One of the best times of year to fish the Pin is during July. Cool clear days, light westerly winds and good water clarity encourage the bream to be on the bite with great catches expected all winter long. Bream are one of the most prolific species throughout the Pin system and are relatively easy to catch, which puts them high on most anglers’ lists.
Simply use a running ball sinker set up to a swivel attached to about 40-60cm of trace to a 1/0 baitholder hook and you will be armed with one of the easiest and successful bait rigs. This won’t just catch you bream but will also find most of the other species at the Pin as well. The best baits to score yourself a feed are live yabbies, worms, mullet fillets and gut, prawns, squid, whitebait and even bread balled up on your hook.
For bream you can’t go past the usual favourite spots like the dead trees off the bottom of North Stradbroke, the eastern tip of Crusoe Island, the eastern tip of Short Island, Stieglitz, Flat Rock, the Stockyards, the Powerlines, the north wall of the Seaway and the mouth of the Pimpama River. These spots always produce good quality fish and there is even a good chance that you could land a juvenile snapper there as well during the colder months. Flathead have been caught on soft plastics from the Pandannus weed banks, Whalleys Gutter mouth, the bottom of Kangaroo Island, the sand flats at the top of South Stradbroke and along the drop-off at Kalinga Bank.
The water quality has been good, so both soft plastics and hardbodies should work well. For the bait fishers, pilchards and big fresh prawns are the go and drifting seems to be the best method to track them down. When you find the fish, work the same area, as they tend to school up together. This month the big mulloway should come on at the Pin bar in the deep drop-offs out from Swan Bay and towards the choppy water of the bar. They can be caught on live pike, herring, mullet and gar – but if you can’t get your hands on any livies, then a well presented strip of mullet or bonito fillet should do the trick. Using 5-8” plastics with 1-2oz jighead to make sure you get the lure down to the bottom is another way to tempt the mulloway to bite.
Look for slack tides or time your trip so that you fish the turn of the tide where there is little water movement. Tailor should hang around the bar and in the surf at the top of South Stradbroke. The bigger greenbacks usually cruise along the coast at this time of year chasing bait schools and feeding up for their breeding season. The best results come after dark, so if you don’t mind a chilly night you can catch the better fish from dusk onwards. Early in the mornings you can see them balling up bait schools to the surface inside the bar and then breaching the surface to get a feed, this makes them fairly easy to spot. There’s nothing quite like a tailor feeding frenzy, with the water boiling around the boat! If you head out during the week when there is less water traffic you’ll have a better chance of seeing this. Use lures the same size as the bait they are feeding on – usually 10-40g is the right size. Plastics get torn apart by tailor, so unless you have an endless supply, I’d stick to metal slugs. Other than that, try floating lightly weighted pilchards or whitebait in the current and a cruising tailor should find it irresistible. Pilchards or bonito flesh will be the best bait to use when chasing big greenbacks.
Whiting like faster moving tides, so look for moving water that funnels and you should find some. Good areas are across from Slipping Sands, the sand flats near Rocky Point, Tipplers Passage and the Green Bank. All these spots will produce fish, you just need to persist and wait for the bigger fish to arrive. Bloodworms, beach worms and yabbies are definitely the best bait. Muddies are a little harder to come by, so stick to the deeper drains at high tide and get right into the mangroves to give yourself a chance at a feed.
Tight lines and I’ll catch you next month.
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