|  First Published: March 2006

March is a great month for fishing in Moreton Bay. There are a huge number of species on offer. In the open parts of the Bay reef fish like snapper, parrot and sweetlip and pelagic species such as mackerel and tuna are all on offer.

In late January there were a few Spanish mackerel being caught in the Bay, so you never know what is going to turn up. Further down among the Southern Bay Islands and along the mainland shoreline whiting, bream and flathead have been caught. Mangrove jacks and the odd school jewfish have been found in the deeper holes.

Squid and prawns are a great alternative to fin fish in March. Squid can be caught over the shallow weedbeds, especially south of Amity on North Stradbroke Island and in the shallows of Morton Island. Slowly retrieved squid jigs were accounting for the highest catch rates but remember to let the squid to expel its ink before bringing it onboard. March is traditionally the start of the prawning season but this is dependant on rainfall. When the prawns are thick it’s easy to tell where they are – just look for the flotilla of boats all throwing cast nets. At other times have a cast in the deeper holes at the mouth of the Logan River and around Russell and Macleay islands. Early in the morning prawns can sometimes be seen schooling on the surface in the shallows, while in the evening any of the lit ferry jetties attract good numbers.

If you prefer shore-based fishing, wading the flats anywhere from Wellington Point down to Redland Bay has been producing nice bream whiting and flathead. Small soft plastics or hard-bodied lures slowly worked across the bottom are a great way to prospect these areas. By slowly walking along every few casts you can cover a fairly large distance in a 2-3 hour session. Rising tides early in the morning can be very productive for a mixed bag but if you’re targeting flathead, a falling tide at any time of the day is well worth a try. Travelling light is the name of the game for this kind of fishing, so a small tackle box with a handful of lures is all you need.

The snapper and sweetlip fishing has been excellent throughout the summer season and this should continue into March. Wellington Point and the shallow areas around Peel, Coochiemudlo and Macleay have produced plenty of sweetlip in 2-4m of water, mostly early in the morning on the rising tide. The same areas have produced nice snapper in the 40-60cm range while deeper reefs around Mud, St Helena and Peel islands in 10-15m has resulted in quite a few snapper up to 9.5kg being caught.

The most popular bait has been large prawns or squid on light line with a small ball sinker, fished in the early hours of the morning around the top or bottom of the tide. Peter Keenan from Real Keen Boat Hire at Victoria Point has reported good success with mullet fillets in the same areas. During daylight hours, soft plastics have dominated. In the shallows Berkley Gulps and Powerbaits in the 3” sizes have been very popular and for the big fish in deep water, 5-6” plastics such as Zoom Superflukes in Watermelon have been productive.

Until next month, tight lines, or for more information on the southern Moreton Bay area, come and see me at Fish Head (Cnr Broadwater Tce and Stradbroke St, Redland Bay) or call on 07 3206 7999.

1. The snapper fishing has been excellent throughout the summer season.

2. This huge GT was caught off Amity Point.

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