Fishing Report – July 2022

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The real winter fishing has started in earnest, at least until this last lot of unseasonal rains. The water turbidity had cleared nicely, right through the Passage and those steady days that are typical of SE Qld winter were encouraging lots of hopefuls to throw a line in. The good news is that the water is still fairly clear, but its temperature has certainly dropped, currently around 19-20 degrees, which is a good sign for a few fish species. Reporting on fishing in the Pumicestone Passage is always a bit like telling two different stories, depending on the side of the Passage, but even more so this month. The mainland is all about flathead and the Bribie side story features whiting and lots of them.

From the second green marker south of the bridge and right up through the Passage, at least as far as Lime Pocket, there have been good Flathead catches. Most of the bigger catches have been on Pilchards or Prawns. Sarah used pillies near the bridge on a falling tide, and caught two Flatheads, 45 and 50cm; her friend Emma had a 60cm Flatty and Jo had a couple of 32cm Bream. A nightfishing session from the shore, between Spinnaker Marina and the bridge, landed a couple of 30+cm Breams for Reggie and Levi.

Shane, Nev and Brent have also been scoring well with prawns and pillies. They’ve been fishing a few times out at their “special spot”, somewhere not far north of the Ningi Creek marker, and consistently get onto big Flathead. They’ve also been bringing in a few Flounder, the occasional Bream, and some winter Whiting. Brendan went into Ningi Creek, to escape the chilly winds and caught five Flatheads, 40-55cm, using soft plastic Squidgees.

Dave and Amanda were keen to get something for the Everton Park Fishing Comp, so they headed to Ningi Creek and used worms to land a potentially prize-winning Flathead and seven Whiting around 30-31cm. There have been some winter Whiting and Sand Whiting showing up along the mainland side, but along the shore of Bribie has been much more consistent.

The sandflats of Banksia Beach are an easy place to get to, to target Whiting – a rising tide, light winds, pleasant weather and the right gear make a surefire combination. It might also be a good idea to gather up a few soldier crabs or yabbies – live bait is definitely the best for Whiting. Not always necessary though – Lyn, Paul and a friend caught 30 Whiting’s (15 worth keeping), over the top of the tide at Banksia, with prawns or little strips of squid on very small hooks. Deb fished the ripples on the rising tide, with prawns for bait, and kept 12 Whiting for her morning’s effort.

Another crew of three went chasing fish all over the Passage but only got lucky near the ripples, with reasonable catches of Whiting as well as Tailor – although they said: “there was nothing really exciting, especially after the wind picked up over 20 knots”. The Tailor has certainly started up through the Passage and the cold snap will help draw them in.

South of the bridge on the Bribie side is sometimes working well for Whiting, too. King and his mate had 10 Whiting in their bag, as well as a Mackerel, after a drift towards Bongaree Jetty. He was after Squid but was still happy enough. Squid are another species that should really pick up with the drop in water temperature, so King will probably back out there soon.

Further afield, Caleb was in the Caboolture River, drifting over Baker’s Flat and trying Swimmerz and Minnowz lures. Swimmerz scored zero but the Pink Glow Minnowz nabbed ten legal Flatheads and he kept three of them, one 45cm, two 65cm. Leroy fished the “prawn farm beacon” (wherever that is) and caught three longtail Tuna with live Herring. Michael and Scotty said there was “a heap of Sea Bream at the Barwon Banks”, which they didn’t want; they did get some good Cod, Mangrove Jack and a couple of Parrot Fish. Scotty’s mate, Rob, was out the same day, at the yellow Fad off Cape Moreton, where he hooked up 6 Dolphin Fish. A few days later, Will and Lachie were at Scarborough Reef, using fresh prawns for bait and caught ten fish, including Snapper, Bream and Whiting, but no keepers.

Lastly, a reminder that the Snapper closed season is about to start up – July 15 to August 15. That doesn’t mean that you won’t catch the odd Snapper – it means you have to put it back!