Winter Fire
  |  First Published: May 2009

Yet another winter is upon us and anglers would be hard pressed to find a reason not to get on the water in Northern Bay. Fishing has once again begun to fire for inshore and river anglers with some good quality fish available for the taking.

River mouths and headlands are absolutely teeming with various schools of fish congregating for winter spawning. Bream are probably the number one inshore species available in June and can be caught with relative ease for both land-based and boating fishos.

Bream will be present in very shallow waters through the night and early mornings but will school in better numbers along the deep drop-offs and deeper channels during the day. Anglers putting in the time to search for good deep water with adjacent flats will be rewarded as this is the best place to start fishing through most stages of the tide. Areas to try fishing are at Luggage Point on the northern banks of the Brisbane River, Deep Water Point in the Pine River, The Wells area at the mouth of the Hays Inlet and the rocky points all along the Redcliffe Peninsular.

Most of the river systems in the Northern Bay area fish best with the outgoing tide during winter. Also at this time of year using small fish baits or imitations will produce best results. The best baits are whole live or fresh dead hardiheads or frogmouth pilchards. For lure fans artificial baits like small jerk-bait plastics and metal vibrations like TTs SwitchBlade fished with a decent pause between flicks should also work well.

Snapper are ever present this month and are prolific in all the same areas as bream. The deeper channels of the Brisbane River mouth are holding some good-sized congregations of snapper with fish up to 5kg very common. Clara’s Rocks, Luggage Point and all along the various shipping terminals have good schools of baitfish, which is why the snapper are also in the area. The inshore reefs are also fishing really well lately. The best snapper I have heard of was caught in this area and dropped the scales down to an impressive 8.5kg. It was caught on a soft plastic fished in less than 10ft of water.

Sounding around for showings of bait schools then working the area with soft plastics helps to find fish fast. Marking your new found fishing grounds for future trips out helps to arm you with an arsenal of likely snapper fishing locations.

On a recent bream fishing trip out around the Redcliffe Peninsular a mate and I came across a snapper of around 4.5kg floating quite close to the beach. It didn’t take long for Grayson to whip out the landing net and with one quick scoop boated our best fish for the morning. A lucky find as the fish had not long been deceased and was still fresh, so it was bound for the freezer after a few quick photos. I put this fish’s mortality down to it being a victim of the recent influx of fresh water sapping the salt of oxygen, or at least that’s what I hoped...

Some good schools of winter whiting are showing up around Deception Bay and the banks to the northern end of Moreton Bay. These sweet little guys can make for a fun morning of fishing with children, bait collecting for snapper or just a delicious breakfast. The best times to fish have been when a good current flow is present at the top of the tide. On clear days actually looking into the water can show plumes of fish as they siphon for worms along the sandy bottom.

Using small cut strips of fresh squid or tuna flesh produces the best result and lasts a little longer on the hook when threaded properly. Remember these little blokes have smaller mouths than summer whiting and require smaller long-shanked hooks. Using minimal weight to get the bait to the bottom allows the presentation to have a more natural look and less resistance when it draws an enquiry.

The annual pawn run was a cracker towards the middle to end of April and hopefully will continue for most of May and into June. Netters working the holes and channels around the creek mouths were filling their limit in quick succession by finding the large schools on their fish finders. Looking for large tight balls holding close to the bottom with a presence of fish arches at this time of the year around the full or new moon is a good place to begin probing. Keeping your eyes open for other anglers having success will lead you to the prawns, but don’t crowd already established netters as they could get upset with all the boat noise.

I am also happy to announce the arrival of baby number three to our family. Little Olive Louise Perham was born on April 20th at 7lb 13oz and is perfectly healthy. It seems I am slowly being outnumbered by females and now have less places to hide.

Good fishing.

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