Fishing this month has been up and down, as usual for this time of year. Still making our way towards summer, the weather has been warming up, with daily temperatures hovering in the mid-twenties. This time of the year, the weather is very changeable, and each time the weather turns, the fishing spikes or plummets in response.
All the talk is about La Nina coming, but it has sure been a dry start – not even 15mm in total since our last fishing report in September. Certainly not enough to give the creeks a flush. Our local trawlermen are still waiting for the right conditions to get the prawns running.
These light afternoon breezes from the E/NE have, however, made for very pleasant fishing, especially from the shore on the Bribie side of the Passage. White Patch is nicely protected from north/easterlies, for shore-based fishing; and anchoring your boat in towards Wright’s Creek has also been a sheltered option.
The biggest wind of the past month blew up the day before the biggest rainfall of the month, and that combination created a real bonanza for fishing in the Passage. Sam and young Miya hung around Turner’s Camp, not wanting to stray too far in the heavy wind; and caught a lovely bream. Sam says squid was the best bait all day, which was the same for Neville, who used it to hook his flathead. Squid is handy for gusty weather anyway; because it holds so well.
Don, who took out a Fishability Qld crew for a windy day’s fishing, scored a great snapper – 48cm, from the hole at the top end of White Patch, using a favoured Fishability bait – marinated chicken!
White Patch – Banksia Beach area offered plenty of quality fish over the windy weekend, including grassy sweetlip, bream, moses perch and some impressive venus tuskfish. Drifting past the oyster regeneration project, which sits just off Kakadu Beach and is signposted, is a definite must for these species – just remember not to anchor near the project-sign or pull up at the little beach.
Another cracker bout of fishing started when the wind decided to swing around to the west – just for the day. Alan and Jan, from Everton Park Fishing Club, must have been very happy with their haul – 4 big bream, from the mouth of Ningi Creek. Jimmy put up with the choppy water and sat over near Pacific Harbour, which was the perfect spot for snapper – he caught two of them, both of them over 45cm. Around the same time, Richard landed a whopping 3.2kg snapper, near Kakadu Beach; and “lost a bigger one”!
A few days later, the wind lifted again, and that was the day that Craig and Samantha anchored up among the mangroves north of Ningi Creek and cast out gang-hooked pillies – bringing in two flathead – 60cm and 66cm in size.
Nick got his 57cm flathead just south of the bridge, on the same day, using a Zman minnow lure, on the turn of the tide. There hasn’t been much rain, but the wind has stirred up the waters enough to reduce clarity, and so flicking a lure around works well. Paddle-tail lures have been especially popular with the flathead, (and the fishers!).
As the waters of Pumicestone Passage warm up towards summer, there’ll be opportunities for fishing estuary cod and mangrove jacks, as well as some good flathead, in the creeks and around the mangroves and oyster leases. The Pumicestone Passage is currently host to massive schools of baitfish, so keep a good lookout for movement on the water and you can cast in among them, to score a larger predator fish. It often works well at this time of year, although Gavin was at it all afternoon recently, and got nowhere!
Lastly, for a couple of years now, there has been talk about greater stringency in boat licensing - “in the future”. Well, the future has come. October 1st marked a big change in MSQ requirements for boat licensing. There are now much higher standards of competency and all Boatsafe trainers are expected to insist on real, demonstrated ability to handle a boat, before they pass any trainee. A fair bit more work for the trainer and as a result, the cost of boat licence courses has also risen – but still worthwhile, if you want to buy yourself and your family a high-powered boat, and enjoy a safe day on the water.