Bread and Butter Species Line Up
  |  First Published: June 2008

Beanies, jumpers, snapper, bream, cold morning westerlies and glassy calm afternoons. These are just some of the things that spring to mind when I think of June in the Southern Bay.

This time of the year is popular for nearly all of the bread and butter species that call the bay home. Bream, flathead, tailor, snapper and jewfish are all available to anglers.

Good bream fishing is occurring around the shallows of Peel, Macleay and Coochiemudlo islands as well as the foreshores of Victoria Point and Redland Bay right now. Night trips have produced good fish for anglers using cut pilchard and gut baits. Alongside jetties, boat ramps and rock bars have been prime spots. In the day, anglers have done well fishing with shallow running and surface lures slowly worked through the shallows.

On the surface, Tiemco Baby Peppers have worked well around Macleay and Coochiemudlo islands. Their size means they can be cast a long way allowing the angler to cover plenty of ground. Metre deep divers like the Zipbait’s B-Switcher have been catching plenty of bream over the coral flats around South West Rocks at Peel Island, though a few have been lost to marauding sweetlip and other larger reef dwellers. Another species to watch out for in the shallows is the humble squid, as they will often have a crack at a popper or stickbait as it sits motionless on the surface. These tasty cephalopods are great fun on jigs and are often found in the same areas as the bream (though if you are specifically chasing squid, try focussing on the broken ground of rock and weed). If you keep a rod rigged for them you can often pick off a few that follow the bream lures.

As the winter cooling continues, the breaming focus will shift to the deeper channels such as at Jumpinpin and the Rainbow Channel at Amity. These spawning aggregations produce the greatest numbers and some of the largest sized bream found in SEQ. Methods for targeting these fish is as varied as in the shallows.

Bait fishers generally have success on yabbies, flesh baits and gut baits, fished off a long leader and a suitably sized ball sinker to get the bait down in the currents where the fish are located. Lure fishers reach for plastics such as Gulp Shrimps fished on 1/8-1/4oz jigheads or the very popular ‘blades’ such as TT Switchblades or Smith Sea Bullets. These metal lures are definitely the lure of the moment. They are small enough to be an easy snack for many species, their weight and size allows them to get down deep very easily and when hopped across the bottom they vibrate strongly to draw fish in from a distance. Mostly the bream eat them on the drop as the lure sinks back towards the bottom. To detect the bites it is essential to keep in contact with the lure in between lifts of the rod tip as the fish suck in and spit out the lure quite quickly.

Another species that really comes into favour at this time of the year is tailor. From the beaches of Stradbroke and Moreton islands to the jetties at Redland Bay, tailor can be caught anywhere that reasonably clean water is found. Some of the most popular spots in the Southern Bay include the channel edges around Garden and Snipe islands, Goat Island, the channel between Macleay and Karragarra islands. A pilchard drifted down a berley trail is a deadly method to use, especially on a rising tide just after dark. If you are after a big tailor in the Bay, a technique increasing in popularity is to cast surface lures around the reef edges of the islands and foreshores around Cleveland and Wellington points. Popular lures include River 2 Sea Dumbell Pops and Lucky Craft Sammys up to 150mm long. While you might not see too many fish on these lures, it is a great way to hook a monster bay tailor.

Lastly, snapper are around the Southern Bay in good numbers at this time of the year. We had a fairly poor run of snapper through the summer months this year so many are predicting that the winter will bring on both the quality and quantities of fish that we have been hoping for. Certainly there is plenty of bait around to sustain them and early indications are that plenty of fish in the 35-50cm fish are being caught along with a few larger models. Most of the better fish have been taken during the evenings or early hours of the morning, so whether you fish lures or bait, early and late is the time to be on the water for good snapper.

Until next month, tight lines! For more information, give me a call on 07 3207 9965 or --e-mail address hidden-- alternatively drop in and see us at our new store in Victoria Point! We are now located next door to Pattons ‘Big Gun’ Butchers in the Town Centre at Victoria Point, just off the Redland Bay Rd. Our range of specialist fishing tackle has increased with the move to the big new store, so come in and check out our local and imported brands.

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