October Fishing Report- The Island and Surrounds

This fishing report is being written on the first sunny day in a long while. October started wet, cleared, then, on Tues 9th, the bad weather set in for a week and a half.

As I wrote in my last report, “Weather is particularly important to fishing in and around Bribie …… 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.” Well, this weather event certainly did all of that!

Temperatures across the South-East dropped by about 4 degrees over that time, rain came in squalls across Moreton Bay and the Passage, and fishing (or, at least, catching) came to a standstill.

So, there have been some bits and pieces about the place, but even the die-hard fishers have kept their boats on their trailers, most days.

Prior to the rain, there were plenty of flathead for the taking, right through the Passage. The Avon wreck has been a favourite spot, especially over near the mangroves. Michelle and Samantha got lucky up that way, with two sand flathead and one mud flathead caught on the morning rising tide, with squid.

Ray also found three flatties, and a tailor, on the public holiday Monday, using pilchards for bait.

Soft plastics have also been a great help with the flathead, especially drifting alongside sandbanks and casting over them. They are also handy for casting into the mangroves or oyster leases up that way. Water clarity has dropped a bit, with the rain, but plastics have still been working a treat.

The long weekend was a good time to be out on the water (except the Sunday, which was a washout). There seemed to be fishing action almost anywhere. Jimi and his mates spent the day around the first marker south of the Bribie bridge, chasing mackerel. I didn’t hear a lot about any mackerel they caught but they did catch (and released) about a dozen sharks, both black-tipped and cat sharks. The brown-banded cat shark, also called bamboo shark, is smallish, harmless and likes to hang around doing not much at all, on the ocean floor, except eating, mating and laying “mermaid-purse” eggs on the sea grass. There is no lower size limit on them, but they must not be kept if longer than 1.5m. Gently fried with olive oil, salt and pepper, they are as good a meal as any fish.

Bream and sand whiting have been the other mainstays of fishing this month. The bream have been taking just about any bait, but mullet is always a good start.

The best way to use mullet for bait is as a strip fillet. Mullet is great because it’s so oily - the fillet attracts fish by the scent and movement in the water. Unlike with pilchards, it is best to scale the fish first. Then cut a strip, about 2ocm, just before you hook it up, through the tail of the fillet, where the skin is toughest, so you don’t lose your bait at the first tug.

There have been some really nice-sized bream out there. Shane and his Dad, Chris, had lots of bites on a recent rising tide and did manage to pull in some good bream and a couple of moses perch as well. A few bream of more than 30cm have been caught around the bridge and south of it.

The sand whiting hasn’t minded the weather at all and has been showing up in any of the creek mouths in the Passage, from Lime Pocket to Elimbah Creek especially. Richard has had a few good hauls of whiting, mostly north of Pacific Harbour. Remember, sand whiting is not spotty across the top like winter whiting; it is more silvery and MUST be measured to keep (more than 23cm).

The beach around the south end of Bribie has sometimes been good for whiting too, although it has been pretty heavily hit with the wind, of late.

Last to mention, the crabbing should really pick up over the next few weeks, since the sun has come out. The mud crabs have reportedly been flushed out from the creeks and I have seen a few big ones. The sand crabs are another story….

Photo provided Callum near the Avon wreck on a falling tide with soft plastic lure. 50cm and about to be dinner..

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