Abundant Bait Schools
  |  First Published: May 2008

South East Queensland has finally experienced some first-class weather conditions as we move into the cooler months of the year. The packed boat ramps indicate serious numbers of anglers have been taking full advantage of the excellent weather opportunities.

I’ve been lucky enough to be one of the many anglers taking the summer fishing stresses away with excellent catches in the last few weeks. The mouth of the river has definitely benefited from the good flushing rains we experienced earlier in the year with increased numbers of large predatory fish finding their way into the system.

The fishing is as good as I have ever experienced for threadfin salmon. Large fish to 60lb are becoming a common capture amongst the dedicated threadfin chasers around the mouth of the river. Almost every shipping terminal from Breakfast Creek to the mouth of the river that I have fished in the last few weeks has held at least one and, more often than not, several large schools of these hefty line burning brutes.

For anglers that are not chasing the dominant threadfin population, good quantities of bream, estuary cod, and large flathead are consistently being boated.

Any of the fishable man-made rock walls from Bulimba Creek to the mouth in 2-4m of water are well worth a fish. The migratory hardihead schools are in huge numbers along these rock walls and their presence will help maintain the fishing opportunities for the next few months.

It’s a great time of year for experienced hardbody and soft plastic anglers to introduce new anglers to an exciting form of our sport. Heaps of bait schools along these walls means tailor and pike will be abundant, and both of these species readily engulf artificial offerings, which help the beginner to gain valuable experience. Small soft plastics up to 3” in T-tail, single tail or minnow style plastics fished on light 1/16oz jigheads, will produce fun sessions for the beginner.

Snapper have been in good size, up to 4kg, and large numbers have been found along most of the shipping terminals towards the mouth of the river. Finding viable fishing areas along the shipping terminals is becoming a real problem because of the amount of ships continually using the port. Most days that I’ve attempted a snapper fish of late, has seen the entire shipping terminal unfishable due to excessive ship numbers. But the few days so far in 2008 that I have been able to get a decent drift along the terminals have resulted in some quality fishing.

Bay Islands

The smaller bay islands are holding the same hardihead schools around the shallows as the river mouth has at present. Good quality bream are being caught around Mud, St Helena and Green Islands on surface offerings and small hardbodied lures.

Good sized snapper are being caught along the outer reef ledges around Mud and Green Islands. Most of the larger fish are being caught on fresh mullet or gar fillets at night in around 8m of water on floating rigs.

Squid are starting to show up in substantial numbers around the shallow flats and rocky foreshores that rim Moreton Bay. The start of 2008 was an absolute shocker for targeting squid around the islands. Water clarity hampers the squid fishing around the islands but in recent weeks the improved conditions has seen numbers on the increase.

Next month I will show how and discuss how to handle and successfully release the mighty Brisbane River threadie. I will reveal a few valuable tips that all anglers can use when releasing these huge breeding fish.

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