The weather has hit the hiatus of comfort. The coolness of these winter mornings is enough to fire all senses up when you inhale that beautiful air on the water. Some say it’s living. I tend to agree, as you would be hard up to find a diehard fisher who doesn’t love this time of year.
With this cool weather we often start to think about chasing the winter species like juvenile snapper, mulloway and winter whiting, along with changing our tact for chasing our bread and butter of the waterways – bream and flathead. I especially love this time of the year for two reasons: you can spend longer days on the water because the sun isn’t frying you like an egg and you can sleep in a little. The sun doesn’t get up super early like in warmer months, making it a win-win situation.
Juvenile snapper are the species of the month, as expected. Early winter is the beginning of their time to shine. Floods from earlier in the year have brought good baitfish into the northern bay with their presence bolstered by the constant stream of southerly winds. This has fired the usual areas like the Redcliffe Peninsula. The surprise is the early presence of juvenile snapper in the Pumicestone Passage.
The Ripples have been the pick of the Bribie spots with reports also coming out of the 112s. Cooks Rocks has also produced some juvenile snapper, but finding a legal-size fish is a problem. On the Peninsula, North Reef has had its usual traffic with many anglers finding staying wide off the reef more advantageous.
Woody Point at the southern and northern ends of the green zone has been fishing really well with many anglers anchored up. This can make it hard for those who like to drift. Many kayak fishers are relishing the recent southwest winds with the wind coming off the land and giving them pristine conditions to hunt delectable reds.
Flathead and bream have been the other winter staples that have been firing with the Pumicestone Passage leading the charge at the start of our winter. The Passage has started to show signs of its annual weed infestation. This has only put a minor dent in the good fishing recently with most of the mouths of the smaller feeder creeks fishing wonderfully.
Smaller tides and dusk times have worked well for the locals. The mouth of Elimbah, Donnybrook and Hussey is the pick of the areas for lizards. On the bream side the Pacific Harbour canals and Cooks Rocks have been the best spots, especially at the top of the tide. Caboolture River has been a surprise packet recently. Bakers Flat is producing nice flathead in both incoming and outgoing tides.
Bream are being caught along the mangrove-lined edges further upriver with the start of the run-out being the prime time. Lightly weighted plastics and small hardbody cranks have been the main diet of the local bream and flathead with fresh mullet also working a treat.
Redcliffe Peninsula has had an early weed bloom this winter, which has populated many of the bommies both close and afar. This has brought about clearer waters in the area. Only the southerly winds stir thing up and provide ample cover for bream to hide.
More bream have been caught in the deep water by using popular breaming plastics. Use heavier weights (1/8 or 1/6) on a fast retrieve to ensure your plastic stays off the weedy bottom. Flathead numbers have started to flourish around the mouth of the Pine River with anglers finding good numbers under and around the Ted Smout Bridge. Soft plastics and fresh baits have been the main recipe for targeting good lizards in the Pine with many locals favouring the ebbing tide.
When land-based fishing, a great way to carry hooks, jigheads and small lures is using a small fly storage box. Many stores both online and local carry these boxes, which can be very handy when space is at a premium.Reads: 593