There’s a bunch of good reasons to be on the water in May, as temperature cools and lots of different species become available.
No matter what sort of fish you are in to, there is always something on the bite at this time of the year. The reefs and rocky shores will have snapper and bream, the sandbanks should have whiting and flathead, while the beacons will hold kings and trevally and out in the paddock tuna, tailor and some late season mackerel will be on offer.
Bream have been around in good numbers in the shallows of Macleay and Coochiemudlo islands and also further north at Mud and St Helena islands. Shore-based anglers have been doing well at Raby Bay, Victoria Point and down at Point Talburpin.
Day fishing has been very productive for lure anglers with the Berkley Gulp Fry in pumpkinseed a popular choice. Ecogear SX40s and Jackall Chubbies (in the shallow runner) have been excellent hard-bodied lures. Most of the activity has been taking place on the rising tide in shallow water, sometimes as little as ankle deep.
Baitfishing at night has been very productive in the same areas. Mullet and chook gut are great baits for bream at any time but they work well for night breaming in shallow water. Just keep the line and sinker as light as possible as bream can be quite finicky.
May is when a lot of the big snapper specialists start to dust off their gear. Many of these big fish fall for livebaits fished through the night. Popular baits include garfish, pike, mullet and squid. It can be a long waiting game for a big snapper on a cool night, and it’s often tempting to switch to smaller baits to get more action from smaller fish. But if you really want to catch the bigger fish consistently, you have to deliberately fish for them.
During the day there are also good snapper to be had, especially on the deeper rubble grounds in front of the Rous Channel, off Mud Island and out from Peel Island. Larger plastics like 5” Gamblers and Zooms or Ecogear Short Curls work well when drifted over these rubble grounds. They can either be left to bounce along the bottom with the rod in the holder, or cast and slowly retrieved with long slow hops. Depending on the day, either technique can be successful.
Tuna are often at their best in the bay at this time of year. In early April the mack tuna were so thick that the more desirable longtails hardly got a look in. The longtails are still there but sometimes their more laidback approach to rounding up bait causes them to be pushed aside by rampaging mack tuna. After a bit of scouting around it’s usually possible to find some longtails feeding freely away from the mack tuna, If that doesn’t work try targeting the outsides of the mack tuna schools for longtails that are feeding around the edges.
Further down among the Southern Bay islands a few good tailor have been starting to appear. Hopefully, we’re in for a good season.
It’s well worth having a look at Rainbow Channel with good catches of Spanish mackerel and a few late season spotties being reported.
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, www.fishhead.com.au) or call us on (07) 3206 7999.Reads: 1018