Weekly Report 2 Mar 11

Water Tower Bait & Tackle
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Weekly Report 2 Mar 11

Post by Brad » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:48 pm

Surprising numbers of quality fish were reported by many anglers venturing out into Moreton Bay over the last two weeks. We have been blessed with several days of good conditions during this time and the weather gods must have stuffed up because they actually gave use some of the better conditions over the weekends. Most waterways feeding into Moreton Bay have also been worth fishing with a good mix of species being recorded. The Rous Channel has been the place to be if you love catching big winter whiting as they have made an early entrance and are being taken in good numbers. Most anglers fishing for them in this general area have had no trouble achieving double figures within an hour or so. Some anglers have caught as many as thirty big winter whiting plus plenty of the smaller summer (diver) whiting for a session. Worms, live or frozen, have been the key for the better catches but thin strips of tenderized squid will suffice. The Mustad Fine Worm hooks have been popular as they are thin, strong and have small barbs along the shank to help present the bait properly. Keep sinker weights to a minimum and use 4lb to 8lb fluorocarbon leaders for maximum bites from the elbow-slappers.

There has still been the occasional bust-up from spotted mackerel along the banks between the southern side of the green zone and the western entrance to the Rous Channel. Better results on mackerel have come from those anglers working their offerings around the shipping channel beacons from Tangalooma to Caloundra. Jigging with chrome slugs and slices is often the best option when the tide is running hard. Plastics can also solicit results but you will need a new one after every fish. As the tidal flow slows, try dropping lightly weighted pilchards near the beacons and then drifting away. Spotties, schoolies and a host of other species can all be taken with this method. The occasional large cobia is still around so try dropping a few live baits around the beacons and then allow the current to carry you away about 100m. Repeat the process a few times at each beacon before moving on to the next. Live-baiting areas such as the Western Rocks coffee rock, Curtin Artificial and Benowa Track area will also produce the occasional cobia.

Snapper are still off limits at present however working your plastics around the bay island margins will produce a few quality sweetlip, estuary cod, morwong, tuskfish and other species. The South-West Rocks area has produced some good numbers of grass sweetlip for anglers fishing lightly weighted fresh baits such as green prawns, pike fillets and mullet strips. The humble pilchard and squid will also suffice but the better quality fish are generally being taken on the fresher baits. Prawn numbers have been reasonably good with many anglers getting a few kilos of large banana prawns for their efforts with the cast net. I have had reports from the Brisbane River, Logan River, Caboolture River, Burpengary Creek and many other areas. There has been plenty of bull sharks in most of the creeks and river systems at presence. Larger live mullet tend not to last too long when fished either under a float or right on the bottom. Many scented or oily baits will also attract these dogged fighters. Good numbers have been reported from the Logan River and Caboolture River but most systems hold substantial numbers. Be careful handling them as they are extremely strong and even the small ones can do you a considerable degree of injury.

Spanish mackerel numbers have been excellent around the Point Lookout area. Those going to the effort to rig swimming baits such as mullet, gar, tailor, tarpon, longtom, wolf herring, large slimey mackerel or small tunas and bonito are generally achieving the better results. Spanish can however be caught on swimming lures such as Sebile Koolie Minnows, Halco Laser Pro, X-Rap Magnums, many different lipless minnows and sometimes weighted-head skirted offerings. The occasional wahoo has also fallen victim to these offerings as have dolphinfish, mack tuna and of course the occasional shark. There was at least one sailfish taken from amongst a school of small tuna here last weekend. The waters north of Moreton have been a little quieter than normal but are still worth the effort especially for those fishing the ledges and drop-offs for amberjack, yellowtail kingfish, cobia and sweetlip. The Hutchies area has been a popular spot for this pursuit with most anglers using live baits for the better results. Some quality fish have fallen for soft plastics, octo-jigs and knife jigs. One angler was hooked a small black marlin here on a soft plastic but the 30lb leader soon parted.

I have done two short trips to the Brisbane River during the last week and managed a threadfin and a mulloway on the first, then two mulloway and an estuary cod on the second. I was primarily using a fast-sinking Sebile Flat Shad but caught one of the mulloway on a Castaic Jerky-J Boot-Tail 3.5”. Also heard of a quality mulloway of around 10kg, which was caught on a live-bait last Sunday night, a quality catch. Mangrove jack numbers continue to impress with jacks to over 60cm reported recently. Most of the creek and river systems between the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast have been producing results with some anglers managing three or more quality jacks on lures for a few hours of casting. In addition there has been trevally, tarpon, school mulloway, bull sharks, giant herring, cod, bream, flathead and plenty of other species caught on lures.

There has even been quite a few barramundi reported over the last few weeks to follow up the previous reports of this species in the systems both north and south of Brisbane. A few anglers who read my reports of these captures in my last report finally said they had also caught one but had not told anyone previously as they thought no-one would believe them. An odd capture on a lure during the week was a large manta-ray which had the anglers guessing for nearly 45 minutes before it showed its real identity. They were hoping for a large trevally or mulloway but managed to land the ray, retrieve their lure and then release it. A great effort. Anglers making the effort to get out on the water have generally returned home with positive results fish wise. However, with the low winds and warm weather we have been experiencing at times, catching a few fish has just been the icing on the cake for a nice day out.
May your bait be nervous. Gordon Macdonald

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