fish coming in. if you’d like any advice or up to date fishing information drop us a line at Gem Bait & Tackle on 3287 3868 or email --e-mail address hidden-- . - Mick Morris

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