Southern Bay Smorgasbord
  |  First Published: May 2008

Anglers look forward to this month with great anticipation. The weather is not too hot, too cold or too windy and there is a wide variety of species on offer.

Down among the southern bay islands there are bream, whiting, flathead, jewfish and snapper, available. And further north, into the open bay waters, there are snapper, bream, tailor, longtail and mac tunas.

There have been a few early season jewfish being caught around the southern end of Macleay Island and in the deeper holes off Russell Island. These are falling to baits of mullet fillets, garfish and large prawns. Lure fishers are having success with Assassin 7” shads and Berkley 5.5” shrimps.

Snapper are one of the most popular species at this time of the year. The fish are generally available in good numbers from legal size through to 50cm, with some larger specimens available to those who are willing to put in the hours.

Floating baits over the shallow reefs after dark is a very productive method to use. Try squid, hardiheads or pilchards with a minimum weight drifted out in 3-5m of water off Coochiemudlo, Goat, northern Macleay or southern Peel Island.

If you prefer plastics, 5” and 7” long lures, like Gulp Jerkshads in camo and nuclear chicken or Zoom Superflukes in watermelon and midnight chartreuse, are all proven after dark colours. When fishing plastics after dark, slow the retrieve down so that it is being presented almost like a floating bait, will work really well. That said, I have had snapper smash plastics in the dark like they were tunas in a feeding frenzy – even eating the lures on a full paced retrieve in pitch black darkness, so I guess it also pays to be flexible!

As we get closer to winter, bream will become more of a common catch in the southern bay. They can be caught in a wide variety of places; from the shallows in shin deep water around the islands and foreshores, to schooling fish in deeper holes and channels further south toward Jumpinpin.

If you are fishing up in the shallows, surface lures like Tiemco Red Pepper Baby, Lucky Craft NW Pencil and Bevy Poppers work great. Twitching these slowly out of the shallows can provoke savage strikes from a fish not normally known for its aggression. Fishing the same shallow areas at night, you can make excellent catches of bream by fishing unweighted mullet gut and mullet fillets.

Out in the deeper waters, bream will fall to baits such as yabbies, mullet and chicken gut or lures like Gulp 2” shrimps in new penny and mango ripple. When the current runs hard in the channels you may need a fair amount of weight to get down to where the fish are feeding. We’re not talking snapper leads, but say up to size 4 and 5 ball sinker on the baits and up to 1/4oz jighead on the plastics, will get you in the zone without anchoring it to the bottom.

For more information, give me a call on 07 3207 9965 or --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.

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