As we roll past another festive season, it’s always great to start the year by christening your newfangled fishing gear on the waterways you’ve grown to love. The Christmas period is always loaded with extra boat traffic around the Northern Bay, and this year has been no exception.
Key boat ramps like the Pine River, Scarborough Marina and Spinnaker Sound have been as busy as Boxing Day Sales on days of great weather, making it a testing time for boaties in and out of the water. Our afternoon storms have continued over this summer with much gusto, allowing the fishing to be reasonable in all corners of the bay.
Bread and butter species like flathead, bream and sand whiting have not skipped a beat this summer season, making anglers happy to be rewarded for their efforts, especially over the hot days we’ve had lately. Spikes in barometric pressure, especially pre-thunderstorm activity, have really helped lift the fishing action in our many estuaries for predator species like mangrove jack and bream.
Lures and soft plastics have had a large impact, as is normal over the hotter months. Fresh baits have given them a good run for their money, particularly after rains, as food sources are flushed from the upper reaches.
The Pine has seen some good action lately. The upper reaches really benefited from recent rainfall, allowing a good supply of bait to stay in the area. Mangrove jacks and estuary cod have been the stand outs in the Pine, and anglers have found good rewards by slow rolling soft plastics when casting into snags and off rocky points up river.
Upgraded leader size have limited catch losses in the past, but many daring young anglers have been sacrificing landed fish by using lighter leaders to increase their hook-up rate. Bream numbers have been mediocre – the run-out proved to be the pick of times to target them.
On the other hand, flathead catches have been great. Soft plastics and bait work well throughout the system. Sand whiting have also been caught at the start of the run out tide in the lower reaches around the mouth of Bald Hills Creek and the Ted Smout Bridge.
Sand crabs have been caught throughout the area. A vast number of crab pot floats can make the river tricky to navigate at times.
I thought I’d open up this area a little this month, as I wanted to mention the Caboolture River in my report. Fishing has been rather good in the Caboolture River over these hot months with many anglers chasing the elusive mangrove jack throughout the system. Caboolture’s many bends hold good bait most of the time, allowing predators to target these areas, especially as the river narrows in the upper reaches.
Good bream and flathead have been caught towards the mouth and the ebbing tide is proving its weight in gold. Around the corner in Burpengary Creek, anglers have been using the fuller tides to chase bream amongst the trees, casting hardbody lures and soft plastics like 2.5” ZMan GrubZ and Slim SwimZ tight under the tree line. Mud crabs have also been reported in both these areas, with lengthy pot drops reaping rewards.
In the Pumicestone, while bream numbers have been sporadic, flathead and sand whiting have been the pick of the species over the last month. Flathead have been throughout the system all summer. The run-out tide has been the pick of the times to target these bottom dwellers. The mouth of the Ningi and Elimbah creeks and White Patch have been great. Hussey Creek is always worthy of a visit.
Up in that direction, the W’s and Lime Pocket have been firing with sand whiting. Fresh yabbies are truly irresistible to whiting in the Passage. The southern beaches have also performed over the last few weeks with many stalwarts finding it easy to get amongst them in the surf using worms as bait. Sand crabs have also had good reports through the Passage with deeper drop offs outperforming the shallow areas by far.
The vibe around the peninsula is quiet. Last year was one of the slowest we’ve had in this normally hot area. Squire numbers have been average but not brilliant, as a mix of absent bait schools and inconsistent southeasterly winds made it far from a desirable area for predators to hang out.
Persistent summer squire anglers have been rewarded with the odd good snapper hitting the decks in low light hours. Bream numbers have started to pick up on the reefs and in the Newport Canals. The weather has determined if anglers go wide or go sheltered.
ZMan GrubZ, Daiwa Rolling Presso cranks, ZMan Slim SwimZ and Atomic Shiner 45s are among the better choices for the lure orientated with Cranka Crabs a hit around the Newport Canals. Flathead numbers have been good around the shallow flats of Deception Bay and Hays Inlet along with good whiting also in those areas.
Be sure to show your reels some love after each session. Give them a light spray of freshwater with the garden hose (on mist setting) to ensure excess salt doesn’t build up on your much treasured reel.Reads: 435