Hop into Easter Fishing
  |  First Published: March 2010

The healthy amount of rain South East Queensland has received over the end of February and March will boost angling prospects in the Northern Bay.

Flushing river systems have pushed large amounts of baitfish and crustaceans out towards the Bay islands and headlands.

Large amounts of food supply and discoloured water has seen a few good early season snapper move into the shallows of Moreton Bay.

Most of the better snapper have been only small, but the occasional fish up to 50cm are presenting through the rats. Persistence has been the key, find the schools of snapper and keep working the area until you strike a keeper.

Jerk bait soft plastics can make for harder work when the water is silted but using ribbed plastics with an erratic action draws more fish from afar.

Larger deep diving crankbaits have resulted in better catches around the fringing reef systems or trolling large expanses of rubble bottom.

Larger sized lures like Jackall Cherries, Jackall Squirrels, Lucky Craft Pointers and Bevy Shads are dynamite on snapper but can get costly when the reef gets hungry.

A lure retriever is a necessary piece of equipment when fishing these areas and this investment usually pays off after just one outing.

The best producing areas for hooking into an early season snapper has been the end of the reclaimed wall at the Brisbane River, Mud Island outer reefs and the deeper Redcliffe Reefs and rubble grounds.

This season has so far been reminiscent of 2006 when the snapper season kicked off with a large fresh water deluge and resulted in the best Bay snapper fishing for years; let’s hope this year follows suit.

Tailor have begun to show up in reasonable numbers with the cleaner incoming tides around the Bay islands.

These feisty speedsters have also been taking deep diving crankbaits when retrieved through schools of hardiheads or frog mouthed pilchards.

Keep on the lookout for birds working bait schools in shallower water and the tailor won’t be too far away.

Try adding short pauses and jerks during the retrieve to really invoke interest from cruising schools.

Using scents like Mega Strike on your lures also helps to obtain a solid hook-up as tailor will often hit a lure so fast it will miss the hooks, Mega Strike will ensure the fish comes back for another look time after time.

Like the snapper, tailor numbers are only marginal but should increase as the month progresses. The fish that are encountered are a good size and only require two for a decent feed.

Be sure to keep your quarry on ice as tailor have the tendency to be mushy on the plate if not tended to properly; iced down and bled they make top table fair.

Mackerel numbers will begin to dwindle through April but the occasional fish should be still about out in the Paddock.

Spinning or jigging beacons will become less productive as the month progresses, drifting deep unweighted pilchards is the best way to find small schools.

When the water begins to cool off, these schools will hold in warmer pockets of water and if we get some hot, humid days through April mackerel will come on the bite and show good surface boils.

These guys will hang about for the next month before retracting away north from the frigid winter currents soon to enter the bay.

Easter is upon us and for many families it’s time to dust off the camping gear and head away for a few days of R’N’R.

I will be heading off on our annual camping trip to main beach at Straddie with the family and friends to enjoy the best weather of the year (hopefully).

Easter signals the start of the beach fishing season and bream, whiting and dart will all be in good numbers in the shallow gutters.

Catching a feed of fresh fish will be high on the agenda for most. To do so, ultra light gear works best and believe it or not, artificials actually result in better numbers of quality fish when working a gutter or headland.

The trick is to work the inshore wash zone by casting over the first shore breakers and retrieving the plastic super slow into the strike zone just before the breaking waves.

Look for any strong features like rips, sand bars or holes and work the area well before moving on to the next gutter.

Chances are when you locate one fish many more will come in quick succession.

TT’s Switchblades are also well worth flicking around the shore dump and can bring the most action, especially from dart.

The newly released TT’s Ghostblade is setting up to be a real winner for this type of fishing so make sure you grab a few to try and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed; and you will catch more fish than the guy next to you using baits!

Enjoy your Easter and camping and most of all enjoy the last month of warm days.

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