Anglers have been having a field day in recent weeks with good captures of most species. The prevalence of tailor, snapper, whiting, bream, mulloway and many others have kept anglers busy and happy. Moreton Bay, Jumpinpin, Pumistone Passage, Brisbane River and most waters in between have been worth a trip. Westerly winds have started to improve water quality in Moreton Bay in during the last week or so which has made shallow water fishing a little tougher during daylight hours. However there is still plenty of action and inspiration to pry you out of bed on these cold mornings.
The Brisbane River has been fishing extremely well over the last two weeks with plenty of fish being reported. Captures include snapper, bream, mulloway, cod, tailor, threadfin and many others. There has been a lot of baitfish around and this has naturally stirred up the predatory species as well. As the water clears further out into the bay, many species of bait are moving into the lower clarity water in the Brisbane River to seek refuge. Naturally this has attracted many other species and the fishing has improved considerably as a result. I did several sessions there early last week and caught some decent fish. Did a land-based session one night and managed three tailor over 50cm and a mulloway of 85cm, all taken on a Sebile Magic Swimmer 110 FSK cast from the bank. This jointed, hardbody stick-bait was slowly rolled and twitched around some lighted sections of water down near Boat Passage. The night after we took the boat and Matt got two mulloway around the same size and I managed one tailor and a decent flathead of 65cm, this time on Z-man Swimmerz. Plenty of other anglers have also managed good success in this area as well as other locations including Luggage Point, The Oil Pipeline, Clara’s Rocks, The Gateway Bridge, Breakfast Creek and even around the City Reach. Most anglers have been working lures or soaking baits along the edges of the major ledges and drop-offs into the main river-bed. Occasionally fish are being located around lighted areas at night, generally feeding on prawns, herring and numerous baitfish species.
Previous trips to Mud Island have been very rewarding with decent numbers of snapper, some to over 70cm in length, being taken on plastics and other artificials. Baits have also worked well for some, especially those who manage to fish areas all by themselves without the interference and noise from other anglers. Due to the recent westerly winds, and other factors such as lowering water temperatures, the clarity around the bay islands has improved greatly. From a fishing point of view this isn’t a good thing because the quality fish and baitfish species will retreat to deeper waters where they feel much safer and less conspicuous. This makes the fishing a lot tougher in the shallows during daylight hours. However, anglers usually experience a bite in these zones around the extremities of the day (dawn and dusk) as these species leave or enter these marginal zones. During the remaining daylight hours you will be best to fish a little wider of the bay islands in deeper water. Species being encountered regularly around Mud include snapper, sweetlip, pike, flathead, cod and a few others.
The same can be said for Peel Island where the situation is the same with fairly clean water around the shallows. Anglers have been fishing the Houseboat Wreck, South-West Rocks area and the Peel Artificial with good results. Apart from the usual snapper, sweetlip, tuskfish, cod, morwong and pike, which are caught here with some regularity, there has also been the occasional nannygai and coral trout caught, mostly juveniles.
With water quality improving rapidly, squid numbers have flourished and anglers are now getting some consistent results. The bay island shallows (Peel, Green, Mud and King), Goat Island, Bird Island, weed beds on the western side of Moreton Island and many other areas have been worth the effort for the boaties. Those limited to Shank’s Pony can expect results at Manly Boat Harbour, Cleveland Bay shallows, Raby Bay, Wellington Point and Victoria Point. Casting and retrieving egi around any shallow, clean water with structure such as weed-beds, reef or rubble will put you in with a great chance of success. These tasty cephalods always make it onto my dinner table but many anglers target them for prime baits targeted towards snapper, mulloway and other species.
Mulloway numbers have been excellent with the Brisbane River producing plenty of fish, although the majority haven’t eclipsed the minimum legal length of 75cm. However, there have been a few legal fish around for persistent anglers in the Brisbane River as well as other river systems. Larger fish are being caught with more regularity in the Gold Coast Seaway, Jumpinpin Bar area, Tiger Mullet Channel and main channel at the southern end of the Pumicestone Passage. Most of these larger fish have been taken on live baits with mullet, pike, squid and banana prawns being prime fare.
Tailor are also being caught on these same live baits by anglers targeting mulloway but are better targeted with lures once you locate them. The lower reaches of the Brisbane River, Jumpinpin Channel (especially around the mouth of Swan Bay on a falling tide), western side of Peel, Skirmish Point and all eastern facing beach frontages have been worth a try. Tailor can pop up at any time in a myriad of locales so it pays to be alert to their presence. The occasional decent school of tailor (and some Australian Salmon I am told), have been working just out from Dunwich early in the morning for a week or so now. Other schools have been located throughout the Rainbow Channel, especially up towards Amity Point. A few larger fish have been caught by anglers working small minnow lures and surface stick-baits around the shallows of the bay islands, especially Green.
There have still been a few good hauls of prawns taken with one group of anglers finding a condensed school just out from Cleveland. They managed their limit in less than an hour last week. I have located a few condensed concentrations of these tasty morsels in The Brisbane River using the sounder whilst just out from the drop-off into the main channel. Going by the number of trawlers still working the lower reaches, especially further east of Luggage Point, there are still decent hauls to be taken.
Crabs have tapered off somewhat but there has still been a few full mud crabs to be caught. The lower reaches of most systems have crabbed the best and a few sandies are also being taken in this zone at times.
Bream are being caught everywhere at the moment with every canal, creek and river being worth a fish. They are being caught on both baits and lures with a broad array of offerings working well. Land-based anglers are doing just a well as the boaties in most cases. Specimens to over 40cm have been reported however it is the average size of those bream caught that has made the fishing better than in previous years.
Well as you can tell, the fishing is excellent at present. The cold mornings and nights are somewhat of a deterrent for me usually but the quantities of quality fish on offer has made me venture out into the cold on many occasions. I am heading to North Queensland this week but am inspired by recent reports and looking forward to getting back out on the water on my return.
The Brisbane Sport Fishing Club is holding the SEQ Challenge next weekend (July 1st to 3rd). This is a lure and fly only (casting and trolling) event targeting all ANSA species. Points are allocated per species and also per centimeter and it looks like being a lot of fun. Hope to see you there.
May your bait be nervous. Gordon Macdonald