Well, here they are, regular as clockwork – isn’t it uncanny? Those westerlies that come with EKKA bring chilly days and change fishing in the Passage and around Bribie. The breeze generally lifts through the day, sometimes swinging between north and south. Around midday, when the wind direction might be changing, and the water has warmed a little, has proved to be a useful time to throw a line.
EKKA winds make fishing forecasting tricky and targeting of any particular species unpredictable. This is the start of the “between-seasons” period and every day can be different from the last. Windy days are not all bad – get up into Ningi Creek and the other estuaries, where fish are attracted to water that is stirred a little and you can use the wind to make a good, long cast.
Tailor are still showing up right through the Pumicestone Passage. Red has said that this seems to be a very big tailor year, with big schools in the bay and in all the gutters over at Moreton Island. Just past South Point, over the first EKKA weekend, Toby and Mark got among a big school of baitfish. There were plenty of tailor out there, “going crazy”, along with swooping birds and at least a couple of black-tipped sharks.
Ron hasn’t needed to go far for his fishing – he watches from his Bribie front porch for the tell-tale sight of birds gathering over a school of fish. Then, off he charges, with the fishing rod, over the road and straight into the water, standing thigh-deep, and casting slug-lures out after the tailor. Pretty much every day, Ron has been scoring a couple of good-sized fish. He reckons it’s one of the most consistent tailor seasons he has seen.
Goldie’s tailor was also caught on mullet, which has been a very handy bait lately. If you’re after some fresh mullet for live-bait, try cast-netting a few between Spinnaker Sound Marina and the bridge. Another good spot for cast-netting mullet has been Ningi Creek.
Another place to find the tailor has been Ningi Creek, where Charlie has been successfully fishing on the run-out tide for tailor and flathead. Toby, and his mate Daniel, were up between Ningi Creek and the Avon shipwreck, when they brought in a couple of good tailor, which were caught on herring and mullet.
Plenty of bream have been spending a bit of time up around the wreck as well. Geoff and Tyler found them there, drifting past the wreck on the falling tide, using chicken gut.
This winter has been a hit-and-miss season for snapper. Out at Cook’s Rocks, there has been a lot of fluctuation in snapper numbers and sizes. Other favourite spots, especially the Ripples, just outside Pacific Harbour, have not been as exciting for snapper as in previous years, but snapper are still showing there, and at the bridge. Tommy’s snapper, well above 40cm, was picked up at the bridge, using herring for bait.
Winter whiting has been a pretty good bet this winter, especially on the rising tide in the Passage and on the beaches. A couple of weeks ago, they slowed down on the beach but are still going well up the middle. Among the tailor and whiting, have been good schools of dart, lots of them above 30-50cm in size, which should make very decent fillets.
Fishing at the bridge has quietened a bit over the past week, with garfish and toadies taking a lot of the bait. With the strong tidal flows over last weekend’s new moon, the only time to get anything has been over the change of tide. Cast into the eddies that form at the pylons; live bait and soft plastics have been working there.
Probably the stars of the Pumicestone Passage have been the ever-reliable flathead. The cool weather has brought the big females into the Passage and creeks for breeding and plenty of nice-sized male fish with them.
Luke says there are flathead galore at low-tide in Ningi. Sophie caught flathead at Turner’s Camp, on the falling tide. James (photo) was happy with two flathead, from south of the Avon wreck. Jack recommends trying the banks between Spinnaker Sound Marina for flathead, using lures on a rising tide. Charlie is using soft-plastics (Z-man) in the creeks, to catch lots of biggies. So, from that, you’d have to conclude that flathead really are everywhere, all of the time!
Toby with a Tailor caught up Avon Wreck.