We had to wait a while for the start of the summer rains, but February has been a good month for greening the gardens, and for stirring up the waters around Bribie.
Rain was recorded on 20 days of the month; not always big falls but still a total of 365mm (wasn’t it handy, that it mostly fell at night!) The Passage has been stirred up a little, with visible colour coming from the creeks and being carried out on the ebb-tide.
Water temperatures have remained about 2 degrees above the long-term average, which is affecting fish behaviour and feeding. Most fish get sluggish in such warm water, and look for shade or deeper water.
This time of the year is when the mangrove jacks are breeding - and hungry, too! Through February, the Passage and creeks have seen almost ideal conditions for them – a little murky, very warm and lots of unsettled weather. After the new moon in late February, targeting mangrove jack has been consistently successful; and the same should continue past the full moon in March. Late afternoons or before sunrise are the best times to try casting out around, preferably using live bait or strips of pillies or mullet. Soft or hard-body lures have also been effective.
Bream have made plenty of fishers happy this past month. There are lots of biggies out there, all through the Passage. Bream have also been getting excited and hungry in the unsettled weather, even if the water is warm. Karl and Jed found good fishing up at Mission Point, using pillies to bring in good-sized bream, as well as an estuary cod. They also tell us there were loads of catfish up there.
Josh and Steve have been spending the past few weeks fishing around Turner’s Camp, and have brought in some nice catches, including bream. South of the bridge, Don and Doug took their Fishability Qld crew out for a competition day and added to their score with bream and sand crabs.
Flathead are still playing hard-to-catch in the Passage; although the regular drops of rain have encouraged them out of the gutters, to come after a feed on the rising tide. With the poor water clarity, an early morning rising tide is a good time to toss some shallow or surface lures over the sand banks.
If you want to stay near the shore, going for whiting is lots of fun and has been running hot. Both sides of the island have got interesting spots – Banksia Beach, for example, and north of the first lagoon at Woorim. Look for a gutter close into the shore and cast your bait-worm over the waves as they break.
Speaking of worms, they have been hard to come by locally. Wazza the wormer, who sends worms down from Fraser Island, has told us that the sand has washed away so much that the worms have gone, too. Richard has said the same thing for Bribie ocean-side, so you may have as much fun buying bait-worms, as fishing for the whiting!
Whiting can also be found out at the south cardinal marker, off Red beach or down near the Deception Bay red marker. At D. Bay, Greg and his mate scored 80 between the two of them one day and 50 another. They lost plenty of big whiting to school mackerel, which is another good target in those spots lately.
You might notice a maintenance team working under the bridge. They’ll be here for about a month, cleaning and inspecting the pylons, and are very impressed with the fish numbers. Well, the fish will be there alright, when the pylons are being scraped! The team leader was also impressed with the courtesy and common-sense being shown by some of our younger fishing enthusiasts, which is good to hear. It certainly doesn’t hurt to stick to the speed limits under the bridge, or to be aware of other boaties, anchored up near it, whether they are fishing or just doing their job.
One of Bribie’s young fishers, Jack, is saying there are plenty of mulloway under the bridge. He also tells us “there’s a heap of estuary cod over 90cm, down at Buckley’s Hole”. Not always easy to catch, but there you go…