Mid-Spring weather has arrived - everything is starting to warm up. Around Bribie, halfway through August is generally when the water is at its coldest. It hasn’t taken many warm days for things to the temperature to lift, which tends to “wake” the fish a little and get them going after a lure or bait.
Water temperature directly influences numbers and location of bait fish, as well as the timing of spawning of our bigger fish. Right now, the flathead have gathered in the Passage and the creek mouths, for their annual spawning season. Using the rising tide and casting across the shallow gutters on the way into the creeks or trolling along the creeks has been working well.
Weather is particularly important to fishing in and around Bribie. Seasonal changes, as well as what they like to call “weather events”, affect temperature, salinity, water clarity, nutrient quality, and wave heights, among other things – which all go towards a good day or not-so-good day out fishing.
Windy days don’t just affect the comfort of boaties, they also push the surface water around, stirring it up and altering temperature, which often encourages some of the bigger fish to have a go. The flathead, however, seem to be holding out where there is less wind across the surface, so look for sheltered spots.
Cameron fished from near Buckley’s Hole one morning, a couple of weeks ago – hiding from the north-easterlies. He tells me there were a few flathead there and he did well using soft plastics.
Richard has been getting some great flathead west of the second green marker, south of the bridge. Trying it on the morning rising tide last week, he got a couple of really decent ones, using pilchards.
Just off the Sandstone Point Hotel, Lilliana also had luck on the morning rising tide, taking a good flathead with chicken fillet.
The weather has often been too rough for much fishing at the bridge, but very early mornings have still been worth a cast. Mackerel, especially, have been taking pilchards.
Lately, the daytime winds are shifting over the morning, turning from NE to SE, then lifting. What will seem a gentle enough breeze at the boat ramp will be quite strong and a little gusty when you get out into the middle of the Passage, or even beyond. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the weather, before you go and while you’re out there. There will always be somewhere in the Passage that will work, either from the shore or in a boat. At our office, we look to the BOM radar and SeaBreeze for the most current information.
Deb and Gordon were out on CULATA – fishing rather than sailing, and settled on a sheltered spot outside Pacific Harbour, just over the top of the tide, around lunchtime. Eleven fish caught in total, including whiptails, moses perch, whiting and a couple of pan-sized bream – made it a worthwhile trip out. Squid worked for them, which is a good choice in windy weather, for its staying power on the hook.
In the Passage, the swings in wind direction, along with the big tides, have been encouraging a lot of messy weed. There have been a few reports of weed up in Ningi and Elimbah Creeks. If it is hard to get your cast through or is messing up your gear, move further into the flow.
There might be weed but there are also some big sand whiting – Elimbah Creek has had plenty! One sand whiting came in at 42cm, which is almost a feed on its own. Worms and mussels have been the most successful baits.
Of course, the warmer temperature should also be waking the sand crabs- we all know the adage about months with an “r” for crabbing. It’s been a slow start for the sand crabs, with not a heap to report so far. Plenty of jennies, with lots of eggs; not much in the way of bucks. The ones that have been brought back do seem to be nice and full. Last week we were given the heaviest, fullest mud crab we’ve seen in a while - it walked into a crabpot up at the Avon wreck. Let’s hope there are more coming!