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Mick Lee’s 12 MONTHS IN THE SOUTH EAST
  |  First Published: December 2005



If I were restricted to only doing one or two fishing trips each month of year 2006, and were to plan it in advance it would probably look something like this.

JANUARY

Species: Sand Crabs.

Locations: Brisbane River mouth, Pine River, Caboolture River, Pumicestone Passage, Hayes Inlet, Deception Bay, Bramble Bay.

Bait: Whiting frames, whole mullet

Tactic: Use crabpots rather than dillies as they only need to be checked once over the duration of a tide.

Tide and Time: Large incoming morning tides of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 28th, 29th, 30th and the 31st.

FEBRUARY

Fish: Whiting.

Location: Jumpinpin, Pumicestone Passage, Noosa River.

Bait: Bloodworms, Crib Island worms, rockworms.

Lure: Not a popular species to be targeted on lures, although I have caught them on small yellow or pink soft plastics and hard bodied lures.

Tactic, Fish with light lines on long whippy rods.

Tide and Time: Try both run in and run out tides on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 11th, 12th, 13th, 25th 26th, 27th and the 28th.

MARCH

Species: Prawns.

Location: Brisbane River, Pine River, Kedron Brook Floodway, Bramble Bay.

Tactic: Rain plays a significant role in prawn availability; when there are prawns in any of these areas simply follow the crowds. Large congregations of boats are easily recognised from the cliffs at Shorncliffe.

Tides: Check out tide and times either side of full moon.

Tactic: In the estuary cast net the deeper holes, a couple hours either side of low tide.

APRIL

Fish: Tailor.

Location: Tailor are usually associated with winter. Early birds take advantage of the early run in our local waters in areas such as the Pine River, Redcliffe reefs and foreshores, and the southern and northern ends of Pumicestone Passage.

Bait: Whole pilchards are a favourite. If you’re interested in improving on numbers and quality, use yellowtail. Tailor can be easily caught using yellow Gulp soft plastics on lightly weighted jigheads fished from the local piers.

Tactic: Fish bottleneck sections of the rivers. Try fishing the shallow corner pockets where the rocks meet the beach, after dark along the Redcliffe foreshores.

Tides: Try fishing the evening tides of the 28th, 29th, and the 30th.

MAY

Fish: Bream.

Location: Donnybrook, Toorbul, Sandstone Point at the southern end of Pumicestone Passage.

Bait: Fresh mullet gut, hardiheads, gar, poddy mullet, yellowtail, saltwater yabbies and live prawns.

Lure: Soft plastics, small hard-bodied lures and small top water lures.

Tactic: When fishing for bream use a quiet approach and don’t be afraid to fish shallow water, especially during the hours of darkness. Fish with light tackle.

Tide and Time: Try the tides three days prior and after the full and new moon fishing the early morning and late afternoon. If using lures chasing larger fish, try fishing the day tides around 1st and 3rd quarter of the moon.

JUNE

Fish: Flathead.

Location: Brisbane River mouth, Hayes Inlet, Cabbage Tree Creek, Burpengary Creek, Caboolture River.

Bait: Pilchard, whiting fillet, prawns, yabbies and live poddy mullet.

Lure: My three favourite hard-bodied lures and soft plastics are the SK Wee Willy, Attack Minnow, deep-diving Micro Minn in hard-bodied and 4” Berkley Drop Shot Minnow, 3” Atomic Shad, 3.25” Ecogear Grass Minnow for soft plastics.

Tactic: When fishing at anchor with bait, cast out wide to cover plenty of ground as it travels around with the tide. Try drifting until you find fish. If you’re using berley be patient. If lures are your choice, a slow troll or cast and retrieve is the go, making sure the lure is hugging the bottom.

Tide and Time: Last of the run out and first of the run in, of the afternoon lows on the 10th, 11th, 21st, 22nd and the 23rd. These combined with warm windless winter days are perfect.

