Flathead are thick in Jumpinpin
  |  First Published: May 2016

I can’t believe that it’s May already and the bream season is upon us yet again. This means that the cooler weather is here and the water temperature is dropping. This change will see bigger bream moving in and the quality of your catch start to improve.

Troll small deep diving lures around the edges of rock walls or snags until you get a hook-up or try to use small blades or plastics in the deeper water where you know snags are located. The best and most effective way to catch bream is, and always will be, with bait. They will attack prawns, squid, fillets, yabbies, worms, and pretty much anything else you stick in front of them. Try to present your bait as best as possible with the aid of a berley trail and you will attract the larger fish.

The best spots for bream will be the dead trees off the bottom of North Stradbroke, the point of Short Island, Cobby hole, Giants Grave, Steglietz and Rocky Point. Flathead are around in good numbers too, and you can expect them to be caught right through May. I find lizards can be caught at any time of the tide but they will bite better as the tide first starts to run out and the last hour before low tide. I have been successful with large banana prawns, pilchards and whitebait bouncing them along the bottom as I drift over the mud and sand banks. You cover more territory when you drift, and you will effectively take the bait to the flathead as they lay in wait to ambush their prey.

Use plastics and soft vibes on the drift, or an electric motor to hold you in place is a great way to target them as well. Try along the southern entrance to Cobby Passage, the sandy patches of the Pandannus banks, the mud flats north of Cabbage Tree boat ramp, Kalinga Bank, behind Tabby Tabby and along the Never Fail Islands. Local fisher Heath Edmondson did the fishery proud winning the Pirtek Fishing Challenge with a cracking 88cm flathead from near the powerlines. He told me he’d had no luck with heavier gear and used lighter line to try to get a bite. Using a 5” white Jerk Shad he hooked the flathead and quickly realised it was a monster. Thinking that his light 6lb leader would not hold the fish, he had to angle it until the fish was tired enough to be netted. A quick photo and the fish was released unharmed. He won himself some top prizes, and it’s great to see that trophy fish like this can be caught locally.

Whiting should still be about in good numbers along the sand flats and drop-offs across from Slipping Sands, Fishermans Channel, behind Tabby Island and near Mosquito Island. Winter whiting should be on the chew and heavily targeted on the sand flats north of Cabbage Tree Pt, Tiger Mullet Channel, the Bedrooms, Never Fail Islands and Diner Island. These whiting are easily distinguishable by the black spots along their flanks. Use small yabbies and pieces of worm on small No 6,8,10 long shank hooks along a berley trail and you should have no trouble getting a feed of these sweet tasting fish.

Plan mulloway-fishing trips around the smaller tides, as they prefer the slower water movements and feed more aggressively. Jig big plastics and livebait with pike or mullet in the deep water off Swan Bay and you should hopefully catch a big fish. Giants Grave, the point of Short Island and Marks Rocks in the Logan should hold a few mulloway as well.

The King of the Pin fishing competition is on again this month, so be sure to set aside the 27-29 of May weekend as there are some great prizes on offer and a top time is to be had at the Gem Hotel where the weigh-in and presentations are held on the Sunday.

• 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 (07) 3287 3868 or email --e-mail address hidden--

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