Four species in particular will find their way onto dinner plates in many households over the next few months. Whiting, flathead, bream and tailor really come on the chew in the cooler months, and the Brisbane River and the surrounding bay islands are a great place to catch a feed.
I’m going to concentrate on whiting and flathead this month and next month will focus on bream and tailor.
From June to September Moreton Bay has an influx of winter whiting. Moreton Bay and the surrounding estuaries have reasonably good populations of whiting all year round, but the cooler months produce more reliable catches. There are plenty of places to target these great fish that taste fantastic.
For anglers with boats, the mouth of the Brisbane River, Boggy Creek, the Pinkenba stretch of the Brisbane River, Bulimba Creek, and around the Gateway Bridge are starting to produce fish. These areas will only get better over the next few months. The shallow flats in between St Helena, Mud and the mouth of the Brisbane River are worth a look too. Fishing over the flats that the wormers use at low tide is worth a try as the discarded bits of worms and casing act as a berley trail enticing whiting onto the flats as the tide floods.
Baitfishing is the only method to successfully catch consistent feeds of whiting; lures, flies and plastics will work but not as consistently as bait. For the dedicated whiting fisher it’s a must to have a variety of baits. Worms, yabbies, soldier crabs, peeled prawn, squid strips (usually dyed in food colouring) and even jelly-prawns are all worthy baits, but worms, peeled prawns and squid strips will see good numbers coming your way.
For the land-based angler the foreshores along Wynnum and the Redcliffe Peninsular are great locations that hold good numbers of fish. Wading the sand flats to the low water mark and fishing the rising tides back across the flooding banks in 6’ to 8’ of water will produce surprising results.
Over the cooler months flathead will become more active and gather in larger numbers at the mouths of the numerous creeks and rivers that empty into Moreton Bay.
Flathead have are great to eat and I rate them as one of my favourite fish to catch. This is because of their aggressive nature and willingness to devour anything that passes by. Fly, bait, soft plastics, and hard-bodied lures will all catch fish. Cast and retrieve methods with artificial offerings definitely catch more fish than anchoring and presenting baits to these fish.
Wading the flats with a fly rod in hand and fishing the small drains and drop-offs on the outgoing tide is hard to beat during winter. Casting small hard-bodied lures and surface poppers across the shallow flats will also produce excellent numbers of theses tasty fish.
When looking for likely flathead holding spots there are two things that I look for. The first is areas where the tidal flow brings a food source to the fish. Theses areas can be flats at the mouth of a creek, drains, rocky points and defined drop-offs around creeks or around the islands.
The second thing to look for is areas that have a constant water flow and don’t completely go dry on the low tides. Most sandflats and small feeder creeks will completely dry out at low water but the ones that don’t usually hold better concentrations of fish.
The bay has been fishing well for snapper and associated reef dwellers and will only get better over the next few months. Try fishing the larger tides through winter for reef species as the smaller tides don’t produce the tidal flow for consistent catches.Reads: 4046