Sussing out snapper and squid
  |  First Published: August 2006

The fishing in the Brisbane River is truly amazing. The quality and quantity of large fish that get boated on a daily basis is a testament to this awesome fishery.

Due to the number of anglers opting to fish the river rather than Moreton Bay, the amount of fishable water has been reduced. For some anglers this has become a hassle, but for those who look for ‘new’ areas with the use of their depth sounder, the river has become a never-ending source of fish.

On recent trips to the river I have seen this first hand. Most boats fishing in the river congregate in two main areas, Claras Rocks and the newly reclaimed section at the mouth. Both areas produce excellent results if fished properly, but the fish in these areas have become lure-shy and hard to catch thanks to the number of boats in the area. Upon returning to the boat ramp and comparing catches, anglers who fish the newer areas are producing mind-blowing results.

Finding new areas to fish in the river isn’t that hard. Using good quality depth sounders to find hard rocky bottoms is the key. Watching where the river trawlers are working is important. Some of my more reliable spots have been found by watching trawlers working stretches of the river lifting their nets in certain places or diverting around an underwater object in the same place. Trawler fishermen usually don’t drag their nets anywhere there is rock so these areas are good places to start looking.

There are plenty of rocky and reefy bottoms in good depths from Claras Rocks to the mouth of Bulimba Creek. This stretch has been holding excellent numbers of fish and, due to the bottom contours it’s also a great place for anglers to learn how to locate structure and fish on your sounder. Keep in mind that the prawns the trawlers are targeting get eaten by snapper, jew, bream and threadfin salmon. Fish will move up and down the river with the prawns and anglers have to move with the fish for consistent results.

Bay Islands

The inshore smaller islands have been fishing well in the early morning and evening for tailor. Unweighted pilchards on 3 or 4 ganged hooks and smaller frog-mouthed pilchards on 3 ganged hooks have been working well. Other anglers may prefer to use floats.

Snapper numbers have been increasing with fish to 8kg being boated at Mud, Green and the Artificial. Livebaits and large stripbaits seem to be catching most of the snapper at the moment.

Bream are still in the shallows on most of the islands, unweighted baits and small hard-bodied lures like Ecogear (CK40F07, SX40 and CK50F3) are producing great results.

Squid are being caught off most jetties at night (under lights) and decent numbers are showing up around the gravel patches close into the islands and over the weed-grass growing in the shallows along the Rainbow and Rous channels.

Large tuna are still around but in smaller numbers, Poppers are the go at this time of year and playing the waiting game to make the cast is the key.

Until next month, enjoy your fishing.

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