The Southern Bay in March is a diverse affair, with just about every species that visits the bay on offer. From whiting and bream to snapper and tuna, there is no shortage of options. Recently there has been quite a lot of dirty water floating around the area, however, this should clean up as the month continues.
Good numbers of large bream have been caught throughout summer and these fish should hang around into autumn. The shallow waters close in around the Southern Islands and along the foreshores from Point Halloran to Point Talburpin have all produced well.
In the evenings, pick a rising tide and run a burley trail to concentrate the fish close to you. Mullet fillets fished on a light line with a 1/0 size hook and a small running ball sinker is ideal. During the day slowly work small shallow running lures and surface poppers in close around rock and gravel patches as well as up in among the edges of the mangroves. Some of the most popular lures have included Lucky Craft 65mm Sammys, XPS poppers, Jackall Shallow Chubbies and Mazzy Poppers.
Snapper are back on the menu this month. Peel, Coochiemudlo, and Goat Islands, as well as the northern end of Macleay Island, are all good hunting grounds for a tasty red. For many anglers, soft plastics have been outfishing the baits, mainly because the bait attracts a lot of attention from sharks and rays during the warmer months. Fishing plastics doesn’t stop the sharks from taking quite a toll on hooked fish though, with many good snapper ending up in half or swallowed whole lately. Four inch Watermelon red flake Assassins have been one of the outstanding performers. Darker colours like this or opposite, bright fluoros such as the popular Gulp Nuclear Chicken lures, tend to stand out in the dirty water conditions whereas the natural colours can get a bit lost in the murk. It’s not a bad rule of thumb for choosing any lure, natural colours for clear water conditions and bright fluoros or dark colours for early mornings, dull days and dirty water.
Be on the lookout for longtail tuna in March. This month the numbers of this hard fighting species traditionally begin to increase in the middle to southern sections of the bay. When looking for longtails, they are often given away by their feeding pattern. Most commonly, when balling bait up against the surface, the fish jump clear of the water in their attacks. This is unlike mack tunas that tend to roll or ‘porpoise’ across the surface or spotty mackerel, which slash at the surface, sending sheets of water skywards.
Lastly, the closing date for making a submission on the Moreton Bay Marine Park Review is 5pm on 7 March. Make sure you put in a submission, either online or by printing off the form at the following web address: http://www.epa.qld.gov.au/parks_and_forests/marine_parks/moreton_bay_marine_park_zoning_plan_review/. It is vitally important that anyone who uses the bay has their say in this process. Don’t sit back and think someone else will do it. We all need to have a say to make a difference.
Until next month, tight lines! For more information, give me a call on 07 3207 9965 or email me on --e-mail address hidden-- . Alternatively drop in and see us at our New Store in Victoria Point. We are now located next door to Pattons ‘Big Gun’ Butchers in the Town Centre at Victoria Point, just off the Redland Bay Rd. Our range of specialist fishing tackle has increased with the move to the big new store, so come in and check out our local and imported brands.Reads: 916