.JULY

Species: Squid.

Location: Shorncliffe Pier, Woody Point Pier, Redcliffe Pier.

Bait: Very fresh, scaled poddy mullet or winter whiting on a Gillies baited squid jig. Also use a jig that is suited to the bait size and a clip at the end of your line to make it easy to change bait when necessary.

Lure: Yamashita Squid Jig size G or similar.

Tactic: Jig waters around or under the lights of the jetties or piers. If there isn’t any light in the area you intend to jig, a small glow stick attached 600mm above the jig will help. So popular is squid fishing, you may need to get there early for a good spot.

Tide and Time: The period of the full or new moon are best, squid shy away from any freshwater influence. The best indication of the squid being present, are the ink marks left on the pier from those already caught. It’s best to choose cold, windless nights between 9pm to 3am.

AUGUST

Fish: Black bream.

Location: South Pine River, Hayes Inlet, Brisbane River and the Boardwalk Caloundra.

Bait: Cabbage weed, this can be collected with ease on the rocky flats at Woody Point during low tide.

Tactic: In choosing the area you are more likely to encounter fish, look for steep banks.

Tide and Time: It’s important to have enough current to move your float and rig along at a steady pace; be prepared to fish both the run and run out tide. My preference is to fish the early morning tides. Try the tides on the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 26th, 27th and the 28th.

SEPTEMBER

Fish: Whiting from the beach.

Location: Skirmish point Bribie Island, Main Beach Bribie Island and Redcliffe beaches.

Bait: Bloodworms, wriggler worms, rockworms, and beachworms.

Tactic: Shorten or lengthen your trace to suit the conditions being fished, cast out and use a slow retrieve until you find the fish, after that it’s just a simple matter of casting back out in the general vicinity, sticking your rod in the rod holder and kick back.

Time and tide: 21st, 22nd, 23rd, and the 24th. Fish both run in and run out tides.

OCTOBER

Fish: Bass.

Location: North Pine Dam, Somerset Dam, and Lake Lenthals.

Bait: Fresh water shrimp, earthworms, saltwater yabbies.

Lure: Lipless crank baits, spinnerbaits, soft plastics and top water lures.

Tactics: It would help to have a good sounder to locate the fish, otherwise it’s just a matter of covering a bit of ground to find the fish; try fishing the points, the edges of weedbanks or timber.

Best time to fish: October is a good all round time to fish for bass and overcast windless days would have to be my pick.

NOVEMBER

Fish: Mangrove jack.

Location: Creeks and rivers of the Sunshine Coast and all the creeks of Pumicestone Passage.

Bait: Fresh or live poddy mullet, live prawns and live gar.

Lures: Jacks will take a whole range of lures, 2-6” deep divers, shallow divers, top water and soft plastics.

Tactics: Jacks like shelter, so the best places to target are large rocky banks or shoals, submerged timber, bridge pylons, undercut banks and canals; get your lure into the tighter area of the structure your fishing and work it over well.

Tide and times: Morning run out tides on the 17th, 18th, 19th and the 20th.

DEC

Fish: Tarpon.

Location: Upper Brisbane River, Upper Coochin Creek and the Kin-Kin Creek forks off upper Noosa River.

Lure: 4-6” stick baits, Rapala Husky Jerk, top water Lucky Craft Sammy 65 and shallow swum soft plastics.

Tactic: At times tarpon can be very elusive, with no evidence of their presence, the best tell-tale sign of their presence is top water swirls or lines of bubbles in the water. They have an extremely hard mouth demanding nothing but the finest, sharpest hooks on your lures. Tarpon will often change complete direction during the fight and the have a tendency to get airborne with savage headshakes; they are an incredible sportfish. They are a midstream fish, which spook very easily requiring longer casts for the best results. If the water is discoloured trolling is an option.

Time and Tides: They can be caught at any time of day, choose the biggest tides of the month around full moon.

Reads: 6501

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