Feelin’ okay at O’Sheas
  |  First Published: September 2016

O’Sheas Crossing is located about 80km from Brisbane on Cooeeimbardi Road along the Brisbane River, and is a crossing over the upper Brisbane River above Lake Wivenhoe. This great little spot is ideal for families and keen kayak anglers alike, with many species and a huge area of easily accessible water.

O’Sheas has a large variety of native and introduced fish species. The majority of the catch caught while kayak fishing is Australian bass and golden perch or yellowbelly. The crossing is located between Wivenhoe and Somerset Dams, which are both predominately stocked with bass and yellowbelly to keep the population thriving. Many other species can be caught also such as the lungfish, catfish and tilapia. Tilapia are a noxious species and need to be disposed of immediately and correctly if caught. Tilapia disposal information can be found online.

O’Sheas has a nice shaded area for picnics and parking vehicles, and the land leading up to the water’s edge is easily accessible and great for launching kayaks. Fishing from the bank can be very productive and ideal for the kids. There are a number of places to camp close by, including Somerset Park, which is located about 4km from the crossing. Accommodation can also be found at the township of Esk, approximately 20km away.

This stretch of river is fairly deep for the most part and can be fished for kilometres in both directions. However, you do not have to paddle far to have fun, as the bridge pylons hold high numbers of fish. Jigging blades and casting deep diving lures around the pylons is a sure fire way to hook up onto some big natives. Once you find the fish holding tight to the bridge, hang on, because they will keep biting and these resident fish are big.

There’s more to the crossing than just the bridge, and deep water and steep banks with rocky sections, sunken and standing timber can be found all the way along the Brisbane River stretch and also the adjoining Stanley River. A sounder can be very helpful to find schools holding in the deeper water. These deep water fish can be enticed by trolling, casting or jigging lures through the schools.

Trying all techniques until you find what the fish are biting on is the key to success. Early mornings seem to be when the fish are most active, but big bite sessions often go on throughout the day.

If you do not have a sounder, don’t worry, trolling lures is an efficient way to find fish. Trolling a shallow lure and a deep lure will help find where in the water column the fish are sitting.

The golden perch around O’Sheas are huge and very territorial; the sunken and standing timber is a good place to cast spinnerbaits and hardbodies looking for these brutes. Be ready, because they love a good fight.

If you are up for a seriously good paddle, or you have an electric motor on your ship, you can venture a long way and find some great spots with big numbers of fat hungry bass and yellowbelly.

Lungfish are a common by-catch in the area and will surprise you with a big blow of water and air when they rise to the surface, so be sure to put these big guys back quickly without doing too much harm. Tilapia will readily take lures too, and pull hard, but remember to dispose of them correctly.

This is a wonderful part of the country not only for fishing, but also to take in the scenery. The farmland and beautiful water clarity will make for a great atmosphere to kick back and enjoy the day on the water.

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