Top fishing at our doorstep
  |  First Published: November 2005

Travelling to tropical Queensland several times a year for work and play gives me an opportunity to appreciate what an awesome fishery we have in southeast Queensland. From Jumpinpin in the south to Bribie Island and the magnificent Pumicestone Passage in the north, Moreton Bay really has a lot to offer anglers.

The fishing in our little corner of Queensland is quite impressive in terms of diversity. There are record-breaking bass lakes, rivers full of cod and exceptional barra lakes only a few hours’ drive from Brisbane. The central fishing location though, is Moreton Bay.

Ringed by magnificent sand islands, the clean and temperate waters of the bay are a meeting area for southern and northern species. These fish mix together, creating a smorgasbord of fishing opportunities.

In November the local reefs start to fire. Sweetlip and snapper are on the chew for those who like an early morning fish. This is the best time of day to be on the bay fishing around the shallow reefs and islands, as the wind can come up soon after the sun. Tuna and mackerel are showing up around Peel Island right through the bay and up to the Cape. There isn’t a best spot to chase these speedsters, just look for bait on the surface and birds in the sky. Often mackerel and tuna will appear without warning while you’re searching for fish, so have a rod at hand rigged with a metal slice for some surface feeding action.

Flathead are still around in numbers at the river mouths. Soft plastics and hard-bodied lures are the undoing of most fish but baitfishers should try drifting stripbaits or bobbing pilchards for the best results. Tailor are still being caught around Mud and Green islands early in the morning or, if the wind breaks, late in the evening. Fishing in close to the islands in 2-4m is where you’ll find the tailor. Try shallow diving minnows either trolled or cast, soft plastics fished close to the surface rigged on a worm hook, or floating out unweighted baits.

Anglers are travelling hundreds of kilometres to fish a unique waterway that is at our doorstep – the Brisbane River. Most anglers are fishing from the Boat Passage to the mouth, but a lot more fish are now being caught upriver towards the city reaches. Look for a rocky bottom or sharp inclines and you will find the fish.

November really does look like being a good warm up for Christmas with plenty of bait and fish. The weather is warm and the beer is cold so don’t miss the chance to get amongst a few of either.

And if anyone knows the local rainmaker, we will have about four weeks of it thanks.

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