Welcome to the New Year, or as I like to say – Happy new gear! If you were successful at dropping those subtle hints you may have found some great new fishing gear with your name on it under the Christmas tree! It has been great to see our waterways so busy over the festive season, and the weather has given us a reasonable serve of good fishing days over the last month. Sporadic southeast winds have typically peppered the northern bay, which has fed the many rivers and estuaries with a large presence of baitfish. This has made the fishing decent over these steamy humid days.
Bream catches are seasonally good around the warmer months, as the rise in both water and air temperatures fire bream into feeding more regularly. Surface fishing has been exciting for the lure fanatics among us – especially around the top of the tide, when waters spread over rock bommies and weed flats allowing roaming bream to feed in these areas. Lightly weighted soft plastics like Berkley Powerbaits and ZMan SlimSwimZ have been standout performers, with neutral colours being on trend to combat the clear waters we’ve had due to lack of rain.
If you’re fishing waters loaded with snags and bommies, then try a hopping retrieve, whereas slow rolling retrieves will achieve results in rubble and weedy flats. The weedy flats through the Pumicestone Passage have been popular over this summer, especially around Donnybrook, Ningi Creek, Sandstone Point and Beachmere.
Nice legal juvenile snapper have been on the menu this month, especially in the Redcliffe Peninsula. Fresh baits and early mornings have been a successful recipe over these hotter months with night anglers also rewarded for their patience.
Soft plastics are a popular choice, and both grub and shad style baits feature prominently. The floor is open for debate on the application of ‘attractant scent’ (like Procure and S-Factor) on your soft plastics to aid the snapper chase.
North Reef has been the usual stalwart of the peninsula and Margate and Woody Point also show good form.
Steady sand crab numbers have been reported over the Christmas and New Year period with Bramble Bay still leading the charge like previous months. Pumicestone Passage has managed a close second with many anglers taking advantage of work holidays to spend more time out on the water laying pots throughout the area.
During extended periods of northerly winds, Deception Bay is always a solid option for sand crabbers, as the combination of northerly winds and tidal currents are favourable to that area. Mud crabs have also been caught in the upper reaches of the Pine and Caboolture rivers lately with Elimbah, Hussey and Bells Creek producing stable results in the Bribie area.
Decent sand whiting are still being caught this month and the stand out area has been the southern beaches of Bribie. Bloodworms have been the pick of the baits among avid whiting fishers with pipis (less available on Bribie) also coming into the mix.
Further down the bay, Hays Inlet and the lower reaches of the Pine River have repeatedly produced whiting but size has sometimes been the issue with anglers having to sift through the smaller ones to get a good bag of legal fish. Persistence pays off!
Outboard motors can be your friend or foe at times, but nothing puts a dampener on a trip than an ill-tempered outboard. As regular servicing can be expensive, simple maintenance and a little TLC can give your outboard an extended life. It all starts with simply flushing the motor with fresh water after each use. Whether using the ‘earmuff’ style flushers or a trusty old drum, this simple practice can save a lot of heartache on your next trip!
Happy fishing!Reads: 679