Make this year about fishing
  |  First Published: December 2016

Happy New Years to all. Let’s hope this is our best fishing year yet and everyone finds more time to get out on the water to catch more fish. Last year was a great year for fishing the ‘Pin and now that the system has had a good flush, the fishing should be set to improve.

Mangrove jack are going to be heavily targeted this month as the heat and humidity kick in and they become more active. The best baits are live mullet, herring, pike or gar. If you can’t get any livies then a strip of bonito or mullet should also work. Try around structures that have cover and more than likely they’ll hold a jack. If you get busted off, it was probably a jack. Keep persisting with heavier gear and hopefully you’ll land that great trophy fish.

There should be some good flathead on offer throughout the ‘Pin system from the Logan River to the Bar. Heaps of small to medium flathead were caught in December on prawns, pillies, and small soft plastics near the bottom of the run out tide, when the banks are exposed and the fish are more concentrated to an area.

Look for drains and weedy spots at the bottom of the drop offs and that’s where you’ll find flatties lying. If you put the effort in and work at it, you should have yourself a feed of flathead. Learn their feeding patterns so you can bag a few every time you go out. Try around the Pig Styes, top of Crusoe Island, the Stockyards, mouth of Cobby Cobby, the Five Ways, Pandannus weed banks, Kangaroo Island, Rocky Point, and the mouth of the Logan.

Whiting have been about in reasonable numbers and size as well with some good fish caught. Live blood worms and beach worms have been working best, as well as yabbies, squid and peeled prawns. I try to fish for whiting in fast running tides with a 5 or 6 ball sinker, to make sure I’m on the bottom, and a 6ft trace and a 0/6 bloodworm hook. It has proven to be a good consistent rig – most whiting I catch basically hook themselves. Give it a go. I hope it helps. Try around Alberton Sands, across from Rocky Point, Slipping Sands, the Gold Bank, Never Fail Island and the Pimpama River.

Bream are plentiful throughout January. The biggest fish come at night from the surf on South Straddie and the deep water off the bottom of North Straddie. I recently went out early one morning and the ‘Pin glassed out on the incoming tide. I could see the bottom in 30ft of water around the dead trees at the bottom of North Straddie and could see hundreds of bream all over the place. The worst thing was they weren’t feeding and just ignored my bait, so even when conditions are perfect, fish can still be very finicky.

I got a little 60cm school mulloway out from Swan Bay on a live herring and dropped a bigger one on a white 7” plastic. The current can be very strong there, so hit the change of the tide to make sure you get to the bottom. That area is a great spot, as you can catch heaps of different fish. It’s usually crowded and can get quite rough at times.

When fishing for bream, use yabbies, prawns, mullet gut and small soft plastics around Kalinga Bank, Flatrock, Tipplers Island, the mouth of the Pimpama and the north wall of the Seaway. Other spots to try for mulloway this month are Marks Rocks in the Logan, Giants Grave and the eastern tip of Short Island.

Pack the crab pots if you’re heading out. It’s been a top season on sandies between Long Island and Cabbage Tree Point or Tiger Mullet Channel. Muddies have been going strong and we’re finding that they are mostly being caught out of the rivers and along the mangrove lined banks of Eden Island, Tabby Tabby, Mosquito Island and Long Island.

Thanks for all the reports. If you have any questions on conditions or what’s biting, drop us a line at Gem Bait & Tackle on 3287 3868 or email --e-mail address hidden--

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