Bream, snapper and mulloway – great catches in Moreton Bay
  |  First Published: December 2016

December has rolled around already – another year is done and dusted and it’s been a great one for fishing in Moreton Bay. While the weather has been fairly hit and miss of late, there have been plenty of fish to be caught. From whiting to snapper, summer in Moreton Bay is a great time of the year!

Snapper have been consistent throughout the bay. Fishing the reef edges around Peel and Coochiemudlo islands has been the best way to get a feed of snapper, with the chance of other tasty reef dwellers. When it comes to fishing the reef edge, look to position your boat in about 15ft of water and cast towards the reef. Lightly weighted soft plastics have been highly successful. Snapper like to take the lure on the drop, so make sure once you cast to give the lure plenty of time to sink.

Most of the time they’ll hit the lure on the initial drop, so get stuck into them and keep them off the reef! I’ve been doing well on the ZMan Slim SwimZ recently. They’re a small lure, but snapper seem to love them. When selecting jighead weights for these areas, try between 1/12 and 1/4oz, depending on the amount of current and wind.  If you plan on fishing the reef edges, make sure you’re aware of the green zones – there are hefty fines for fishing in these areas.

If bream is your thing, now is a great time to get out there and chase them. There have been good schools showing with plenty of big fish in the mix to keep things interesting. Anglers using lures around the shallow weed beds of Macleay Island and reefy areas of Peel Island have been doing well. Throwing surface lures has been the best method of targeting bream in the shallows. Small surface poppers and stickbaits make for some great visual fishing!

Raby Bay canals have been producing some great results. The trick in here is to get your lures as close as possible to the jetties and pontoons. The fish like to hide in tight, so getting closer to them will increase your chances. Deep diving crankbaits and Cranka Crabs have been working well in the canals. There is also a good chance of a mangrove jack.

Holiday Tips

In the coming month, look for more of the same. We should see the pelagic activity build up, so keep an eye out for birds and surface action! Snapper should still be in good numbers in the shallows and will be a great early morning or late afternoon option. Mulloway will start to taper off as the New Year rolls in, so get into them while you can. If you’re having trouble with the extra boat traffic, the best thing to do is move away from the crowds.

Fish hate the traffic just as much as us, so fish a little wider of everyone else or look for new ground. It can make a big difference. Another option is to head into the Raby Bay canals and chase some bream and mangrove jack. They’ve been getting around recently. Jacks are great fun and pull like trains! Here’s a few tips to make the most out of your holiday fishing!

Boat ramps can be chaotic, so make sure you have a routine in place for loading and unloading the boat and can work through it quickly. There is nothing more frustrating than watching someone stop on the boat ramp to load their gear or remove their straps, while there is a big queue waiting.  Do it before you start to back in.

Get out there early! ‘The early bird gets the worm’ is especially true when there is a lot of boat traffic. Fish don’t respond well to all the extra noise, so get to your favourite spot before everyone else. Fish light to get the bite – downsize your leader size to help get you more bites.

Show courtesy to other anglers when out on the water, keep a good distance away and try to avoid anchoring right in front of someone drifting. Likewise, avoid drifting right next to boats that are anchored up. There is plenty of space out there for everyone!

Make sure all your maintenance is up to scratch. Check you have enough fuel and oil if needed. Get your motor serviced if it’s been over a year, check your safety gear including lifejackets, flares and epirb (if you plan on going offshore).

Have fun and keep safe out there this holiday break. If you have a picture or a story you’d like to share, send it through to me at --e-mail address hidden-- and I’ll do my best to get it in next month’s magazine for you!

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