Moreton bay fires for July
  |  First Published: July 2015

This cold weather has really fired up the fish in Moreton Bay in the last few weeks with some of the best snapper reports I have heard for a long time.

It has been a great time to get out on the water and the weather has been very forgiving so anglers have been making the most of it. If you’re sitting there wondering whether you need to get off your butt and get out there, the answer is yes!

The tuna have been sporadic with a few reports here and there from anglers seeing them as they are heading out to their spots. Unfortunately decent schools of fish have been few and far between. Unless you manage to bump into them it really hasn’t been worth the effort of driving around looking for them. Luckily the mulloway and snapper are playing nice and there are plenty of them on offer.


Starting at the smaller scale of things, the bream have continued to shine and are still a relatively easy target, and for me often a ‘doughnut saver.’ Look for areas with shallow rock and weed around the islands. Light line and small lures are a great way of targeting them and can make for a lot of fun. Alternatively, this time of the year sees plenty of bream school up in the deeper holes around the Jumpinpin. I have had a lot of success using soft plastics fished along the drop offs in Canaipa Passage and around Russell Island. Small soft plastics in the 2-3” size range fished with a 1/8oz jighead is my go-to approach in these situations and should see plenty of bream hit the deck.


Whilst it had seemed that they had gone quiet for some time, mulloway have showed up in decent numbers again, with many anglers getting amongst them while chasing snapper on the deeper reefs. The best way to target these guys is with 4-5” soft plastics rigged on 1/4-1/2oz jigheads. My favourite is the Z-Man Streakz range as they are a very durable plastic and will last a number of fish before they need to be changed. Drift these lures over artificial reef structures at the Peel Artificial Reef or Harry Atkinsons Reef and you’ll soon my in the mix. If you have a sounder, be sure to pay attention to it as mulloway are easy to spot.


Now to the snapper. They have been firing on all fronts in the last month and I have been hearing of countless reports coming in of quality fishing being caught. So I thought I would go into targeting these guys this month in a bit more detail. Starting in the shallows, there has been plenty of action in these areas with the smaller pan sized snapper about in good numbers. There are heaps of locations to try, with no real secret spots. I just like to find a reef edge that drops off into about 4-5m of water. Finding areas with good current flow will also help. I position the boat off the drop off and cast towards the shallows and work lightly weighted soft plastics back towards the boat and the deeper water.

The key in the shallow water is to be there early and to make as little noise as possible. As the sun gets higher I find that the fish will move deeper, so it pays to work your way out as the morning goes on. Another successful technique involves using deep diving hard-bodied lures and casting them into the shallows and working them down the drop offs. Be sure to up your line class if you go down that route though because they really hit and pull hard on the hardbodies.

Moving into deeper water, anglers have been getting some hefty sized fish over the past month. The best I saw was an 82cm fish caught on one of the artificial reefs. A monster fish for the bay. There are many techniques that you can use on the deeper reefs but my favourite and probably the simplest is to drift with soft plastics. I usually do a quick sound around the area and look for any good shows of fish or bait and then line up my drift accordingly. Quite often the fish will be sitting away from the structure, so don’t be afraid to look a little wider.

Again the Z-Man Streakz are my favourite lure for this sort of fishing, with the baby bass colour a standout. More important than lure selection is just making sure you are keeping your lure in the zone. If you feel you are aimlessly drifting, chances are pretty slim that you will catch something. Keep your lure in the strike zone, fish the early mornings and late afternoons and mix up your leader weight as sometimes going lighter can trigger the bigger bites

That’s it for this month, be sure to get out on the water and get stuck into the fish. If you have a picture or a story you would like to share, send it through to me at --e-mail address hidden-- , and I’ll do my best to get it in next month’s magazine for you!

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