Swing into Southern Bay
  |  First Published: December 2016

With the New Year here already and Christmas over, hopefully you were all able to dodge the poor weather, and have found some time to get on the water and have a fish. With the holidays still in full swing, the boat traffic on the water is extremely high, and luckily, this hasn’t stopped the fish from biting – with plenty of fish being caught throughout the bay.

Summer is by far my favourite time in the bay, and with the water temperature higher, certain species are tending to fish very well on surface lures. Plenty of bream have been caught in the shallows around Macleay, Peel and Coochiemudlo islands. My all-time favourite spot would have to be in the Raby Bay Canals, with plenty of bream being taken on top water lures, or very lightly weighted soft plastics dropped close into the pontoons. An absolute killer of a plastic is the Gulp 3” Craw in camo colour, rigged on a 1/40 Oz Hidden Weight jighead. If you’re not interested in the bream, there have been plenty of mangrove jack caught throughout the canals also. But make sure to have the right gear and be ready to pile them in the boat, as they put up one hell of a fight.

Anglers using surface lures or small crankbaits on the weedy sand banks on the high tide around Blakesleys Anchorage, have been seeing great numbers of bream, whiting and flathead. For those who like to target snapper, you’re in luck! Snapper are being caught in reasonable numbers around Peel, Coochiemudlo and Macleay islands in the shallow reef sections – so keep an eye on your sounder for some nice structure, and you’re bound to find a few nice fish. Whether you are fishing with bait or lures, both have had great success. Whole pilchards or strips of mullet have been working a treat, or for the lure lovers like myself, 3, 4 or 5” minnows are also a great choice. Try changing up the weight of your jighead to suit the current and depth. This technique has been working very well with good by-catches of bream. Snapper generally hit your plastic as it sinks, so always concentrate on your line and be ready to strike.

For those that aren’t lucky enough to own a boat, but still love to fish, whether you’re going by yourself, with a mate or taking the kids for a little bit of fun, plenty of fish are still to be seen from the banks or jetties around the bay. With good bream being caught from late afternoon into the night from the Redland Bay, Victoria Point, Cleveland and Wellington Point jetties, using pieces of mullet or even chicken breast is a great way to go. Being the holidays, and boat traffic being crazy, take care out on the water and be courteous of your fellow boaties. Getting to the boat ramps early and well prepared saves time on the ramp and usually secures you a car park – it can be hard to get a park at the ramps at the best of times. Always make sure you have the correct number of life jackets on board for the number of passengers. Remember to keep up to date with the local green zones, size and bag limits to keep yourself out of trouble. Enjoy the rest of the holiday period and always be safe out on the water. Tight lines to all my fellow fishy friends!
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