Flathead are a sure bet for spring
  |  First Published: September 2008

September signals change is beginning to happen in Southern Bay. In the first month of spring, the water will start to warm and wake up some of the summer species. Some of the largest mangrove jacks of the year are caught at this time and school mackerel begin to appear in the deeper channels. Bream, flathead, diver whiting, jewies and snapper are also available.

At the beginning of August, a couple of good jacks have been caught in the canal estates of the Southern Bay. It is a bit unusual for people to be catching 50cm+ in winter but by September, the water temps in the canals should have been given that little nudge to encourages the red devils to come out and play.

Fishing around the larger tides of the new and full moons should pay dividends, particularly if it coincides with northerly winds. Bait fishers will do well with live poddy mullet and herring fished around deeper holes at the base of rock walls. Lure anglers should find success with small to medium size paddle tail plastics, such as Slider Grubs and the Smith Vivid Live. These lures fished in jerky hops and jumps at night around pontoons and rock walls have proved deadly all over southeast Queensland, and will be taken by jacks as either a small fish or prawn imitation.

Larger mangrove jacks are a trophy fish that many anglers invest large amounts of time to catch. Therefore many anglers choose to return some or all of these great fish to the water so they can continue to terrorise anglers for many years to come.

Spinning lures for flathead is a great way to spend a few hours on a spring day. Try some of the sand flats around Coochiemudlo, Macleay, Karragarra and Russell Islands on the falling tide. Fish from either a boat, casting from the deeper water up to the shallows, or wade along the banks casting back to the drop-off into the deeper water. Both hardbody and soft plastics work well for this style of fishing, as do cast and retrieved baits like baby blue pilchards.

The key to flathead fishing at this time of year is to keep on moving and covering new ground, as the fish are often grouped together with a number of males hanging around a larger female. There may be reasonable gaps between finding fish, but when you find one there will often be other flatties not far away.

Snapper fishing has been up and down in the Southern Bay this year. Some weeks have produced good fish, but others have been far tougher. Some of the better catches have come to anglers willing to think outside the square. A few fishers have done well casting small diving lures over the shallow reefs around the bay islands at night – 50cm snapper slamming small lures on bream gear is definitely nothing to complain about!

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 Fish Head in Victoria Point. We are located near McDonalds in the Town Centre at Victoria Point, just off the Redland Bay Rd.

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