Mixed conditions throughout last month made fishing on the Bay somewhat unpredictable for northside anglers.
The deluge that inundated the southeast has had a huge affect on the fish population accessed by 90% of anglers. Swollen rivers flushing several years of built-up debris into the waterways made boating extremely hazardous and getting a bait or artificial past the surface flotsam frustrating.
After several weeks of home detention from our newest member of the family, I was very eager to get back out onto the water. Unfortunately with only a few free days, I’ve had a shocker trying to pick days with good weather and have had unpleasant conditions in which to ease my fishing addiction. However, reports from other members of the angling community indicate there is some good fishing to be had.
The best fishing by far has been out around the Bay Islands recently with good reported numbers of squire and bream over the shallow reef areas. These fish are being taken on all manner of artificial offerings with the best quality fish coming from surface style lures like Lucky Craft NW Pencils, Bevy Props, and Sammie 65’s.
Working the reef drop-off’s fringing the Islands with a slow but erratic retrieve has produced the best results on the early morning calm conditions. After the fish retreat from surface fishing changing to sub-surface techniques will continue to produce fish. Pitching small hardbody lures like Jackall Chubbies and SPRO Minnows in the same areas will extend a morning bite sometimes for many hours.
Be wary of spooking resident schools when playing a hooked fish back to the boat. With the waters becoming increasingly clearer towards the end of this month, motoring hooked fish away from the area to land will pay great dividends to your final day’s tally.
The Islands have also been producing good numbers of squid over last month and should continue right through July and August. The shallow weed beds fringing around the islands and headlands are the best place to start looking if you are keen to score a feed of these tasty Cephalopods.
Working small prawn style jigs like Yozuri with a slow rolling retrieve proves to be irresistible for haunting squid. A good tip is to trim the lead keel on your jigs with a sharp knife or cutters so the lure has only a slight sink rate, this will stop you inevitably hooking the plug in such shallow water.
Like bibbed lures, squid jigs should be selected for use in different water depths. This can be achieved by tweaking the lead keel for differing sink rates, so it is sometimes necessary to have several similar jigs for a single outing.
As always, when landing squid use a net and point the squirty end away from yourself and your boat, it will save endless hours of scrubbing when you get back on dry land.
Although the schools of squid are quite large this season they are still susceptible to overfishing. Being conservative and sensible about how many squid you take for a feed is essential for future stocks.
The large populations of sharks in Moreton Bay are beginning to finally dwindle – good news for those who have lost more than their fair share of fish to the razor gang over the warmer months. Fishing the river mouths with live baits at night is now a more viable option for those hoping to find a few jew, snapper or threaddies without the chances of hooking endless amounts of grey suits.
The smaller soapie jew have mostly gone for another season but the chances of connecting to a big girl are good especially after the rain we have received. Opting for heavier terminal tackle during winter when fishing the deep holes will be required to put the brakes on the blistering first runs from big jewies. Targeting shows of bait in the deeper sections of the river near the shipping docks or Luggage Point is the first place to start looking, as well as deeper holes further up river like the one at Breakfast Creek.
Here’s hoping for some great weather over the month of July and for more time on the water.Reads: 1973