Weekly Report 23 May 11

Water Tower Bait & Tackle
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Weekly Report 23 May 11

Post by Brad » Tue May 24, 2011 7:44 am

Fishing in Moreton Bay has been excellent in recent weeks with plenty of quality species being reported. Snapper, longtails, sweetlip, squid, flathead, whiting and many others have been caught by anglers fishing all corners of the bay. The bay islands have fished well for those targeting snapper with several quality fish to 6.6kg being reported. Soft plastics have been especially productive and will catch fish during all stages of the tide and at any time of the day or night. I have managed three trips to Mud in recent weeks and we have returned home with three to five snapper between 45cm and 75cm each trip. There has been plenty of smaller pan sized snapper in the 35cm to 40cm bracket however we usually release these smaller, just legal fish to grow a little bigger. Undersized fish are plentiful as many anglers soon find out, especially when fishing with baits. Treat these with respect and release them carefully as they will hopefully grow into a big knobby for you or someone else to catch.

In addition to snapper, there has been some excellent sweetlip, flathead, tailor and others to catch on plastics and baits. My ploy to find fish is to just work areas where there is no one else or where anglers are being stealthy in their approach. Cut your motor at least 100m from where you want to fish and use an electric to reposition yourself if the wind or current alters you away from your chosen drift line. Snapper will regularly roam the margins of the bay islands and are not so structure orientated as people think. Most of our better fish are taken in deeper water well wide of structure and will generally engulf the plastic as it sinks in the top third of the water column.

Snapper will generally eat most plastics put before them however over the time you gain some favorites that you continually fish with. I have been using Gulp 5’ Jerk Shads in the peppered prawn, catalpa, pink shine and sardine colours for the past few seasons. Recently I have also had good success on the punk prawn and disco prawn colours. Another that I have been using a lot recently are the Zman Swimmerz Jerk Shads, especially the bubblegum, nuclear chicken and baby bass colours. These are very resilient to tearing and will take many fish without deteriorating too much. Both of these plastics are usually fished on a TT Tournament ¼ oz 5/0 jigheads. The Zman Shrimp and Atomic Prongs are also reliable producers of quality fish. Regardless of what plastic or bait you fish with, I can’t stress how important it is to be quiet when fishing these shallow grounds, as noise will greatly decrease your bite rate. Fish anywhere around Mud Island away from the crowds and you will generally catch fish.

Peel has also been fishing well in recent weeks for anglers fishing the edge of the prominent reef on the western side. Snapper, sweetlip, tuskfish, pike, cod plus many other species being caught with regularity on a variety of lures and baits. A few tailor have also been patrolling the edge of the reef and are being taken on lures as well as pilchard baits. The South-West Rocks area is also worth a look, especially for those soaking a few baits. An occasionally longtail has also been caught in the main channels and they have also popped up between Peel and The Naval Reserve Banks at times. Squid numbers are not as good as they were at this time last year as the water is not as clear, due to early season rains. Squid like clean water and they will increase in number along with the clarity. This is usually promoted by the westerly winds. However, as the water clears, the fishing will usually get a little harder so it is a bit of a trade off.

Longtails have been around in reasonable numbers in recent weeks but have been very sporadic in their travels. On occasion there has been the odd fish caught around Mud Island and over towards the Measured Mile and Harry Atkinson. Other spots worth further investigation include the Four Beacons, all the main shipping Channels, Cooper Channel, mouth of the Rous Channel, Comboyuro Point and along the front of Bribie Island. I am fishing in the Bribie Island Sport Fish Club Longtail Tuna Flyfishing Challenge this weekend so hope there are a few to be found in the northern bay. The longtails have been a little hard to approach at times but with the average size around 9kg they are definitely worth the effort.

There are still a few prawns to be caught whilst castnetting the deeper holes in the major creeks and rivers. A few hours of effort should reward you with a feed of tasty crustaceans. I observed a few being caught in the South Pine River during the week but have also had the occasional report from the North Pine, mouth of the Logan, Brisbane River and several locales around Russel Island and Coochiemudlo. Crab numbers are tapering off quickly but it is still worth setting pots as most are generally getting a few for their efforts.
May your bait be nervous. Gordon Macdonald

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