Work with the weather for flatties
  |  First Published: September 2016

A refreshing change is just around the corner… Well, this is a statement that we are all too familiar with when listening to the weather forecast while planning the next fishing trip. But is this necessarily a good thing? What if the weather has been good for fishing and we don’t want it to change? Don’t stress, as anglers we can evolve with these ongoing changes and use them to our advantage.

If the weather prediction is not looking good, rather than being annoyed why not fish according to the forecast? We have a gaggle of options throughout the ample river systems in the northern bay that fish really well when the weather prevents you getting out into the open waters of the bay. We really have no excuse, if the wind is too strong or your usual spots are blown out, why not use this time to find new areas and try new techniques – embrace the change!


Numbers have been steady over the last month with anglers finding tides and moon phases a big influence on catch rates. Smaller run-out tides have been holding bait closer to creek mouths and run-offs, therefore keeping the lizards in the strike zone for longer periods. This has given anglers great opportunities, as opposed to the bigger tides around the full and new moon.

The mouth of Cabbage Tree Creek, the lower reaches of the Pine River and Hays Inlet, have been great areas over the last few weeks with run-out tides playing a big part when searching for nice legal size flatties. Up in the Pumicestone, Toorbul has been a good hotspot of late with the top of the tide and fresh baits like pilchards and mullet reaping the rewards. As usual the stretch along Sylvan Beach has been good with drop-offs around White Patch and Gallaghers Gutter also working well.

Upriver of Little Goat Island has been a good incoming tide spot with anglers finding its rubble bottom good for chasing these bottom feeders who are there ambushing bait. Be careful of the weed traveling through these areas when the tide runs, as this can be quite an annoying factor when picking your spots.


Bream numbers have been good over the last few weeks. Many bream are roaming throughout the northern bay as they conclude their spawning period. Chopper tailor schools have been rounding up bait in our estuaries and creeks giving the bream ample leftovers to feed on after tailor frenzies have occurred.

The peninsula has been a little hit and miss. The better days have been when the wind is up and the bream are less skittish due to the high visibility of the water in the area. Occasional rains have made waters a little dirty for short periods over the past month but this soon clears with the tidal changes bringing the cleaner waters back in no time.

ZMan GrubZ, Ecogear Bream Prawns, Pro Lure Grubs and ZMan Slim SwimZ have been the pick of the soft plastics at the moment with colour choice dependent on the water clarity.

As for hardbody lures Ecogear SX40s, Jackall Chubbies, Atomic Crank 38s and Cranka Crabs has been effective with light leaders around 3-5lb helping increase the catch rate.

Cooks Rocks, Tiger Rocks, Avon Wreck and the mouth of Ningi Creek on the last of the run-in tide have been quite active areas with drifts with the wind being imperative. Around the moored boats in the lower reaches of the Caboolture River are also worth a try with lightly weighted soft plastics; your chance of encountering a flathead also high in this area.

Juvenile snapper

This year’s winter juvenile snapper bite has been quite a fruitful one for most anglers in the northern bay. The peninsula is a staunch location over the cooler months, and locations around Bribie have had a late seasonal bite, making many of the locals very happy anglers.

White Patch, The Ripples and the main bridge have been good areas over the last few weeks and should hold until waters start to warm up. Fresh baits have been the best choice in the Pumicestone areas with soft plastics and vibration baits being the pick of the bunch for the reef dwelling snapper of Redcliffe. The wider fringes of North Reef, Shields Street and Queens Beach have been the most active on the peninsula with Woody Point being popular in the lower lit times.


Be sure to refresh your knowledge of bag and size limits of your catch over the coming weeks, as zero-tolerance to infringements are taken by Department of Agriculture and Fisheries while patrolling our waters. If in doubt, use your smartphone or tablet on water to check on their website, or if in further doubt return your unharmed catch back into the ocean to fight another day.


The author had great breaming fun with Marcel Krieger.


Alex Willmer caught this decent flathead on ZMan Slim SwimZ.

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