Mouth opens for Xmas
  |  First Published: December 2008

December is a great month to be fishing the mouth of the river because the seasonal prawn schools have emerged early. Bream, cod, snapper and threadies numbers have increased significantly over the past few weeks as well as the numbers of tasty crabs.


Threadies have started to school in the usual spots, like the mouth of Boggy Creek along the oil pipe, both ends of the main loading terminal and around most of the loading terminals from Hamilton to the mouth. The fish in the schools are big and the schools are moving from tide to tide, from one jetty to the next in search of the prawns.

I’ve recently drifted a few terminals and have seen metre-plus fish on the surface under the terminals feeding on schooled prawns. Unfortunately, due to the legal distance we had to stay away from the terminals (30m) and couldn’t access these particular fish, but at this time of year prawns will move onto the flats at the mouth of the river and we can get to the surface feeding threadies.

Night sessions under the lights that hang off the terminals is definitely worth a session or two over the Christmas period.

Bream and estuary cod

Bream and estuary cod have increased in numbers along any of the accessible rocky structures from the Gateway Bridge to the mouth. The bream are readily taking lightly weighted soft plastics fished hard into the rocks, or small hardbodied lures bounced along the rocks at different depths.

Estuary cod are sitting slightly deeper along the walls in around 6-8ft of water and will take just about any lure of softie that swims past their ambush position. They are also in great numbers around the smaller bay islands in the shallows around the reef edges and scattered amongst the tidal flats.


Snapper are also making their presence felt around the river mouth with some nice sized fish being boated along the main loading terminal. Smaller fish to 2kg are being caught along the new reclaimed section at the mouth and are often taking small lures intended for bream and cod.

Due to the larger than normal tidal flow at this time of year its best to fish the terminals and deep rock ledges on the top or bottom of the tides to be able to present your baits to the structure with some sort of control.

Large 5” and 6” single tail plastics and vibration baits are both accounting for good numbers of snapper at present. Often at this time of year when the prawns are prolific, the snapper will often move away from the confines of the pylons and feed wide into the river or wherever the prawns are schooled, even on the surface.


Crabs are worth chasing with good numbers of sandies being caught from the Gateway Bridge to the mouth. I’ve recently had some good sessions around the Boat Passage and in the deeper water along the Pinkenba stretch.

Sandies will only increase in numbers around the mouth over the coming months so its well worth replacing the dilly nets and getting out with the family to chase a few.

Mud crabs generally peak around the mouth over the Christmas period with good catches over the last few years coming from close into the mangrove shorelines on the large morning tides.

Whiting are in good numbers around the flats at the mouth of the river. Fresh baits, like locally caught yabbies or worms, are definitely good as well as small surface lures fished in the shallows over the weed patches.

One last thing I would like to remind anglers is to be careful on the water over the Christmas period as there will be heaps of boats out and about. Try to be courteous at boat ramps and give a hand to the newbie’s that are struggling.

Most of the ramps around the river will be chockers so planning early, very early, morning trips are worth considering.

Have a great Xmas break, catch heaps of critters and enjoy yourself.

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