What a change a month makes. After enduring one of the hottest starts of the year on the water, it has been a pleasant change to once again get some more bearable weather while enjoying our much-loved hobby.
Consistent northerly winds and seasonal currents have smashed anglers over the last month with the dedicated (and often sunburnt!) ones getting rewarded for the diversity in their skills. Rather than suffering the grind of fishing in a tinny in open waters experiencing what an egg feels like in a frying pan, many anglers have opened their minds a little by chasing fish in other ways like seeking refuge in the shade of estuaries, creeks and even under bridges to get some reprieve for the humidity and blistering sun we have been experiencing over the last month. Anchoring up or holding current with electric motors along shore banks and bridge pylons has been working well for many, with warmer waters making fish more active in shallows.
Flathead numbers have been good with the warmer weather, and anglers are finding shady areas like snags and pontoons. These are ideal for targeting flathead, as the cool of the shade, especially around areas of good current flow, has proven to be good for flatties.
In the Bribie area, White Patch and Sylvan Beach have been the best flathead areas, with good current and sandy terrain ticking all the boxes for good catches. ZMan SwimmerZ and Diezel MinnowZ have been the pick of the soft plastics, with live poddy mullet also being used to good effect.
The mouth of the Pine River has been a little quiet on the flathead front of late, with the upper reaches fishing okay, especially on the bottom of the tide. Hays Inlet, Clontarf Foreshore and the mouth of Cabbage Tree Creek have also been working well, with the brightness during the day being just as popular as the lower lit hours.
Being my favourite time of the year to chase bream, the warmer water leads to a great topwater bite in many shallow areas throughout the bay. Daiwa Slippery Dogs, Lucky Craft Sammy 65s and Megabass Dog X Jrs have been amongst the popular topwater lures, with bright colours working the best in open flats.
The Peninsula has been fishing well for bream over the last month, with the northerly winds making it tough at times to find numbers of fish. In times of freshening winds, where a topwater bite is not happening, deep cranks and lightly-weighted soft plastics are the next best option, with leader size depending on the clarity of the water.
Estuary cod and juvenile squire have been the culprits for many lure losses and stitch-ups on the peninsula over the summer months, with upgraded leader strength giving you a higher percentage chance of not becoming areddy statistic!
Ningi and Elimbah creeks have been fishing well for bream on the fuller tides, and lightly-weighted plastics targeted at the shade of the trees are working well in that area. ZMan 2.5” GrubZ, ZMan Slim SwimZ and Pro Lure Live yabbies have been a hit, with liberal coats of Pro Cure in mullet and the new sardine/pilchard worth a shot.
What is a Queensland summer without sand crabs! The majority of the open areas around the Northern Bay have sand crabs around this time of the year, with hotspots being the Bramble and Deception bays and the lower reaches of Pumicestone Passage and the Pine River.
For the more estuarine-based anglers, mud crabs are also on the menu in the warmer months, with the outgoing tide being favoured for these delectable crustaceans. The upper reaches of the Caboolture and Pine rivers have been great this summer with Schultz Canal being the surprise packet to pick up a couple of muddies. Be sure your pots are properly marked and be sure not to tamper with other peoples’ property.
Lures and soft plastics are a costly investment when fishing. Be sure to keep your valuable lure trays and soft plastic packets out of the direct sun light, as the delicate plastic can often expand when exposed to extreme heat. Be sure to stash them away into hatches and tackle bags to protect them from harmful rays.Reads: 27