Bay snapper don’t miss a beat
  |  First Published: July 2007

The chill should really set in this month and hopefully bring on some great winter fishing. Tailor, bream, flathead and jewies are all on offer down among the Southern Bay Islands, while further north, some winter whiting and quality snapper can be added to this list.

Tailor are a winter favourite off the ocean beaches at this time of year, but they also come into the bay in good numbers. Shallow drop-offs and reefs are the place to look for them. Some of the well-known spots for boaties include the channel edges of Snipe and Garden islands, the red buoy off the south-eastern corner of Coochiemudlo Island and the channel edges between Macleay, Lamb and Russel islands. Shore-based anglers can try the jetties at Wellington Point, Victoria Point and Redland Bay, as well as the shoreline at Cleveland Point.

Gang hooked pilchards are very effective baits, but when the fish are timid, smaller baits such as baby blue pillies or hardiheads can work extremely well. Night is the most productive time to fish for tailor, especially on a rising tide after dark. Fish will tend to start in deeper water early in the evening and then migrate up into the shallows as the night progresses.

Catching a big jewie

The cold nights of winter are also the prime time to chase jewfish in southeast Queensland. Much larger baits suit the jewies and they are generally in deeper water than tailor. A legal size tailor is a pretty good bait for a jew too.

It can take a lot of effort to nail a big jewfish, but the strong head-shaking run, the purple-hued silver flash in the water and the gleaming prize at the end make it all worthwhile. Not to mention the tasty fillets too.

The best time to chase them is right on the top or the bottom of the tide: jewies are lazy fish that like to hunt on the slack water. Some good places to start looking include The Saltworks at the bottom of Macleay Island, the hole just northeast of Macleay, Giants Grave off Russel Island and Marks Rocks inside the entrance to the Logan River.

The best baits include the aforementioned tailor, pike, poddy mullet and winter whiting – all of these will tempt jews as either live baits or fillets. Don’t be shy about using large hooks in the baits, just so long as they are matched to the size of the bait.

Jewfish respond very well to lures, particularly large soft plastics slowly hopped across the bottom. Seven-inch Assassin shads are great for this, particularly in crystal shad colour. During the day, smaller plastics such as 4” or 5” Slurps and Assassins work well.

Snapper can be found reliably throughout the bay at this time of the year. Good numbers of small to medium size fish hunt in the shallows and larger fish more commonly in 10-15m of water.

In the shallow water it is important to use lighter leader than normal as the clear water that is around in winter can make the fish very shy. Some anglers go as light as 8lb fluorocarbon to get the bites.

The same goes for bream anglers at this time of year. When fishing shallower waters during the day, leaders of 2-4lb are becoming the rule rather than the exception.

For more information please feel free to drop into Fish Head on the corner of Stradbroke St and Broadwater Tce, Redland Bay. Alternatively give us a call on (07) 3206 7999 or visit our website at www.fishhead.com.au. Until next month, tight lines!

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