Cool nights, hot fishing
  |  First Published: July 2006

There are lots of good reasons to be on the water this month, with the temperatures cooling down and a heap of different species on offer.

No matter what sort of fish you are in to, there is always something on the bite at this time of the year. On the reefs and rocky shores there are snapper and bream, the sandbanks 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 around.

Bream have been around in good numbers in the shallows of Macleay and Coochiemudlo islands and 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. Fishing during the day has been very productive for lure fishers with Berkley Gulp Fry in pumpkinseed a popular choice, while 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, some as low as ankle deep.

Baitfishing has been very productive in the same areas. Mullet and chook guts are great baits for bream at any time but they have producing the goods for night breaming in shallow water. Just keep the line and sinker as light as possible as they can be quite finicky even at the best of times.

Early winter is the time that a lot of the big snapper specialists start to dust off their gear. Many of these big fish fall to livebait fished at 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 amongst the small fish action. If you really want to catch the bigger fish consistently, you have to deliberately fish for them.

During the day there are 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 drifting over these rubble grounds. They can either be just 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. Recently the mack tuna were so thick that longtails were hardly getting a look in. Longtails will still be around in July but sometimes their laidback approach to rounding up bait sees them getting push aside by rampaging mack tuna. Sometimes it is possible to find longtails feeding freely away from the mack tuna, but other times it’s better to target the outside of the mack tuna schools to pick up the longtails feeding around the edges.

Further down among the Southern Bay islands a few good tailor have started to appear; hopefully we’re in for a good season. There are also regular reports of Spanish mackerel turning up in the Rainbow Channel, which along with a few late season spotties, makes it well worth checking out if you are interested in chasing mackerel.

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.

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