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Northern winter wonderland
  |  First Published: June 2015



Hello winter. Yes this would have to be the weather that fishermen dreams are made of. Cool mornings and westerly winds are the exact recipe to make winter fishing in the northern bay an enjoyable experience, giving anglers more time on the water even when afternoon winds prevail.

Westerly winds in our bay also has the tendency to hold constant bait schools close to shores and river mouths giving anglers a good opportunity to get amongst the predators that target these schools. Squire numbers have been good for the start of their traditional seasonal bite time with Redcliffe Peninsula and Bribie Island Bridge being the standout spots, especially during the blustery days. Anglers agree the low light hours are the most favourable when chasing squire in our northern waters with baits and soft plastics paving the way to good success.

Our annual prawn run that occurs in our rivers over the months of April and May each year often marks the start of increased squire activity in many of the areas from Bribie through to the Brisbane River. Mullet strips and squid tubes rigged on 5/0- 7/0 Octopus hooks have been the choice of many over this last month with some bait diehard anglers even jumping on the soft plastic band wagon. For the lure junkies, large 60-70mm shad style jerkbaits have been working well over the bommies of Scarborough, with a twitch-twitch-pause retrieve being the most effective. Lures worth trying are Lucky Craft Pointer 65, OSP Power Dunk 57, Megabass Margay and Atomic Shiner 65.

Flathead

Flathead have proved again to be a stalwart species of winter fishing, appearing in many corners of the bay regardless of weather or time of day. With many larger females populating the Pumicestone Passage, good numbers of smaller males have accompanied these breeders allowing anglers to hit there 5 flathead limit in quick time. Curl and paddle tailed plastics like Z-Man Curly Tail StreakZ, Keitech Easy Shiners and Shads Lures Finesse Grubs have worked well when fished along drop offs and rock ledges in flowing current.

Toorbul foreshore, Donnybrook flats, Mission Point and the mouth of Elimbah Creek have been the pick of the spots in the Pumicestone, with the sandy flats of Sylvan Beach also holding small groups of lizards. The mouth of the Pine River, Bald Hills Creek, The Wells and Clontarf foreshore have also been kind to the locals, especially on the receding tides when bait travel is at its premium.

BREAM

Nice bream have also populated our waterways with recent rains doing everything but ruin the party. A day of rain proves to fire bream activity in the northern outskirts with bait and prawns being pushed out into deeper, flowing waters as bream prepare for their annual spawn over these winter months. The Caloundra end of the Pumicestone Passage is a noted bream spawning area with reports already coming in of good-sized legal bream being caught at night and early mornings. For the lure throwers, your usual bream lures like Jackall Chubbies, Atomic Crank 38s, Ecogear CX40HS and Strike Pro Cyber Cranks working well along mangrove edges (upper reaches of the Pine River, Elimbah Creek and Hussey Creek), and weedy rubble flats (mouth of Ningi and Donnybrook).

Redcliffe Peninsula has been a little hit and miss on the bream front with days with less water traffic producing better numbers for obvious reasons. This to is due to bream being more skittish around their spawn times, so early mornings and late afternoons are the prime times to nab some more aggressive feeders. Switching to lightly weighted soft plastics and baits during these prime bite periods can be a successful way to turn looking fish into biting ones.

During these cooler months another species to hit our shores is the humble squid. Numbers have been slow of late but will rise as we get clearer days, along with clearer water filtering through the Peninsula. Rocky points and rubble flats are the common areas to pick up squid. It’s not uncommon to find them in schools, with 5-6 squid in a school a typical find.

Monthly Tip

Wayward squid ink spray is a common occurrence when landing cephalopods, especially when fishing for them in a boat. If you manage to get some on your beloved boat’s carpet, be sure to douse it immediately with water (fresh or salt) to remove it before it dries. Removing dried ink after your fishing session will be like pushing cooked spaghetti up a hill. In short, it’s impossible.

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