What a weather rollercoaster we have had over the last month! The weather gods have thrown the full works at all anglers over the South East region. I would like to say we get some reprieve in the northern bay but being an east-facing fishery, we have little to no protection from the southerly onslaught we have encountered.
There is some joy though, as the southerly winds we have been experiencing have kept good numbers of bait schools around the Redcliffe Peninsula and at the mouths of our major rivers, the Pine, Caboolture and Pumicestone. Combined with the dregs of our annual prawn run, fishing has been quite fruitful for the over-eager anglers that have been chomping at the bit to take advantage of any breaks in the weather.
With the abundance of prawns through the Pine and Caboolture rivers, bream catches have been plentiful but many anglers have come to the consensus that finding sized fish has been the issue. During the last month, QFM’s own Will Lee and I took the time out to tag some small bream through the Deception Bay and Scarborough area to help research the growth and travel of bream in the area and therefore help keep our waterways abundant with good stocks. During our session we tagged over a dozen small bream around the 25-28cm tip length caught on a combination of ZMan Slim SwimZ and Daiwa Presso Mid Cranks.
Hopefully many anglers will get the chance to catch these tagged fish and provide us with vital information on the behaviour of bream on the peninsula. With water temperatures slowly getting cooler, bream have been found in shallower waters over the last month using lightly weighted soft plastics, shallow running hardbody lures or unweighted baits around open structure. Areas of interest include Cooks Rocks, the mouth of Burpengary Creek, North Reef, Queens Beach, The Wells, lower reaches of the Pine River around Bald Hills Creek and Brighton foreshore.
Flathead numbers have steadily climbed and all signs are pointing to a nice flathead season. Soft plastics and slender shad style lures have been the recipe for success with bright or UV embellished colours attracting more than a few bites, especially in darker waters. ZMan 3.5” GrubZ, 2.5” Slim SwimZ, Daiwa Silver Wolf Shad 40SP and Atomic Shiner 45s have been successful combatants recently with a hop-hop-pause retrieve working well with soft plastics and in contrast a slow roll with the occasional pause works wonders with hardbody lures. Areas of interest include Donnybrook Flats, drop-offs between Bribie Bridge and Sylvan Beach, Scarborough foreshore, beneath the Ted Smout Bridge and at the mouth of the Cabbage Tree Creek.
Southerly winds have helped juvenile snapper numbers, due to the presence of baitfish schools around the northern end of the Redcliffe Peninsula and the mouth of the Brisbane River. Fresh baits and soft plastics have been the popular choice among anglers, with pre-dawn hours accounting for many of the catches in these areas. Having a good sounder with GPS on your boat is imperative to catch snapper as not only can keep an eye out for bait schools and schooling fish, but you can also follow drift tracks via GPS – especially when you have a successful drift.
Good numbers have still been rolling in for each of these crustaceans, and short doses of rain have been very beneficial to the cause. Sand crab catches are still reported in the Pumicestone, with the main passage showing the most success. Deception Bay has worked well due to the southeasterly winds sweeping around the Peninsula with Bramble Bay being better during the cooler westerly winds. The flushing rains have helped mud crab catches with many anglers targeting little freshwater run offs and tiny creek mouths to great success. Both the Caboolture and the Pine rivers have been working better for muddies in the upper reaches.
As the cooler weather slowly begins, it’s often a great time to do a spot of night fishing in your local estuary or inshore waters. Before you venture out, be sure to take a little time to check the working order of your navigation (red and green) and anchor light (white). Not only is it for your own safety when anchored up or drifting through your favourite spot, it helps fellow anglers when navigating through tighter waterways to avoid unnecessary collisions on the water.
Happy fishing!Reads: 519