Bread and Butter Time
  |  First Published: August 2008

Flathead, bream, tailor, snapper and jewies are all on the menu this month in the southern bay. The last month of winter is an excellent time to chase all the popular ‘bread and butter’ species.

One of the most active fish at this time of the year is the humble flathead. Their numbers are peaking around creek and river mouths in preparation for breeding during the full moon period. By mid June plenty of good fish were being taken between the Victoria Point/Coochiemudlo area, through to Jumpinpin. When hunting for flatties, concentrate your efforts on the falling tide around drop offs adjacent to sand and mud banks. They love to sit half buried on the bottom, waiting to ambush any small fish and crustaceans that are forced off the flats by the dropping water levels. On the rising tide, flathead can still be caught but they tend to be more scattered, laying in ambush anywhere from the drop offs to right up in the shallows in just a few centimetres of water.

Baits and lures work very well on flathead. Most baits will work but small whole fish like baby blue pilchards, poddy mullet and hardiheads are particularly successful. Keep the bait moving by fishing from a drifting boat or by slowly winding and hopping the bait along every 20 seconds or so.

Lure fishos have a huge choice to work with as many of the popular plastics and hardbodies will work, however, there are a few things that help narrow the choices down. With hardbody lures, pick one that has a diving depth close to the water depth of where you will be fishing. Ideally you want a lure that will touch down on the bottom every so often, kicking up a puff of sand or mud each time. Some popular lures include Strike Pro Bass-X, Zipbaits Khamsin DR 70mm and deep running Jackall Chubbies. On the soft plastics front, lures that put out reasonable amounts of vibration underwater are many anglers first choice. Paddle tail plastics such as the Smith Vivid Live, Assassin Sea Shads and the yabby-like Squidgy Pro Lobbys are all great lures. As far as lure colours go, bright fluoros, particularly pink are an ever popular favourite. In clear water or highly pressured fisheries (such as Jumpinpin on a busy Sunday) more subtle natural colours will often get the nod from a big lizard. Remember to bear in mind the five fish bag and slot size limit of 40-70cm. This ensures that the big breeding females go back to do what they do best – produce lots of baby flathead!

Bream are another species that features heavily at this time of the year. To date, the bream fishing has been excellent, particularly over gravel flats and shallow weed beds. At this time though, the focus moves to fishing in the deeper channels and holes. The most popular areas locally include Amity and Jumpinpin located at the north and south of North Stradbroke Island

Both of these spots have some pretty strong currents at times so be prepared to use sufficient weight to get baits to the bottom. Fishing with ‘blade’ style lures has also become very popular for deep water bream this season. Being very small, but reasonably heavy they don’t pick up much resistance in the current. Slow hopping across the bottom works well with the fish usually picking up the lure on the drop.

Tight lines everyone! For more information, drop in and see us at Fish Head in the Town Centre at Victoria Point, just behind McDonalds or give us a call on (07) 3207 9965.

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