Bay breaming with fish
  |  First Published: February 2009

The fishing has really begun to fire up over the last few weeks, with most rivers consisting of fat healthy brown and rainbow trout. Spring feed streams have been flowing gin clear and the current water temperature is about 16-18ºC.

Don’t worry I haven’t lost my mind. I am currently escaping the relentless Queensland heat with my family over here in New Zealand’s South Island, enjoying sunny days with top temps around 23-28ºC. I am currently trying my hand at waving the wand to the wily brown trout smack bang in the middle of Christchurch city and I’m quite impressed with the fish stocks readily available to test your wits against.

Back to the local scene, I have been in touch with a few local fishing mates and have been told that the fishing has been a bit hit and miss, mainly due to the frequent winds and hot weather. Salmon are still a good option in the Brisbane River with some nice fish coming from the river mouth area as the tide slows towards the bottom of the tide. The best method to get into a bruiser is with lipless crankbaits like Jackall Masks and Silent TN’s.

Live baiting with prawns, herring and small mullet is always a good option for a more relaxed fishing experience and accounts for good numbers of fish especially at night along drop-off’s and drains. Small jew are also coming from the river mouth and near the loading terminals. The fish are predominantly small soapies to around 3-4kg, but there will be the occasional bigger fish amongst them so persistence is the key.

Fishing during the bottom of the tide is the best time to get into a few jew and makes a good change of species when fishing slows around the tide change. There have been a few small schools of mackerel and tuna occasionally busting around the mouth so flicking small metal slices and pillies around could be a good option.

The islands have fished a little slow due to the plague proportions of bull sharks that have set up residency. Just prior to leaving Brisbane I made a quick trip out and was surprised at the schools of bull sharks fossicking through the shallows. We counted one school of about five sharks all with pectoral fins out in less than a foot of water chasing bream and bait fish. In total that morning we saw 12 bull sharks, which is a lot given the small area in which we were fishing. Unfortunately any fish than can be persuaded to your hook becomes a locked target and is destroyed quick fast.

I haven’t heard any reports of snapper being caught in the shallow rubble areas for a couple of weeks and the only pink-fish that have been caught are small undersize bait pinchers. Best bet this month is to target school mackerel early in the morning before the sun gets too high with jerk-bait style plastics, small bibbed lures and surface poppers.

When the prevailing winds have allowed, fishing in the Pearl Channel has been on all accounts quite reasonable for both pelagics and reef species. Reasonable catches of goldspot cod and morwong are being taken by jigging the coffee rock drop-offs and deeper sections with good current flow.

Small cobias are also about in reasonable numbers and are a common by-catch when fishing the deeper reefs in the Pearl at this time of the year. Once again jerk-bait type plastics work well and are less likely to be affected by the strong currents that the Pearl is known for. A good tip, instead of upgrading jig head sizes to get plastics down to the bottom, trimming small slithers off the sides of the plastic with braid scissors can dramatically decrease the water drag of your lure and give that extra drop required to get to the fish.

The Redcliffe Peninsular has provided some fun shallow water breaming sessions for the past few weeks, the water clarity has improved slightly making boat manoeuvring and lure placement a lot easier. Good size bream over 1kg are still being caught with a little bit effort. Deep diving hard body lures like Atomic Hardz and Gulp Shrimp fished dead sticked are taking the best fish along the ledges and shadows. Get in early for a fish at sunrise for a good surface bite with dogs and skitters.

Have a great month fishing in the Bay.

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