Cold weather catching
  |  First Published: August 2016

Cold weather has set in and things have slowed a little on the fishing front in the southern bay. This time of year can make things tricky, but there have been some good reports coming through for anglers that have put in the time! Just be sure to put on a few extra layers as it has been freezing!


Winter in Moreton Bay is great for chasing squid. They will push up into the shallows looking for bait with the clear water we get this time of the year. All the southern bay islands are worth a try and the top choices are Goat, Peel and Coochiemudlo islands. Looking for areas with shallow reef or weedy bottoms will put you in the zone.

One of the most important parts of squid fishing is to use a good quality jig. They may seem expensive compared to your basic squid jigs but they are worth the extra dollars. They offer a much better action underwater, which the squid will find irresistible.

Some of the brands to look out for include Yamashita and Daiwa. When picking a size, 2.5 is popular with squid anglers fishing around the bay islands. These can be cast a long way and are great for covering water when you are locating the squid. Often they will school up and you can easily tempt them to bite by working the jigs past them. Some days you can literally sit there and pick them off one by one, while others it can be tricky.


Winter is always a great time to target bream, especially the larger fish as they fatten up before going off to spawn. Like the squid, looking to the shallows is the most effective way of targeting them in the southern bay. They will inhabit the same haunts as the squid, looking for bait as the tide pushes up over the weed beds and shallow reef. This time of year, shallow crankbaits are the best lure to use, as they cast well and can cover ground quickly when you’re looking for fish.

The Raby Bay canals are also worth a fish this time of the year. It can be red-hot one day and cold the next so the weather is mixed. Lightly weighted soft plastics cast close to the pylons and pontoons, and will give you a shot at bream, flathead, squire and even trevally.

Snapper and Mulloway

Winter is tough when targeting snapper and mulloway. Many bait anglers seem to do well on the overnight sessions. I have spoken to different anglers about this lately and the general consensus is that live baits are the most effective for winter. Spots like the Harry Atkinson and Peel artificial reefs are good places to anchor up with live baits.

Better baits are pike and squid. There has been a heap of pike in the shallows lately, so they can be caught easily with soft plastics. Just look for the smaller bait schools and the pike won’t be far off. We actually had to move spots to get away from them recently!

If you’re a lure fisher, throwing lightly weighted plastics and shallow crankbaits over the reef edges, either early morning or late afternoon, will see you with a good chance of getting into the squire. There have been a few smaller schools of mulloway starting to show up, but they have been very hard to tempt. When they do bite, you can easily get a few. The key has been to look for them on the sounder and keep on top of them until they bite. It can be frustrating, but switching lures and varying your retrieve pays off.

As spring draws near, we should start to see some bigger fish roll in. It’s definitely my favourite time of the year in Moreton Bay and I am looking forward to it! If you have any success or a story you would like to share, send it through to --e-mail address hidden-- and I will do my best to get in in the magazine!
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