Magic winter conditions are what we’ve had all winter and that should continue as the westerlies kick in and make fishing the ‘Pin a great day out. The fishing has been going really well, too, with heaps of bream and flathead making up the bulk of the catches.
Bream in particular have been in plague proportions; you can expect most of the nibbles at the end of your line to be bream wherever you are fishing. Bigger bream can be caught near the top of the tide and I find that the old rule ‘big bait, big fish’ really does work. If you use little hook, little bait, you’ll get little fish.
Big clumps of chicken and mullet gut on a 1/0 to 3/0 baitholder hook is a good start. Mullet fillets, big prawns, pilchards and bonito all work well too. Try the Stockyards, Fishermans Channel, powerlines, dead trees at bottom of North Straddie, Pigsties, Five Ways and Mouth of the Pimpama River.
There are plenty of flathead about as well, and the new maximum size limit of 75cm is giving anglers a bit more scope to keep those bigger fish.
The best baits have been big prawns, white bait, pilchards, froggies and herring. Soft plastics are also working really well, especially when the water is fairly clean, which it usually is all winter. Twitching plastics along on the drift has been productive, or you could try trolling shallow diving hard-bodied lures in 4-8ft of water. I have been doing this a fair bit lately with great success, and can safely say you don’t need to worry about the outboard scaring them off.
I have caught flathead from the shallowest banks in about a foot of water to 50ft deep off Swan Bay. The best part is you can catch them all tide, but in my experience the first of the runout tide is best.
There are heaps of winter whiting around but not many sand whiting. Most whiting have been caught up at the Banana Banks, Alberton Sands, Tiger Mullet Channel, Gold Bank and Slipping Sands.
Ever since the size limit on jew jumped from 45cm to 75cm we have seen a significant decline in the number of fish weighed in. Cheyne Sales regularly features most months and his 14kg jew was pretty much the catch of the month from out beyond Sully’s Reef. He also got a 13kg jew to go along with it. Not a bad day out. Try around Marks Rocks, off Swan Bay and Giants Grave with live mullet or prawns.
Tailor are still very quiet but they should show up this month as they head north towards Fraser for the breeding season. There have been a few caught off the beach at Main Beach and across from the Bedrooms on South Straddie. The odd stray has shown up in the ‘Pin but they’re still only chopper size.
Crabs have gone a little quiet for winter, as can be expected, but you can still get some good sandies up towards Russell and Macleay Island and muddies towards the mouth of the rivers.
Thanks for all your great reports and keep those fish coming in. If you need any up-to-date weather or fishing information drop us a line at Gem Bait & Tackle on (07) 3287 3868 or email --e-mail address hidden-- I’ll catch you next month.
Junior Hayden Jensen with another great catch from Jacobs Well.
Cheyne Sales scored a 14kg and 13kg jew from beyond the bar near Sullys Reef.Reads: 1038