After a tumultuous start to our spring, it has been good to finally see some short but welcomed breaks in the weather, giving anglers the chance to venture out into their favourite fishing jaunts.
As warmer currents make their way down the coast from Far North Queensland, it’s not long until our seasonal warmer weather patterns get into full swing, making it a great time to hit all our major estuaries in the northern bay, like Cabbage Tree Creek, Pine River, Caboolture River and Pumicestone Passage. Bream, flathead, whiting and blue sand crabs are just some of the major species on the cards for the warmer months, making the waterways a busy place.
This estuary system has probably suffered the most ‘Mondayitis’ for the first part of spring, but is showing good signs of bouncing back to its usual self. The Pine has a tendency to work better during times of wet weather. Bait is pushed down from the upper reaches and into many deeper sections of the system. This brings predators like bream, flathead, mulloway and threadfin into the area.
Flathead numbers are starting to grow under the bridges at the mouth. Anglers find good success with larger grub style soft plastics. Larger breeding flathead should start to appear more regularly in the Pine over next few warmer months with trailing males helping the population grow.
Post-rain dirty water has been the saviour for many flathead fishers of late in the upper reaches – feeder creeks, drains and run offs fire up immediately after a wet spell. ZMan 4” StreakZ Curly TailZ, Pro Lure Live Yabbies and ZMan 3” MinnowZ have been the standouts. Medium weighted fresh mullet strips rigged on a 1/0 hook are the popular choice of baitfishers.
Bream have been slow in the lower aspects of the river, but upriver has been the pick of areas, especially at the top of the tide and the start of the run out. The highway bridge has been holding the better size bream of late – stick minnows, soft plastics and Cranka Crabs work well when fished close to the pylons. An ultra slow, almost deadstick retrieve is the most effective way to fish those presentations.
The Peninsula has started to shake off its winter woollies and is starting to get the skates on for another warm season. Redcliffe suffers during times of low rainfall with high water visibility being the bane of many anglers, as it makes fish skittish and hard to catch. Some recent rain periods have been a blessing for Redcliffe, as the stirred waters bring about better bites, especially as the sun gets higher.
Bait schools have been much more prominent of late, which has fired up the odd decent juvenile snapper in recent trips. Many smiles and tears arrived after short-lived battles. The upper end of the peninsula has been producing good flathead around the weed-laden mud flats of Deception Bay. Anglers are cautious not to get stuck high and dry during the ebbing tides.
Again, soft plastics have been the mainstay attack with shad style plastics like Fish Arrow Flash J jerkbaits and Gulp Power Minnows. Hardbody lures have been the recipe for success this month for bream on the peninsula with natural colours being more successful during times of high water visibility. Deep Cranka Cranks, Ecooda Mini Cranks, Pontoon 21 Crack Jack 48s and Daiwa Presso Rolling Cranks have been the best hardbodies. Erratic retrieves with the occasional pause account for some solid catches.
With rising water temperatures, the presence of weed has slowly decreased, making lure fishing more bearable. Estuary cod have also been showing their faces throughout the system with these lure stealers making some sessions expensive. Heavier leaders have been a saving grace, but don’t fish too heavy – you’ll start to compromise your bite rate.
This has been the pick of areas in the northern bay this month. The bread and butter species are keeping anglers more than occupied. Bream, flathead and sand whiting have been in all corners of the system and days of inclement weather being the better fishing ones. Bream have been prominent in the canals during lower lit hours and on the flats outside Ningi, Elimbah, Toorbul and Glasshouse creeks during the fuller tides. Flathead reports have been concentrated around Bongaree to Buckleys Hole with Toorbul, Donnybrook and Poverty creeks all producing good fish. Sand whiting have been good in numbers on the southern beaches with yabbies and worms being the favoured baits.
Neglected trailer bearings can be a thorn in the side of many boat users. The process of servicing them may resemble the thought of pulling out teeth. Annually check, regrease or replace your trailer’s bearings, and for those who sink their trailers when launching, a biannual check never hurt anyone.
Jesse Gough with some lovely Pine River bream.
Flathead fever has hit the Northern Bay.Reads: 610