Weekly Report 17 Jan 09

Water Tower Bait & Tackle
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Weekly Report 17 Jan 09

Post by Brad » Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:15 am

Early morning trips have been the order of the week as the wind has usually increased mid morning and made travel throughout the bay uncomfortable. Many have been scouring the bay in search of spotted mackerel. Some have returned back to port with tales of woe whilst others are all smiles and looking forward to a tasty dinner. School mackerel have been easier to find than spotties, especially for those anglers jigging the beacons in the northern bay. Chrome slices dropped to the bottom and then cranked flat chat back to the surface around the beacons have usually been productive, however you may need to try several beacons before you meet with success. Most of the beacons in the NW channel, NE Channel and along the front of Bribie have been worth a try.

Spotties have been worth the effort for some, however schools busting it up on the surface have been hard to find. Most success has been gained by those with a keen eye and the willingness to motor around and look for the small bow waves and occasional splash or single hovering bird that may indicate that there are a few spotties in the area. Casting and retrieving chrome slugs and slices have usually been successful once the spotties have been located. An occasional longtail has also been caught in this manner but they have been few and far between in most cases. The best concentrations of longtails have been sighted in the Rainbow Channel and along the Naval Reserve Banks, especially mid morning and again late afternoon.

Plenty of small tuna have been sighted surface feeding throughout the bay but have generally been hard to approach and even harder to tempt, except with the smallest of flies, slugs or plastics. This is probably because of the number of boats that go racing up to the schools thinking they are spotted mackerel. A few juvenile yellowtail kingfish have been caught off various beacons in the bay and also some of the deeper ledges wide of Mud Island. Most have been hovering just below, or over, the legal size mark but are a lot of fun on light spinning tackle. Plastics have generally been better than slugs for these guys. Some anglers have even managed a few on fly gear. Peel has been copping a fair bit of attention in recent weeks as anglers get in a few last minute trips before the green zone on the entire western side comes into play making all the quality fishable areas out of bounds. The EPA needs to get a bit of credibility by making some sensible decisions that aren’t just political based as anglers are fed up with getting kept out of their fishing grounds, even though no serious scientific evidence can be provided for the closures in most cases. EPA apparently need no scientific data to close an area yet we have to provide scientific data to prove that the fishery is totally sustainable and unharmed by angling to get in reopened again. It is ironic how they can rarely ever come up with logical or scientific reasons to justify their decisions, yet we need to. It is like being assumed guilty until you prove innocence. Where will it all end? No wonder most anglers think EPA stands for Exceptional Pain in the Arse.

The estuaries have been fishing reasonably well with anglers targeting flathead, jacks, bream and other species with good results in most cases. Jacks have been a popular target by anglers fishing land-based and also from small boats and kayaks. Basically, most systems have been producing jacks including canals, rivers and creeks. Target structure, and also the eddies behind them, with lures and live baits and you are well on your way to achieving a hookup. Small minnow lures and plastics have worked well and often it is a case of trying to keep the offering in the strike zone long enough to prompt a jack into striking. Live offerings such as herring, mullet and prawns will usually be met with a ferocious strike, especially at night and during periods when the barometer is rising. Crab numbers have been good in many areas with those setting pots around the mouths of creeks, rivers and gutters providing a few a few mud crabs for anglers with safety pots and also 12 ply dillies. Out in the bay the crabbing has also been good for sandies with anglers setting pots around ledges and contours of the bay islands achieving reasonable numbers in most cases. One angler I spoke to during the week was surprised to pull up a pot and find a 4kg estuary cod in it, a welcome addition to the day’s catch. A few prawns have started to show up in the Brisbane River but they have been fairly patchy. Some anglers have managed a kilo or two but they have done a lot of casting for this result. The prawns should run on the full moon this month but with the seasons being so mixed up of late, anything could happen.
May your bait be nervous. Gordon Macdonald.

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